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Seeking the Family of God

  1. Am I In Christ?
    7 Digging Deeper
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
    3 Digging Deeper
  3. What is the Church?
    5 Digging Deeper
  4. Why Are There So Many Different Christian Religions?
    6 Digging Deeper
  5. How Can I Know the Will of God?
    4 Digging Deeper
  6. How Do I Pray?
    5 Digging Deeper
  7. What is Worship?
    6 Digging Deeper
  8. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?
    5 Digging Deeper
  9. How Do I Become Like Christ?
    6 Digging Deeper
  10. What if there is no New Testament Church Near Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 8, Digging Deeper 1
In Progress

What makes the Lord’s Supper more significant than an ordinary meal? Jesus commands us to remember his body as we eat of the bread. Why does Jesus want us to remember his body?

On the Thursday night of Passover at the conclusion of Jesus’ three to four-year ministry on earth, he gathered his twelve apostles together in an upper room in Jerusalem.  While they were eating the Passover meal, Jesus took unleavened bread off the table and gave it a special significance about him.  After supper, Jesus took a cup of “fruit of the vine” (grape juice) and also gave it special significance about him (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).   What Jesus said about the bread and the fruit of the vine describes that significance.  The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians dated about A. D. 55 is perhaps the earliest written account of this supper:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.

During this Passover meal, Jesus took bread and fruit of the vine that they would be eating and drinking in the meal and spoke these words of institution.  In the future after his going away, his disciples were to remember him this way.  The Passover meal was eaten annually at Passover (March-April) to commemorate the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:1-20).   The food on the table included roasted lamb, vegetables and sauces.  The meal satisfied hunger and celebrated thanksgiving to God, as well as love and friendship among the participants.

During this meal celebrating the freedom and deliverance of God’s people from Egypt, Jesus took bread and wine and gave it a new meaning about himself.  According to Exodus 12, the bread on the Passover table was unleavened, that is, made without yeast.  It was a flat cracker called “matzos” by the Jewish people.  This “quick” bread reminded people to be ready for God’s deliverance.

Why does God want us to remember Jesus?  We remember Jesus because of who he is, what he has done for us, what he is now doing for us, and what he will do for us in the future.  He is God’s Son, our only Lord and Savior.  He died as a ransom to procure the forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 20:28; 26;28).  “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11).  We are baptized into the benefits of his death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4).  We are “clothed with Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).  He is the foundation of the church (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the head of the body, the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). The church is “the bride of Christ” and our “pure and sincere devotion” is to him (2 Corinthians 11:2-3; Revelation 19:7).  Our life and growth come from him (Colossians 2:19).  Without him we could do nothing (John 15:5).

Why does God want us to remember the body of Jesus?  God wants us to remember that his Son, Jesus, came Jesus in the flesh (John 1:14).  Jesus was as much flesh and blood as we are.  He was not a myth, superstition, imaginary man or a vision (2 Peter 1:16-18).  He was born to Mary in Bethlehem (there is nothing more human than a baby, Luke 2:4-7).  He offered his flesh and his blood as an atoning sacrifice for us (John 6:51).  The apostles ate and drank with him after his resurrection (Luke 24:39-40; Acts 10:36-41).  His physical body was as real as the piece of bread that we eat in remembrance of him.  The heretics who denied that Jesus came in the flesh are “anti-Christs” (1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 7).

The Lord’s Supper was the central act of the weekly assemblies of the early church that took place on Sundays (Acts 20:7).  The Lord’s Supper is expressive of the central realities of the Christian faith and the identity of the church of Christ.  For Christians, the eating of the Lord’s Supper is the act of renewing our covenant allegiance to the Lord.  The bread, representing the body of Christ, also represents the one body, the church and its unity.  As the Passover meal reminded Israel of God’s deliverance from Egypt, so also, the New Covenant meal reminds us of God’s deliverance from sin through Jesus.  Leaven often represents sin.  Christ’s body was broken on the cross, yet he was sinless as our perfect atoning sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Hebrews 4:15).

What do we remember about Jesus?  We remember his sacrifice on the cross for us.  We remember his becoming flesh like us and his ministry of love and good works.  We remember his teachings and recommit our hearts and lives to love and obey him.  We remember his resurrection and that he is Lord of all.  We remember that he cares for us, answers our prayers, and intercedes with his Father for us.  We remember that he is with us always and will never leave us or forsake us.  We remember that no matter what happens in the world that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  We remember that we are to be like him in this world.  We remember that he is coming again and that we want to be prepared to meet him.