The Lord's Supper

124 supper of the Lord

The Lord's Supper is a reminder of what Jesus has done in the past, a symbol of our present relationship with him, and a promise of what he will do in the future. Whenever we celebrate the sacrament, we take bread and wine to commemorate our Redeemer and announce his death until he comes. The Lord's Supper is part of the death and resurrection of our Lord, who gave his body and shed his blood, so that we may be forgiven. (1, Corinthians 11,23-26, 10,16, Matthew 26,26-28)

The Lord's Supper reminds us of Jesus' death on the cross

In the evening, when he was betrayed while Jesus was eating a supper with his disciples, he took bread and said, "This is my body given for you; that does to my memory "(Lk 22,19). Each of them ate a piece of bread. As we partake of the Lord's Supper, each of us eats a piece of bread to remember Jesus.

"Likewise also the cup after the meal said to us: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you" (v. 20). When we take a small sip of wine at the Lord's Supper, we remember that Jesus' blood was shed for us and that blood meant the new covenant. Just as the old covenant was sealed by blasting blood, the new covenant was established by the blood of Jesus (Hebr 9,18-28).

As Paul said, "For as often as you eat of this bread and drink of that blood, you proclaim the death of the Lord until it comes" (1Kor 11,26). The Lord's Supper looks back to the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Is Jesus' death a good thing or a bad thing? There are certainly some very sad aspects to his death, but the bigger picture is that his death is the best news there is. She shows us how much God loves us - so much so that he sent his son to die for us so that our sins can be forgiven and we can live with him forever.

The death of Jesus is a tremendously great gift for us. It is precious. If we are given a gift of great value, a gift that included a great sacrifice for us, how should we receive it? With sadness and regret? No, that's not what the giver wants. Rather, we should accept it with great gratitude, as an expression of great love. When we shed tears, it should be tears of joy.

Thus the Lord's Supper, though a reminder of a death, is not a burial, as if Jesus was still death. On the contrary, we celebrate this memory knowing that the death of Jesus lasted only three days, knowing that death will not hold us forever. We rejoice that Jesus conquered death and set free all those who were enslaved by fear of death (Hebr 2,14-15). We can remember Jesus' death with the glad knowledge that he triumphed over sin and death! Jesus said that our grief will turn into joy (Joh 16,20). To come to the Lord's table and have fellowship should be a celebration, not a funeral.

The ancient Israelites looked back on the events of the Passover as a defining moment in their history, the time when their identity as a nation began. It was at the time when, through the mighty hand of God, they escaped death and slavery, and were liberated to serve the Lord. In the Christian Church, we look back at the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as a defining moment in our history. Thereby we escape the death and the slavery of sin, and thereby we are liberated to serve the Lord. The Lord's Supper is a memory of that defining moment in our history.

The sacrament symbolizes our present relationship with Jesus Christ

The crucifixion of Jesus has an enduring meaning for those who have taken up a cross to follow Him. We continue to share in his death and new covenant because we share in his life. Paul wrote, "The blessed chalice that we bless, is not that the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread that we break is not the communion of the body of Christ? "(1Kor 10,16). Through the Lord's Supper we show that we share in Jesus Christ. We have fellowship with him. We are united with him.

The New Testament speaks of our participation in Jesus in various ways. We share in his crucifixion (Gal 2,20, Kol 2,20), his death (Rom 6,4), his resurrection (Xnumx X, 2,6) and his life (Gal 2,13). Our life is in him, and he is in us. The Lord's Supper symbolizes this spiritual reality.

The chapter 6 of the Gospel of John gives us a similar picture. After announcing himself as the "bread of life," Jesus said, "He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn 6,54). It is crucial that we find our spiritual food in Jesus Christ. The Lord's Supper demonstrates this perpetual truth. "He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him" (v. 56). We show that we live in Christ and He in us.

So the Lord's Supper helps us to look up, to Christ, and we become aware that true life can only be in and with Him.

But if we are aware that Jesus lives in us, then we stop and think about what kind of home we offer him. Before he came into our lives, we were a dwelling place for sin. Jesus knew that before he even knocked on the door of our lives. He wants to come in so he can start cleaning up. But when Jesus knocks, many try to do a quick cleanup before opening the door. However, as human beings, we are unable to cleanse our sins - the best we can do is to hide them in the closet.

So we hide our sins in the closet and invite Jesus into the living room. Finally in the kitchen, then in the hall, and then in the bedroom. It is a gradual process. Finally, Jesus comes to the closet, where our worst sins are hidden, and he cleans these too. Year by year, as we grow in spiritual maturity, we are giving more and more of our lives to our Redeemer.

It is a process and the Lord's Supper plays a role in this process. Paul wrote, "Man testeth himself, and so he eateth of this bread and drink of this cup" (1Kor 11,28). Every time we participate, we should consider ourselves, aware of the great importance that lies in this ceremony.

When we test ourselves, we often find sin. This is normal - there is no reason to avoid the Lord's Supper. It's just a reminder that we need Jesus in our lives. Only he can take away our sins.

Paul criticized Christians in Corinth for the way they celebrated the Lord's Supper. The wealthy people came first, they ate themselves and even got drunk. The poor members came to the end, and remained hungry. The rich did not share the poor (v. 20-22). They did not really share the life of Christ because they did not do what he would do. They did not understand what it means to be members of the body of Christ, and that the members had responsibility for each other.

So, as we examine ourselves, we have to look around to see if we treat each other the way Jesus Christ commanded. If you are united with Christ and I am united with Christ, then we are indeed connected. Thus, the Lord's Supper, symbolizing our participation in Christ, also symbolizes our participation (other translations call it communion or sharing or communion).

Like Paul in 1. Corinthians 10,17 said, "For there is one bread: so many are one body, because we all partake of one bread." By attending the Lord's Supper together, we present the fact that we are one body in Christ with each other connected, with responsibility for each other.

At Jesus 'last supper with his disciples, Jesus portrayed the life of God's kingdom by washing the disciples' feet (Joh 13,1-15). When Peter protested, Jesus said it was necessary for him to wash his feet. The Christian life includes both - serving and being served.

The Lord's Supper reminds us of Jesus' return

Three authors of the Gospels tell us that Jesus would stop drinking from the fruit of the vine until he would come in the fullness of the Kingdom of God (Mt 26,29, Lk 22,18, Mk 14,25). Every time we attend, we are reminded of Jesus' promise. There will be a big messianic "banquet", a solemn "wedding feast". The bread and the wine are "samples" of what will be the greatest victory celebration in all history. Paul wrote, "For as often as you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes" (1Kor 11,26).

We always look forward, as well as back and up, in and around us. The Lord's Supper is rich in meaning. That is why over the centuries it has been a prominent part of the Christian tradition. Of course, sometimes one has let it degenerate into a lifeless ritual that was more than habit, rather than celebrated with profound meaning. When a ritual becomes meaningless, some people overreact by stopping the ritual altogether. The better answer is to restore meaning. That's why it helps to re-imagine what we symbolically do.

Joseph Tkach


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