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111: The Lord’s Supper; It’s Meaning and It’s Purpose

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 26:26-29

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 26:26-29       Mark 14:22-25       Luke 22:17-20       I Cor. 11:23-26

Outline:

  1. The Bread Matt. 26:26
  2. The Cup Matt. 26:27-28
  3. The Hope Matt. 26:29

Context/Discussion/Comments:

After the third cup in this Paschal meal, Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks, breaks it, and gives it to His disciples. Jesus instructs His disciples to take and eat, drawing reference to His body. Thus, the bread represents the physical and human nature of Jesus Christ. The bread represents His life, His body. With respect to the Passover, the bread represents the innocent and perfect lamb. Jesus’ body was “broken”, “given”, sacrificed, served, spent or used up. Its strength was given so that we might forsake our sinful life for His sinless life. Jesus became our representative before God. His righteousness was imputed to us.

Jesus takes the fourth cup, gives thanks, and gives it to His disciples. He instructs them to drink and draws reference to His blood, the New Covenant, and the forgiveness of sin. The cup represents the spiritual and divine nature of Jesus Christ. The cup represents His sacrifice and His blood for our sin. His blood was “shed”, payment for our debt, for our atonement, for our unity as believers, for our redemption, for our salvation, for our forgiveness of sins, and for our restoration. It represents His great mercy and grace; the price for our sin.

Jesus says this is His last celebration with His disciples until He celebrates with us in His Kingdom. We are to remember this and do this often in remembrance of Him, what He has done and what He has promised. Thus, the Lord’s Supper gives us Hope.

The Lord’s Supper is a:

  • Reminder: to humbly seek His forgiveness and cleansing.
  • Remembrance: of His loving sacrifice on our behalf that we may become His Children and participate in His inheritance.
  • Rejoicing: in His power and victory over sin and death [Satan].
  • Resting: in His faithfulness and promise of His coming again.

His sacrifice is:

  • Sacred
  • Atoning
  • Cleansing
  • Redeeming
  • Intimate Fellowship
  • Forgiving and Forgetting
  • Inheriting His Riches
  • Common Spirit of Unity
  • Everlasting Hope

Different denominations approach the Lord’s Supper differently. Some terms you will hear are:

  1. Eucharist – meaning grace, gratitude, spiritual communion
  2. Sacrament – a sacred religious act, a sign or symbol of spiritual reality
  3. Trans-substantiation – actual transformation of the bread and wine to body and blood
  4. Con-substantiation – mystical transformation of the bread and wine to body and blood
  5. Communion
  6. Symbolic – memorial
  7. Memorial – memorial

The word “body” is interpreted two different ways. It can mean the “body of believers’ to some and “the body of Christ” to others. Regardless of what you believe concerning the above,

The Lord’s Supper and His Sacrifice
represents the
The Unifying Work of God.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. All experience His Love, but not all experience His Fellowship.
  2. There are many practices, but only one purpose for the Lord’s Supper.
  3. All of these elements are present in the Lord’s Supper.
  • He Loved them.
  • He served them.
  • He taught them.
  • He comforted them.
  • He prepared them.
  • He encouraged them.

Without His Death
There is no payment for sin.

Without His Blood
There is no forgiveness for sin.

Without His Resurrection
There is no joy of life eternal.

Without His Coming Again
There is no hope for today

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