The Lord’s Supper
TEXT: Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34
Jesus gave us something to do in remembrance of Him.
It was an exciting day in Jerusalem. There was so much to be done. The city was bustling with activity. As Jesus’ disciples walked along the dusty road, they could see that everyone was getting ready for Passover. They were to observe this feast in remembrance of what God had done for the Children of Israel many years before when He had brought them out of the land of Egypt.
Jesus’ disciples needed to make preparations also. As this was one of the most important feast days of the year, they wanted everything to be just right. First, they needed to find a place where they could all gather together with Jesus for the meal. He had told them they would find the perfect room if they looked for a certain man in the city carrying a pitcher of water.
They were nearing the city square now, so they began to watch carefully. Their eyes strained against the bright afternoon sun. “Look!” one of them exclaimed, pointing across the square. From behind a building a man came walking briskly through the crowd. He headed straight toward them! In one of his hands was a large pitcher. Could this be the man? Quickly, they walked over to meet him. As they stopped in front of him, they repeated the message Jesus had given them: “The Master saith, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?” (Mark 14:14).
Without even a pause the man turned, motioning for them to follow him. Through the streets and lanes they made their way to a large house where they followed him up the stairs. There the man led them into a large room, all furnished and ready for their use.
That evening, as they sat, ready to eat the Passover meal, Jesus reached out and took some bread and began to bless it. The twelve disciples listened reverently as He prayed. When He finished, He began to break the bread in pieces and pass it to His disciples saying, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me (1 Corinthians 11:24). While they were eating, Jesus took a cup, and after He gave thanks and drank from it, He gave it to them saying, “Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission [forgiveness] of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Jesus was to die for everyone’s sins the next day. No longer would it be necessary to offer sacrifices for sins. There would be no more need to observe the Passover, since Jesus had come to fulfill that promise. His Blood would be shed for the sins of people in all generations.
When we observe the Lord’s Supper today, we are not celebrating the Passover. We observe the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus’ Body that was broken, and His Blood that was shed for our sins. Without Jesus’ shed Blood there would be no chance for us to have our sins forgiven.
We are told in the Bible that when we partake of the Lord’s Supper (also called “Communion”), we need to examine our hearts to make sure that we do not take it unworthily. We are to make sure there are no bad feelings in our hearts toward anyone, and that our sins are forgiven.
The Bible says, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” The Lord’s Supper is a serious observance for all Christians. It should not be taken lightly.
The Bible also tells us that as often as we eat the bread and drink from the cup, we are keeping Christ’s death fresh in our minds till He returns. The Passover was a Jewish feast looking back to their forefathers’ deliverance from the land of Egypt. The Lord’s Supper is the Christian’s remembrance of the Lord’s death until He returns the second time to take us with Him to Heaven.