Text: Matthew 26:26-30 (HCSB)
26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take and eat it; this is My body.” 27 Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood (that establishes) the covenant; it is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 But I tell you, from this moment I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it in a new way in My Father’s kingdom with you.” 30 After singing psalms, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Intro: “Bread & Cup - with New Meaning!”
The unleavened bread originally symbolized the haste with which the Israelites departed from Egypt. In the New Testament Jesus now invest the Bread and Cup with new meaning. What is that meaning? Often there is the discussion within different denominations of what is in the Cup what kind of Bread should be used. I can’t help but dwell sometimes on the concern we have on the taste (alcohol or no alcohol) in the cup and what kind of yeast (should or shouldn’t) use and not on the fact that what we are supposed to be remembering is the drink represents the blood that was shed for the remission of our sins! And the bread was His body.
Christ ended the Passover and instituted a new memorial to Himself. It would not look back to a lamb in Egypt as the symbol of God’s redeeming love and power, but to the very Lamb of God, who, by the sacrificial shedding of His own blood, took away the sins of the whole world. In that one meal Jesus both terminated the old and inaugurated the new.
Jesus’ institution of the new memorial consisted of three primary elements: the directive, the doctrine, and the duration.
Application: This Covenant was established for us, DO YOU REMEMBER?
The first element was the directive:
1. The Directive: “And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; … ” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.”
Here we have our lord in a room with His disciples, we are not to get to hung up on what part of the meal He was involved with at this point but on the manner for which His focus. The supper was in progress our Lord instituted the new memorial in the midst of the old. First, Jesus took some bread and offered a blessing of thanks to His heavenly Father, “Take, eat.”
Shortly after that, when He had taken a cup and given thanks again, He gave it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you.” From this given thanks we get are word, Eucharist.
1 Corinthians 10:16 (HCSB) “The cup of blessing that we give thanks for, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?”
A person may think and say he is saved, but he may be wrong. Saying and thinking do not make a person safe and secure in Christ. Saying and thinking are not the reality or the evidence of salvation. A person may be baptized and belong to a church, but baptism and membership in a church do not make a person safe and secure in Christ. A person may partake of the Lord's Supper or Sacrament and think he is thereby safe and secure in Christ, but partaking of the bread and wine do not make a person safe and secure in Christ. A person may sense the presence of a supernatural being, or be greatly gifted and very active in the church, but it is not these things that make a person safe and secure in Christ. This directive is too reminds us of what He did and how we should live if we believe! Jesus’ blood was shed on the Cross for our sins and His body was used to bridge the gap between sinful man and a perfect God!
Part of this belief is to be shared in fellowship: 1 John 1:7 (HCSB) “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
The second element was the doctrine:
2. The Doctrine: “this is My body. … for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
For years in the Jewish tradition breaking the unleavened bread was a normal part of the traditional Passover ceremony. But Jesus now gave it an entirely new meaning, saying, “This is My body.” The original unleavened bread symbolized severance from the old life in Egypt, carrying nothing of its pagan and oppressive “leaven” into the Promised Land. It represented a separation from worldliness and sin and the beginning of a new life of holiness and godliness. Must of been some Baptist thought with this, Jesus is telling His followers there is a change here! By His divine authority, Jesus transformed that symbolism into another. From henceforth the bread would represent Christ’s own body, sacrificed for the salvation of men.
As often as you partake of this Jesus tells us to do this in remembrance of Him, In saying the bread is His body; Jesus obviously was not speaking literally. Jesus’ statement about eating His body was no more literal than His saying He is the Vine and His followers are the branches or than John the Baptist’s calling Him the Lamb of God.
As the disciples drank of the cup Jesus said, “This is My blood of the covenant.” The “new covenant.” 1 Peter 1:2 (HCSB) “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and (for) sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”
Blood had always been present in past for reconciliation that hadn’t change, but Christ wants us to do this in remembrance of Him. Jesus therefore did not simply have to die but had to shed His own precious blood. Although He did not bleed to death, Jesus bled both before He died and as He died-from the wounds of the crown of thorns, from the lacerations of the scourging, and from the nail holes in His hands and feet. After He was dead, a great volume of His blood poured out from the spear thrust in His side.
This Doctrine reminds us although the shedding of His blood was required, it symbolized His atoning death, the giving of His unblemished, pure, and wholly righteous life for the corrupt, depraved, and wholly sinful lives of unregenerate men.
The third element was the duration:
3. The Duration: “But I say to you, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
For those who belong to Jesus Christ, that event in the upper room began a new remembrance of redemption that the Lord will honor until He returns in glory. Fruit of the vine was a common Jewish colloquialism for wine, which Jesus told the disciples He would not drink with them again until that day when He would drink it new with them in His Father’s kingdom. He had instructed them to remember Him in the eating of the unleavened bread, which represents His sacrificed body, and in the drinking of the cup, which represents His shed blood as a sacrifice for sin. “Do this,” He said, “as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”
The Lord’s Supper not only is a reminder of our Lord’s sacrifice for our sins but also a reminder of His promise to return and share His kingdom blessings with us. From those words we learn that the end of this present age does not signal the end of this observance. Communion
The Lord’s Supper is a time to remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. During this memorial remembrance the bread symbolizes the body of Christ and the wine symbolizes the blood of Christ. When believers take the elements in an act of worship, gathering in His name, Christ’s presence is among them and felt.
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