Christian Grapevine    



Communion - The Lord's Supper

1 Corinthians 11

The Lord‘s Supper, or Communion was instituted by Jesus Christ

Matthew 26:17-30

  1. ..."My time is at hand, I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples..."

Luke 22:7-20

15 Then He said to them "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer."
16 "for I say to you I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

  1. ... Identities "The Lord‘s Supper""

Paul admonishes the bretheren in Corinth for their attitude to the Lord‘s Supper and each other. They are not showing a love for all the betheren when they partake (v 21-22). There are divisions and factions.
v18-19 ..."There must also be factions" "that those who are approved may be recognised among you." Therefore when you come together in one place...

This marks and identifies the occassion of the Body of Christ coming together. The implication seems to be you can identify the Body of Christ by their love and communion around the Lord‘s Supper.

23 Paul writes he received from the Lord specific instructions about the Lord‘s Supper.

So if Paul receivd these instructions to teach the Body of Christ they must be noteworthy.

Jesus and the disciples were commemorating the Feast of Passover and yet Paul identifies the Lord‘s Supper as the night in which Jesus was betrayed. It was enough of a description to identify the event to the believers.
What love in the circumstances, that even knowing He was being betrayed by ‘a friend’ at the time His love focus remained.

Jesus had told His disciples He (Luke 22:15) ‘fervently’ wanted to commemorate the feast of Passover with them.

It was a time when the Jews remembered their escape from bondage and captivity in Egypt.
The account is found in Exodus 12 and a more condensed version in Pslam 105.

The meal in particular marked the components of the Passover story. Wine was part of the special Seder meal. There were 4 cups drunk during the meal.

A fifth cup was not drunk. It symbolised / was called ‘The Cup of Elijah’ called the forerunner of Messiah and spoke of the ‘ingathering’ of exiles and sovereignty over Israel.

Note : if you will, five is the numer of Grace. Elijah was raptured and ingathering of exiles. It's neat note it was Moses and Elijah with the Lord on the MOunt of Transfiguration (the Old and New Testaments)

The Cup After Supper
1 Corinthians 11:25
Luke 22:20

Jeus shared the cup after supper with His disciples

The cup that symbolized the promises to us of
  • Grace
  • Rapture
  • and Ingathering
From To Be a Jew (Rabbi Hayim Donin, 1992)

Passover Cups of Wine

  1. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians
  2. I will deliver you from their bondage
  3. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments
  4. I will take you to me for a people, I will be to you God
  5. I wlll bring you in the Land concerning which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
Jewish tradition on the 5th Cup, the cup after supper was that this cup was not drunk (To Be a Jew, p 231)
"...the people looked upon it as a promise, that still needed fullfillment"

It‘s Personal

The bread of Passover meal was unleavened. The children of Israel had to be ready to leave quickly so there was no time to let bread rise.
Each Passover they were instructed to remove all leaven from their home

In Matthew 16, Jesus warns His disciples twice to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees (v 6-17). This illustrates and uinfaces our focus to be solely on the true Bread of Life, Our Lord Jesus. The Bread of Heaven is a personal, Giver of LIfe.

Bread of Heaven
John 6:31->

  1. ..."I am the Bread of Life"
  1. ..."I am the Living Bread"
  1. ..."unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man dna drink His blood you have no life in you"
  1. ..."He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him."
  1. ..."He who eats this bread will live forever"
Many of His disciples murmured that it was a "hard saying"
  1. ...Jesus asked, "Does this offend you?"
63... He further explains<, It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life.

Much of John 6 is about provision / food.
5... when multitudes had followed Jesus up on a mountain, Philip was asked "Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?" Jesus was testing him.

13... the fragments that were later gathered after the multitude had eaten were 12 baskets full.
  1. ..."Do not labor for the food that perishes but for the food which endures to everlasting life...

Jesus had answered the multitude who were looking for a sign from Him.

The subjects of bread and wine is a recurring "contact point" in the Bible.
For example, Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6).
Jesus performed the miracles of feeding five thousand with just five loaves and two fish (John 6:4-13).
and fed four thousand with seven loaves and a few fish (Matthew 15:32-39).

The teaching that He, that is Jesus, is the Bread of Life followed the miracle of feeding the 5,000 in John 6. For example, v37 Jesus said "I am the living bread which came down from Heaven..."
In this same chapter, after some disciples walked away. He asked those stil lwith Him if they were offended by this.

He explained in Verse 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life."

The Lord‘s Supper would have been well understood by His disciples, both commemorating the ‘Passover’ and the ‘New Covenant’ Jesus promised.

Again, the blessing and breaking of bread with the two disciples on the road to Emmasus revealed the risen Lord to them (Luke 24:30).

In a quick recap, we look again at Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 11:23, Paul had just admonished believers for lack of love, not considering others or the significance of The Lord’s Supper.

Paul received these instructions (v23-26) from the Lord. It was the night Jesus was betrayed. He, Jesus, was giving new promises of deliverance while they were remembering past deliverance.

Giving a prayer of thanks and blessing for each element of Communion follows the example of our Lord.
Just like the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus acknowledges God the Father.

"Blessed art thou Oh Lord Our God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. King of the Universe. Thank you for your Love and Provision of these elements"