The Lord’s Supper

Posted: February 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

In Matthew 26:26-29, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper as follows,

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Wayne Grudem believes that there is an Old Testament background to the Lord’s Supper and it is found in texts such as Exodus 24:9-11 and Deuteronomy 14:23, 26 where members of the covenant community were able to eat and drink in the presence of God.  

Moreover, many Old Testament feasts were connected with sacrifices aimed at restoring fellowship between God and man that had been broken by sin.

Yet, as Grudem notes, the Lord’s Supper is better because it commemorates a once and for all restoration made possible the sacrifice of Jesus (Heb. 10:1-4). 

However, the Lord’s Supper still points forward to something even greater just as the OT sacrificial meals did…to the great Messianic party that will occur once Jesus has returned (Matt. 26:19; Rev. 19:9, etc.)

So, in sum, what meanings lay behind the Lord’s Supper? Grudem identifies seven: (1) It commemorates Christ’s death (1 Cor. 11:26); (2) it evokes “our participation in the benefits of His death” (Matt. 26:26); (3) it provides spiritual nourishment (John 6:53-57); (4) it is a powerful symbol of the unity of believers demanded by our King (1 Cor. 10:17); (5) it affirms Christ’s love for us; (6) It affirms that all the blessings of salvation are reserved for us; and (7) It affirms our faith (belief in-, loyalty to- and trust in-) in Jesus.

So it follows that only those who have faith in Jesus should participate and, because there are no clear guidelines, anyone with said faith may administer it to others.

Tomorrow we will see what Grudem has to say about worship but I want to note one thing before we leave the Lord’s Supper. 

As Grudem notes, the Lord’s Supper points to the great messianic party that awaits all believers at the beginning of our King’s reign over the new heavens and the new earth.  This is an important point because we often mistakenly think of heaven as a place where we will sit on a cloud in a diaper playing John Tesch tunes on a harp.  BIG MISTAKE.  The Bible teaches that once Jesus has returned and pronounced judgment that his followers will join him to party!

We will receive new bodies that will be like Jesus resurrected body (see Phil. 3 and 1 Cor. 15) and he was able to be touched and even ate! So will we. 

So, the next age will not be some boring ghostly existence but an awesome physical existence with fine food and great wine!

Awesome! Come soon Lord Jesus.

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