Lesson 7 The Lord’s Supper
Reading: John 6:27–35
1 Corinthians 11:26
as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death
till he come.
22:7–14. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be
killed. 8And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the
passover, that we may eat. 9And they said unto him, Where wilt thou
that we prepare? 10And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered
into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow
him into the house where he entereth in. 11And ye shall say unto the
goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber,
where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 12And he shall show
you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. 13And they went,
and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. 14And
when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
26:26–28. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it,
and gave it to the disciples,
and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave
thanks, and gave it to them,
saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new
testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Corinthians 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread,
and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.
ON THE LESSON TEXT
22:7. The time for the observance of the
Passover had arrived. This was a very solemn Jewish feast. V8. Certain
preparations were necessary. Peter and John were detailed to make the
preparations. Vv 9–12. The goodman was probably a disciple of Christ to
whose hospitality they were welcome. Incidentally Christ reveals his divinity in
his knowledge of what other would do. This large upper room is thought to be the
same room in which the Holy Ghost was later bestowed. Of this we are not
certain. Vv 13–14. Christ’s prediction was verified, thus proving his
divinity. The Passover was prepared, and Christ, with his disciples, ate it. Of
this there is no doubt.
26:26. While eating the Passover Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper. The
bread represents his body. Vv 27–28. The wine represents his blood
through the shedding of which we have atonement.
Corinthians 11:26. This ordinance is a memorial of Christ’s death to be
observed until he comes again.
TOPIC: THE LORD’S SUPPER
IT IS A CHRISTIAN INSTITUTION
It is not of the Passover.
Christ ate the Passover. This Jewish yearly feast commemorated the deliverance
from Egypt and also foreshadowed the death of Christ. B) This was a meal which
included roast lamb. It is described in Exodus 12. The Lord’s Supper includes
only bread and wine. C) It is a new institution. In a few hours the Passover was
to receive its fulfillment and cease. The Lord’s Supper is a new symbol to
point backward to Christ as the Passover and pointed forward to him. Some of the
same elements are used but are given a new significance.
Christ instituted it.
All the accounts ascribe the origin of this ordinance to Christ. Paul declared
he received his knowledge of it from Christ. B) This gives to it the standing of
a Christian ordinance along with baptism.
It is a perpetual ordinance in the church.
Its nature requires this. It is a memorial of the death of Christ, so as long as
his death is the central truth of the gospel the purpose and value of the
observance cannot change. B) It is to continue “till he come.” This gives it
a permanent place. C) It has been observed by the church in the apostle’s day
and in all subsequent ages of the church.
THEORIES CONCERNING IT
The bread and wine are transformed into the actual body and blood, soul and
divinity of Christ. This is done by the priest’s pronouncing in Latin the
words of consecration. B) This Christ is now offered for sins in the sacrifice
of the mass. Through this means atonement is made. C) This consecrated host is
kept at the altar and worshipped. The devout Catholic bows his knee to this god
upon entering the church, and the priest may not pass it without kneeling. D)
The entire Christ is in each part. The priest drinks a part, the laity eats a
part, and a part is worshipped, yet Christ is complete in each part.
is the theory of the Lutherans.
The elements remain unchanged. The bread is still bread, and the wine is still
wine. B) Christ is actually present with, in, and under the elements in some
mysterious way. Spiritual benefits are received from the partaking of these
elements. C) The ubiquity of the body of Christ is affirmed which makes it
possible for him to be present everywhere.
The mystical presence theory.
theory denies the corporeal presence of Christ but holds that he is mystically
present in the sacrament and that spiritual benefits are received through
participation in the ordinance. This is help by some Protestant factions.
The love-feast theory.
has not so much to do with the character of the ordinance as with the manner of
its observances. It is held by the Dunkards.
The Passover was not eaten by Christ, as the time for its observation had not
arrived. B) The Lord’s Supper includes the entire meal eaten by Christ and the
disciples. It is therefore observed as a meal.
FACTS DISPROVING THESE THEORIES
The bread is not transformed.
One proof text, John 6:53, cannot refer to the Lord’s Supper which was not yet
instituted. This eating of his flesh must have a spiritual significance. B) The
statement, “This is my body,” cannot be literally true, for the literal,
physical body of Christ was then visibly present apart from the bread. C) The
disciples did not understand this statement literally or they would have asked
an explanation of so profound a mystery. D) The statement means, “This
represents my body;” Christ often spoke this way, “I am the true vine,”
“I am the door.” E) The bread is a memorial eaten in remembrance of Christ.
It cannot be the actual body of Christ, for a thing is not a memorial of itself.
F) The bread remains bread after the time of the blessing. It is still bread
when broken (see 1 Corinthians 10:17) and is bread when eaten (see 1 Corinthians
Christ is NOT with, in, and under the bread.
This idea requires the same literal interpretation of Christ’s words and meets
some of the same difficulties. There is no mystical presence of Christ in the
bread. B) If “This is my body” is literally true he is physically present.
It is not a full meal. Christ ate the Passover. The meal belonged to the
Passover. Paul describes the Lord’s Supper as bread and wine. The eating of a
full meal is condemned as a perversion of the ordinance (see 1 Corinthians
11:20, 21, 34).
THE TRUE ORDINANCE
The blessings. Jesus took bread and blessed (the “it” in Matthew is
supplied). Paul and Luke say he gave thanks. It was God, and not the bread, that
he blessed. B) The breaking of the bread. This represents the rending of
Christ’s body on the cross. C) The pouring of the wine which represents the
shedding of Christ’s blood. D) The giving of the bread and wine. E) The eating
of the bread. F) The drinking of the wine.
It is to be observed by all who are saved. No other conditions are to be
required, yet only saved people should participate. B) There are no stated times
for its observance. Its observance should not be too frequent nor too seldom.
The hour of day is not essential.
It symbolizes the atoning suffering of Christ, hence a memorial of the greatest
fact of religion. B) Our participation represents our salvation through union
with Christ. C) The bread, before breaking, also represents the one body, the
spiritual body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 10:17).