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Lesson 7 The Lord’s Supper


Devotional Reading:   John 6:27–35


Memory Verse:           1 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.




 Luke 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.


Matthew 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.


1 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.




Luke 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.

Matthew 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.

1 Corinthians 11:26. This ordinance is a memorial of Christ’s death to be observed until he comes again.






1. It is not of the Passover.


A) 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.


2. Christ instituted it.


A) 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.


3. It is a perpetual ordinance in the church.


A) 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.




1. Transubstantiation.


A) 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.


2. Consubstantiation.


This is the theory of the Lutherans.

A) 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.


3. The mystical presence theory.


This 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.


4. The love-feast theory.


This 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.

A) 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.




1. The bread is not transformed.


A) 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 11:26–28).


2. Christ is NOT with, in, and under the bread.


A) 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).




1. Its essentials.


A) 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.


2. Its observance.


A) 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.


3. Its meaning.


A) 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).