What Is The Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is a gathering of believers to eat the bread and drink of the cup in remembrance of Jesus and what He did for us, and to show forth our Lord’s death until He comes again.
The Institution Of The Lord’s Supper
- The Lord’s Supper was first instituted by the Lord Jesus with His disciples.
Matthew 26:26–30, Mark 14:22–26; Luke 22:15:14–20; John 6:48–54, 63
- Jesus said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until He could do so with us in His Father’s kingdom. Therefore, we are to eagerly expect His return, or love His appearing. He waits to eat with us in His kingdom.
Luke 22:18; Matthew 26:29; 2 Timothy 4:8
- Paul tells the church to keep the ordinances, or teachings, that we have received from the Lord. He then instructs the church about the Lord’s Supper as a way to remember Jesus and show forth His death until He comes again.
1 Corinthians 11:2; 23, 26
- The Bible is not clear about how often we are to take the Lord’s Supper. It only says: “as oft as ye drink” and “as oft as ye eat”. Therefore, there are no certain times that we eat the Lord’s Supper, but we should desire to take the supper like Jesus desired to take it with His disciples before suffering.
Luke 22:15; 1 Corinthians 11:25–26
The Ingredients And Meaning Of The Lord’s Supper
- The juice we drink is the fruit of the vine and represents the blood of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:25; Matthew 26:28
– We drink juice from the fruit of the vine. This is grape juice in its natural state without the addition of alcohol. The Bible says, “The life of the flesh is in the blood,” and the purpose of the juice is to remind us that God has given us the blood to make atonement for our souls by allowing His sinless Son to die in our place.
Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18
– By Jesus’ blood we have a new everlasting testament or covenant. No more sacrifice is needed. In the Old Testament, the priest had to come and offer a blood sacrifice every year for the remission of sins, but Christ has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 9:15–28; 13:20–21
– When drinking the fruit of the vine from the cup, we should remember that we are now justified by Jesus’ blood and saved from the wrath of God. We can have joy in God because our atonement has been received.
- The bread we break is unleavened and represents the body of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:24; Luke 22:19
– We eat unleavened bread. Leaven in the Bible is a symbol for sin; therefore, we do not use leavened bread. The purpose of the bread is to remind us that Jesus became flesh and bore the punishment of our sins in His own body so that we could have everlasting life.
Matthew 16:6; 26:26, Mark 14:22; 1 Corinthians 5:6–8, 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24
– Jesus willingly gave his body as the sacrifice for our sins so that we could be saved. He was beaten and bruised so badly that He did not even look like a man anymore.
John 10:18; Isaiah 52:14; 53:5–6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 5:2; Titus 2:14
- The Lord’s Supper is not a time of feasting, but it is a time to eat and drink in remembrance of Jesus. We are not to change the ingredients, because they have been specifically given to the church to be followed.
1 Corinthians 11:20–22
The Requirements For Participation In The Lord’s Supper
- To take part in the Lord’s Supper, you must be a believer. You need to check your life and make sure of your salvation. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is not part of your salvation, but it is a time to remind you about your salvation.
2 Corinthians 13:5
- To take part in the Lord’s Supper, you must be living in obedience to the Word of God. You must first examine yourself. You need to judge yourself (not others) before you eat or drink, confess any sin in your life and make sure you are growing in the faith. You do not want to take it unworthily. He that eats it unworthily brings damnation or judgment on himself. This can mean sickness or even death. We should fearfully or respectfully take part in the Lord’s Supper.
1 Corinthians 11:27–34; Hebrews 12:8; James 1:23–27; 1 John 1:9; 3:3
- What do we drink in the Lord’s Supper? Why?
- What do we eat in the Lord’s Supper? Why?
- How often do we eat the Lord’s Supper?
- Who can participate in the Lord’s Supper?
- What should I do before participating in the Lord’s Supper?