The Lord’s Supper
“When therefore ye assemble yourselves together, it is not possible to eat the Lord's supper” (1 Cor. 11:20).
The Lord's supper is the memorial Jesus appointed for his disciples in the night in which he was betrayed. It is instituted to commemorate his death. It is called "the Lord's," because He authorized it and it is done in honor of him. It is called "supper," because the word denotes a meal.
Jesus instituted the sacred memorial while observing the Jewish festival of Passover.
“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. And he took the cup, and gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Mat. 26:26-29).
At the Passover feast they were not to use leavened bread and thus unleavened bread and fruit of the vine were the items that represent the body and blood of Christ.
On the first Pentecost following his resurrection, about 3000 penitent believers were baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:37-38). They were added to church ( Verse 47). Acts 2:42 says they, “continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers.”
As the church spread throughout Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth, a church was established in Troas, a maritime city of Mysia. Acts 20:7 says the disciples in that city came together on the first day of the week “to break bread.”
“And upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and prolonged his speech until midnight.”
This was not a common meal. It was a sacred feast in which the Lord’s people duplicated what Jesus did on the night in which Judas betrayed him. The meal consisted of the same elements Jesus used: unleavened bread and fruit of the vine.
Jesus said, “I say unto you, I shall not drink from henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come” (Luke 22:18).
The kingdom of God had not been set up at that time. The kingdom came on the great Day of Pentecost and has been in existence ever since. Peter was given the keys of the kingdom and he used them in his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost to open the way into Christ’s kingdom.
Jesus promised Peter, I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).
The Lord’s Supper is to be observed “often.”
“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Cor. 11:26.
The frequency of Lord’s Supper observance is on the first day of the week. Since the disciples at Troas came together on the first day of the week to observe this sacred memorial, it is obvious they did so every first day of the week.
A very simple illustration will show us clearly that “the first day of the week” means every first day of every week. One who travels to new cities will often see a sign for a Kiwanis Club, a Rotary Club, or other civic organization. The sign usually gives the day and time of meeting. It may simply say, "Wednesday" and give the location and time of day. Does one need to be told this means every Wednesday at that place and time?
This sacred feast is a part of the first day of the week gathering of true Christians. It is to be done in a worthy manner and in memory of the death and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you have not become a child of God by believing the gospel repenting of your sins, and being baptized into Christ, you must continue in the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers,” worshipping God “in spirit and truth.”
If you have a question about this, we urge you to contact us. Questions about this article are welcome. Email us: Valley Church
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