Remembrance of the Lord’s Supper

 

With the exception of the weekly Sabbath, the Lord’s Supper is the only biblical holy day that remains for God’s people. In the Old Testament there were seven annual holy days as described in the 23rd chapter of Leviticus. Each of these required sacrifices. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was the sacrifice to end sacrifices (Heb. 7:27) and thus the old observances are no longer required. However, during the Lord’s Supper, which is also called the Last Supper, Jesus commanded three things to be observed.

  1. The eating of bread that signifies his sacrificed body
  2. The drinking of the fruit of the vine that signifies his blood, spilled to forgive our sins.
  3. The washing of feet to teach service, humility, and respect.

The remembrance of the Lord’s Supper is sometimes referred to as “Communion” as indicated by, “(1 Cor 10:16 KJV)  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” Communion simply means, “to participate” as seen in a more modern translation, “16  Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?”

 

This is precisely what makes the observance of this event so precious and powerful. It is how we show our unity in Christ and our submission to Him. It is a yearly refresher course in the fundamentals of Christianity!

The Lord’s Last Passover Supper

(Mat 26:17-19 NIV)  On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" {18} He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" {19} So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

 

(Luke 22:19-20 NIV)  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." {20} In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

 

(1 Cor 11:23-26 NIV)  For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, {24} and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." {25} In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." {26} For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

 

(John 13:1-17 NIV)  It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. {2} The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. {3} Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; {4} so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. {5} After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. {6} He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" {7} Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." {8} "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." {9} "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" {10} Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." {11} For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. {12} When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. {13} "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. {14} Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. {15} I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. {16} I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. {17} Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 

How often is the Remembrance of the Lord’s Supper Observed?

Since the Lord’s Supper was a Passover observance it follows that the remembrance would be yearly at the time of Passover. This is normal for nearly all remembrances. For example: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas.

 

How about the phrase, “In rembrance of me”? (Luke 22:19 NIV)  And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." (1 Cor 11:24-25 NIV)  and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." {25} In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

 

This phrase tells us absolutely nothing about time or frequency so we must rely upon context. The context was Christ’s last Passover as He was about to become THE Passover. It was in the context of His body and blood replacing the body and blood of the Passover lamb. (1 Cor 5:7 NIV)  Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. The time is the time of Passover.

Day of Passover

(Lev 23:5-7 NIV)  The Lord's Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. {6} On the fifteenth day of that month the Lord's Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. {7} On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.

 

 

(Exo 12:6-8 NIV)  Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. {7} Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. {8} That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast.

 

(Exo 12:12-14 NIV)  "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. {13} The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. {14} "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD--a lasting ordinance.

 

(Num 33:3-4 NIV)  The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians, {4} who were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had struck down among them; for the LORD had brought judgment on their gods.

 

(Deu 16:1 NIV)  Observe the month of Abib (Note: Also called Nisan) and celebrate the Passover of the LORD your God, because in the month of Abib he brought you out of Egypt by night.

 

What day is the 14th of Abib (Nisan) on our calendar?

Fortunately the Jews have maintained the Biblical calendar for thousands of years and that calendar is readily available. An example is shown on the last page. Looking at the Jewish calendar it can be seen that Abib (Nisan) 14 corresponds to April 12 on our calendar. Since Bible days are from sunset to sunset the 14th of Abib (Nisan) actually begins at evening on the 11th of April.

 

However, at the time of Christ and to this very day Jews call the 15th day of the first month “Passover.” The correct day is the 14th according to Scripture. The Lord’s Supper was on the evening of this 14th day as the following day was a “High” Sabbath. That is, the 15th of Abib. The 15th day of the first month was the beginning of the Days of Unleavened Bread, a yearly Sabbath. Passover was not a yearly Sabbath! In 2006, the time corresponding to the Lord’s Supper is the evening of April 11.

 

The Moral of the Story

The original Passover was about God saving His people. The Lord’s Supper (His last Passover) is also about God saving His people.

*   Whereas in the past it was necessary to kill a lamb on a yearly basis, on the day of the Lord’s Supper Jesus (the Lamb of God) was killed putting an end to sacrifices.

*   Whereas in the past the blood of a lamb applied to a house prevented death on a particular night now the blood of Jesus (the Lamb of God) applied to our hearts prevents death eternally.

*   Through Jesus we have atonement with God! (John 1:12-13 NIV)  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- {13} children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

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