Institution of the Lord's supper
There are many myths and false teachings about the Lord's supper. Some even referring to it as cannibalism! It is in fact a simple yet humbling and deeply meaningful act done in obedience to the Word of God. This article intends to answer 5 basic questions: -
Who instituted the Lord's supper?
Why was it instituted?
What does it mean for us today?
When should we take it?
Where should we take it?
The Lord's supper was instituted by our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. As can be seen in the passage opposite from Mark 14 it was Jesus himself, whilst sharing in the Passover meal with the disciples that first broke bread and drank of the cup.
This was instituted by our Lord as a way of remembering His shedding of blood for the atonement of our sin. He was and is the Passover Lamb who was pierced for our transgressions. When we eat of the bread and drink of the wine, we are bringing to mind what He did for us. It was instituted at the last supper with the disciples and will remain in force until He comes again.
We continue to take the Lord's supper in remembrance of all that was done for us and in obedience to the words of our Lord when says in Luke 'do this in remembrance of me'. The bread represents Christ's body broken for us, there is nothing more nourishing for the soul then the bread of Life which is Christ Jesus (John 6:48).
The wine represents the blood that was shed on the cross. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we can be washed clean from our sin (1John 1:7) and it is only through Him that we can commune with the Father. (1 Timothy 2:5).
If you believe in what Jesus did on the cross, if you believe in His atoning death and the resurrection then partaking of the Lord's supper is for you! You don't need to be a member of a church (you are already a member of the true church - the body of true believers!), and you don't need permission from a minister. The Bible teaches, 1 Corinthians 11 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. It is up to you to decide if your heart is right before God when taking the bread and the cup.
You don't even have to be in church to take the Lord's supper. In the early church when believers met together for fellowship they would share in communion in the homes of the brethren, just like at the last supper.
Partaking of this humbling nourishment doesn't give you salvation, only a true heart that acknowledges Jesus as Lord can be saved, but we partake of it in obedience to our Lord, the Lamb of God, who gave His life for us that we may have an abundant life and an eternity with the Father.
22And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.