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Lord’s Supper

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The commemoration and remembrance of Jesus Christ’s last supper, and all the benefits that result to believers. Other terms have been used subsequently by Christians, including “Communion” and “Eucharist”.

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Terms for the Lord’s Supper in the NT

Ac 2:42 “breaking of bread” could mean both eating together and also celebrating the Lord’s Supper; 1 Co 10:16 The Greek word “koinonia”, here translated “participation”, is traditionally translated “communion”: hence the term “Holy Communion”; 1 Co 11:20 the Lord’s Supper; 1 Co 11:24 Underlying “had given thanks” is the Greek “eucharisteo”, from which comes the term “Eucharist”.

Jesus Christ’s institution of the Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:23–25 NKJV
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the NT

As part of an ordinary meal

1 Co 11:21 The church was not necessarily wrong to include the sacrament in an ordinary meal; this should have been conducted in a charitable way.

On the Lord’s day

Acts 20:7 NKJV
7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
See also Jn 20:26

The fourfold formula for breaking bread: taking, giving thanks, breaking, giving

Matthew 26:26 NKJV
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”
See also Lk 24:30; Jn 6:11; 1 Co 11:24

The sharing of the cup

1 Corinthians 11:25 NKJV
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Themes connected with the Lord’s Supper

The Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7–8 NKJV
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
See also Jn 11:50 Caiaphas’ words may have an unintended Passover significance; Jn 13:1; Jn 19:14; Jn 19:33; Jn 19:36; Ex 12:46; Nu 9:12

The new covenant

1 Co 11:25 The reference to the (new) covenant implies a personal relationship with God and sins forgiven.

Remembrance

1 Corinthians 11:24 NKJV
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

Thanksgiving, fellowship and unity

1 Corinthians 10:16 NKJV
16 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?
See also Mt 26:26–27; 1 Co 11:20–21

The Lord’s return

1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
See also Mt 26:29; 1 Co 16:22; Re 22:20

Separation from sin

1 Co 10:21 Paul is referring to feasts in heathen temples.
See also 1 Co 11:27–32

A foretaste of heaven

Matthew 26:29 NKJV
29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
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