The Lord’s Supper – A feast of love

The Lord’s Supper / Holy Communion is the New Covenant fulfillment of the Day of Atonement of the Law. Let’s see what happened under the Old Covenant:
LEVITICUS 16

“The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover. 3 “This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. ………11 “Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. 12 He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. 13 He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die……15 “He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull’s blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. 16 In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. ….. 17 No one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.…………20 “When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. 21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. ……….— 30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins. ……… 34 “This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites.” And it was done, as the Lord commanded Moses.”

  • Under the Law, when anyone entered the holiest place (presence of God) without blood to cover their sins, they died on the spot.
  • God instructed the Israelites that the High Priest had to enter the presence of God with atonement for his own sins and that of the people – using the sacrifice of animals.
  • This happened once a year on the Day of Atonement.
  • It was repeated every year because they were under the Law that condemned their sins. Each sacrifice only covered the sins of the past year but as long as the Law remained, they were reminded of sins every year!

Romans 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”

The Law could not make them righteous or forgive their sins but only exposed their sins even more! The sacrifices of animals could not take away sins, and that’s why they repeated it every year until Jesus Christ our Lord came to make the final sacrifice of sins!

HEBREWS 10

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God……do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised……“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

– The Old Testament’s Annual sacrifice during the Day of Atonement could not take away sins because it was done by an imperfect high priest and the imperfect blood of animals. The High priest himself was a sinner and therefore the sacrifice could never remove sins and therefore they had to repeat it every year!
– The annual sacrifices only reminded them of their constant sins that were exposed by the law.
But now in the New Testament, we have the perfect High Priest – Jesus Christ who never sinned and His blood that is perfect to take away the sins permanently.
– Under the Law the sacrifices were repeated because it could never take away sins but now by Christ’s final sacrifice, our sins are forgiven and there is no more sacrifice.
– Our sins have been permanently forgiven and therefore Jesus will not die anymore!
– God has forgiven those who believe in Jesus Christ and will never judge us anymore. He has imputed all our sins to Jesus on the cross and has imputed His righteousness to us! We are forgiven, perfect and righteous thanks to JESUS’ finished work!
– If anyone deliberately rejects Christ then there is no forgiveness but only judgment. In the context of the chapter, the “deliberate sin” is unbelief and rejection of Christ.

Hebrews 7 ” 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God….. Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

  • The Law was useless because it could not remove sin due to the imperfect priesthood and imperfect sacrifices.
  • Therefore Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead and He lives forever in heaven interceding for us and saving us completely, forgiving of ALL sins in our lifetime. It is because He lives forever interceding for us and forgiving us when we repent from our sins.
Now the LORD’s SUPPER is the TRUE DAY of ATONEMENT where sins were taken away ONCE FOR ALL.
When Jesus died on the cross, the VEIL of the Temple tore in two and man could come into God’s presence by faith in Christ without fear of death!

MATTHEW 27 “50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”

 

So we REMEMBER JESUS’s DEATH by partaking in His BODY and BLOOD until He comes.
1 CORINTHIANS 11
“17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
23 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. 27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.”
–  The purpose of the Lord Supper is to proclaim His death until He comes to save us in the 2nd coming. It is about confessing Jesus’ death in faith that we will be saved in the final judgment! It is about feeding on His body and blood and being one with the Lord.
– The Old Testament sacrifices were an annual reminder of their sins but the New Testament Lord’s Supper / Holy Communion is a weekly/daily reminder that we are forgiven forever! 
– The unworthy manner of taking the Lord’s Supper was about not discerning the body of Christ! They treated it as a private supper where people got drunk and overate while others were hungry! They did not remember Christ’s death or the forgiveness of sins.
– They took it unworthily – as those who are unworthy of Christ’s blood – just like unbelievers! So what did God do? He judged them, not with condemnation but discipline/rebuke/chastising so that they are not eternally condemned like the rest of the world! God chastised them so that they did not lose salvation.
– The Lord’s Supper is about our profession of faith that we will not be judged but saved in the end – but if they took it unworthily then they were going to be judged in this life to prevent eternal condemnation in the future resurrection! So God was disciplining them for their own good – chastising them with earthly judgment to avoid eternal judgment.
– The warnings of Paul were for those who were doing evil without any repentance. Paul warned the Corinthians that they were dividing the Church using this unworthy manner of Holy Communion – letting people get hungry while others gorged themselves and got drunk. It was not about honest mistakes but about malicious behavior.
– Therefore Paul warned them to examine themselves and partake in the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner by giving everyone a chance to eat the body and blood of the Lord in a reverent manner without letting anyone get hungry or drunk.
This is similar to what Paul said would happen to the sexually immoral person in the Church who was proud of his immorality, in the same epistle:
1 Corinthians 5 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord……I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”
Paul was not even sure if the person was a believer. But even so, such a person was ex-communicated and outside the protection of God, but given to Satan to die in the flesh/body (possibly stoned to death by the Jews). It was a temporary discipline instead of eternal condemnation along with the unbelievers.
The Corinthians who unworthily took the Holy Communion, entered the presence of God in Christ without discerning His body and therefore died for their unbelief – it was the same judgment when the Israelites entered the Holy place of the Temple under the old covenant – it resulted in death.
Jesus is our ATONEMENT for sins!

1 JOHN 1-2 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

The most important thing was that they had to remember Jesus in faith and treat others with love. That’s the TRUTH of Christianity – Believe in Christ’s LOVE to be saved by GRACE through FAITH and then love one another through His Spirit working in us.
1st John 3 “19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
The Lord’s Supper is about remembering our Lord Jesus in gratitude, fondness, and love – by eating His body and drinking His blood. It is about believing in the love of God that says “your sins are forgiven through Jesus death on the cross”. Jesus Christ is our God who came in the flesh – Immanuel – God with us! The body of a man is intimate and only shared with his beloved wife. Just like a husband and wife become one flesh in the same way we are one with Christ in spirit by His Holy Spirit living in us.
1 Corinthians 6 “For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”
We celebrate this beautiful union of Christ our bridegroom and we are His beloved bride by eating His body and drinking His blood in faith – imparting it into our own bodies and celebrating this glorious love He has for us! We are ONE with Him! Jesus loves us so much that He gave His most intimate body and blood to be ONE with us!
The Holy Communion is about intimacy and union with the Lord.
The Lord’s Supper is also about remembering His loving benefits for us:
His body was broken for our healing and immortality in heaven.
His blood was shed to forgive our sins.
Psalm 103 “Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
When we eat the Lord’s Supper every time, it does not mean that Jesus is being crucified repeatedly! The Bible tells us that His one sacrifice has removed all our sins. Therefore He cannot be crucified again. When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He told them to remember His death by eating the bread – which is His Body and drinking the wine – which is His blood. But this was instituted before the actual death on the Cross. So then when we repeatedly eat the Lord’s Supper, we are not repeatedly crucifying Jesus, but we are repeating the actual supper! The bread becomes His body and the wine becomes His blood – by the means of the Lord’s Supper without crucifying Jesus again.
Jesus eagerly desires to share His body and blood with us! Do not stay away in fear or guilt but come as you are and let Him transform you with His power!
Luke 22 ” 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.””
His body and blood were given on the cross at His death so that we have eternal life!
JOHN 6

 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life.49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

 

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