The Lord’s Supper
Text: I Cor. 11:17-34
I. It is a covenant meal
A. Luke 22:19-20 - The cup is the new covenant
B. A covenant that is taken with us in the kingdom - Matt 26:28-29
C. Covenants were often sealed with a meal shared between the two parties.
1. Jacob and Laban’s covenant - Gen 31:46,54
2. The Law of Moses - Ex. 24:9-11
D. Each week we remind ourselves of our covenant with God and share a feast with our Lord.
E. This feast is sometimes called breaking bread - Acts 20:7
II. It is a joining of believers in worship
A. Notice how often Paul emphasizes the coming together - I Cor. 11:17,18,20,33,34
B. The early church continued steadfastly in this worship - Acts 2:42
C. Through the Lord’s Supper, we become one - I Cor. 10:17
D. Because of this, Paul insisted that the Lord’s Supper be done together - I Cor. 11:33
III. It is a remembrance of Christ’s death - I Cor 11:24-25
A. The bread is to be broken to represent Christ’s broken body
B. The fruit of the vine represents his shed blood
C. This is what we remember - Mark 15:16-39
IV. It is a hope for the future
A. Until Jesus comes again - I Cor 11:26
B. By taking we are stating our belief that Jesus will come again.
V. The mechanics
A. Unleavened bread
1. The Lord’s Supper was established during the Passover feast. Unleavened bread was all that was used.
2. The lack of leavening represents the lack of sin in Jesus’ life
3. It is not the literal body of Christ because Christ was in the flesh when he established His meal.
B. Fruit of the Vine - Grape juice
1. Represents the blood that seals the covenant.
2. Again, not the literal blood of Christ because Christ had not yet shed his blood when he established this feast.
3. One container is not necessary because the cup was divided before it was drank - Luke 22:18-20
C. Done each Lord’s Day
1. On the first day of the week - Acts 20:7
2. Something the disciples did regularly - I Cor 16:1-2
3. It was done by the entire church together - I Cor 11:33
a. This has led to some difficulty, because many congregations choose to meet multiple times on Sunday. Should we offer the meal at each service?
(1) Could we serve the Lord’s Supper multiple times during service, say offering to the left-hand side at the beginning and the right-hand at the end?
(a) No because it would not be done together
(2) Could we partake of the Lord’s Supper more than once during a service with everyone partaking?
(a) No, it is called THE Lord Supper. Meaning there is only one. - I Cor 11:20
(b) It is the only part of our worship described in the singular.
(3) Could we offer the Lord’s Supper at a second service for those who have missed?
(a) I have difficulty with this, because we are no longer doing it together, waiting for one another.
(b) It again becomes a plurality of suppers.
(4) Some choose to offer it twice, but all partake. It is offered once per Sunday service, but if you attend twice, it is taken twice.
(a) Again, I have difficulty with this because it is a plurality of suppers.
4. Definitely, it cannot be offered outside of the worship assembly.
a. This would violate the need to come together - I Cor 11:17, 18, 20, 33
D. Who is to partake?
1. Those in the Lord’s kingdom - Matt 26:29
E. How is it to be partaken?
1. Examining yourself and not others - I Cor 11:27-30
2. Discerning the body in I Cor 11:29 means understanding the significance of what is done.