The Lord’s Supper 2017

The Lords Supper 2017.pdf

Announcement of the Lord’s Supper 2017

To get a better understanding of the background of the Supper of the Lord, we first start with the Pesach, which was celebrated annually. The word Pascha (Aramaic) or Passover is used by Christians for the celebration, the word Pesach (Hebrew) is used by Jews for the celebration.

  • The Pesach celebration

Commissioned by God, Moses freed the Jewish people from slavery, after a 430 years stay in Egypt.
Pesach or Passover is the celebration in which the deliverance from Egypt is commemorated. In Exodus 12 we read how God instituted this Passover (literally means passing). Wherever the blood of the sacrificial lamb was put on the doorposts, the angel of death would pass over. The highlight of the celebration is a meal on the first night, in memory of the meal on the eve of the exodus of the Israelites. In that night, all the firstborn of the Egyptians were killed. The meat of the slaughtered lamb had to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Passover begins on the 14th night of the month of the Abib (corn ears).
The 14th day of the month of the Abib begins in the evening, when the sun goes down, for the Jews the beginning of a new day.
The month of the Abib is the first month of the ancient Israelite calendar and falls into our period March / April. Later, after the Babylonian exile, the month was called Nisan.
A Hebrew month is (lunisolar) based on a lunar cycle and starts at the new moon and lasts about 29.5 days, so there are months of 29 days and months of 30 days.
12 months x 29.5 days = 354 days. However, a solar year is 365 days long.
For that reason an extra intercalary month (according to schedule) was sometimes inserted into the Hebrew calendar. Nisan begins with new moon.
Passover falls on the 14th day, so if it is about full moon:

KJV (Numbers 28: 16-17) 16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

Seven days they ate only unleavened bread. The 14th of the first month of Nisan was the Passover, and the 15th was a feast day, or annual holy day.
The 15th was the first of seven days of Unleavened Bread:

KJV (Leviticus 23: 4-6) 4 These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.

At the nightfall, a lamb without blemish had to be slaughtered and the Jews had to smear blood of the slaughtered lamb – with a bunch of hyssop – on the two doorposts and the lintel:

ESV (Exodus 12: 5-6) 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

ESV (Exodus 12:12) 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

After that, the Israelites would leave Egypt and the food they would ate was unleavened bread.
At that time, God’s people in Egypt had to celebrate the Pesach, whereby foreigners and laborers were allowed to celebrate it, if they were circumcised. (Exodus 12: 43-48)
The Passover was to be celebrated at home. No leg of the animal was allowed to be broken.

In the Scriptures both matters, either the Passover as the feast of unleavened bread, are sometimes collectively called Passover or sometimes feast of unleavened bread:

ESV (Matthew 26:17) 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
ESV (Luke 22: 1) 1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.
ESV (Luke 22: 7) 7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.

  • How did the Jews celebrate the Passover?

The 14th day of the month Nisan, as the sun went down, the lamb was slaughtered and the same night the Passover lamb was eaten:

KJV (Exodus 12: 7-8) 7 “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it.

For the Jews, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were an eternal obligation:

KJV (Exodus 12: 14,17-18,23-24) 14 This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever,…… 17 And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever. 18 In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening……… 23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. 24 You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.

  • The difference between the Passover celebration in the Old and New Covenant

To celebrate the Passover in Egypt, every man had to be circumcised.
The parallel with the Passover celebration after Jesus’ death and resurrection is, that not only the apostles and saints, but all baptized Christians are allowed to celebrate this active.
Firstly, the apostles were not sanctified yet when they participated in the Lord’s Supper.
Secondly, all Christians are circumcised in a spiritually way by their conscious baptism:

ESV (Romans 2: 28-29) 28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

ESV (Colossians 2: 11-12) 11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Like Jesus celebrated the Supper with unleavened bread to symbolize his body, we as Christians should also be in Jesus’ footsteps as ‘unleavened’ bread, sincere and in truth:

KJV (I Corinthians 5: 7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The Supper was instituted on the night Jesus was betrayed, immediately after the Passover meal:

ESV (1 Corinthians 11: 23-25) 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when 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 also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

The Jews call this night of the Passover celebration nowadays the Seder.
The unleavened bread is called Matze.

The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two separate matters. The Passover is a day of memorial, the other is the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread.

  • The Lord’s Supper is the replacement of the Passover celebration

Why has Jesus combined the Lord’s Supper on one occasion, after celebrating the Passover?
That Jesus celebrated the Passover is evident from Matthew 26:

ESV (Matthew 26: 19-21) 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

ESV (Matthew 26:26) 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”

In our eyes this combination of celebrations is done by Jesus with a clear aim:

ESV (Luke 22: 14-15, 19-20) 14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer……. 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

The slaughtered lamb was the foreshadowing of Jesus’ sacrifice:

ESV (1 Corinthians 5: 7) 7…. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
ESV (1 Peter 1:19) 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Jesus wanted the Passover celebration – which the Jews had to keep annually – to be replaced with the Lord’s Supper, a day of memorial for the Christians in the New Testament or Covenant.
The annual sacrifice of a lamb was after Jesus’ perfect sacrifice no longer necessary:

ESV (Hebrews 7:27) 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

ESV (Hebrews 10: 16-18) 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

  • Having community

KJV (1 Corinthians 10:16) 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?

What is for Christians exactly the meaning of having ‘community’ and who should have that?
The Greek word for ‘community’ in 1 Corinthians 10:16, 18, 20, is ‘koinónia’ and means ‘communion, fellowship, participation’.

Strong’s Concordance – Greek: κοινωνία (koinónia) — Occurs 19 times in the New Testament

κοινωνίᾳ   ESV (Acts 2:42) and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
κοινωνίαν ESV (Romans 15:26) to make some contribution for the poor among the saints
κοινωνίαν ESV (1 Corinthians 1:9) by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son
Κοινωνία   ESV (1 Corinthians 10:16) is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
Κοινωνία   ESV (1 Corinthians 10:16) a participation in the body of Christ?
Κοινωνία   ESV (2 Corinthians 6:14) what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?
Κοινωνίαν ESV (2 Corinthians 8:4) taking part in the relief of the saints
Κοινωνίας ESV (2 Corinthians 9:13) By their approval of this service, they will glorify God
Κοινωνία   ESV (2 Corinthians 13:14) and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Κοινωνίας ESV (Galatians 2:9) they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me,
κοινωνίᾳ   ESV (Philippians 1:5) because of your partnership in the gospel
κοινωνία   ESV (Philippians 2:1) any participation in the Spirit,
κοινωνίαν ESV (Philippians 3:10) and may share his sufferings,
κοινωνία   ESV (Philemon 1:6) sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge
κοινωνίας ESV (Hebrews 13:16) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
κοινωνίαν ESV (1 John 1:3) that you too may have fellowship with us
κοινωνία   ESV (1 John 1:3) indeed our fellowship is with the Father
κοινωνίαν ESV (1 John 1:6) If we say we have fellowship with him
κοινωνίαν ESV (1 John 1:7) as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another

Community means having something together or partaking, sharing or joining together. All that Christians had was common. A community where Christians together have certain responsibilities. All Christians together form one Christian body:

ESV (Romans 12: 5) 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
ESV (1 Corinthians 10:17) 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
ESV (1 Corinthians 12: 12,27) 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…. ….. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

  • For who are the symbols meant to be used?

Celebrating the Last Supper through the use of bread and wine, the celebration to Jesus remembrance, is not something that is only for the elders or saints, but it is something for all believers in the whole community to participate:

ESV (Acts 2:44) 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

The Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20) is also called a meal of Remembrance. (Luke 22:19)
It is the beginning of the New Covenant:

ESV (Matthew 26:28) 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

KJV (Hebrews 8: 8) 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,…
(For the foretold new covenant in the above Scripture see also Jeremiah 31: 31-34)

Jesus clarified the celebration with bread and wine once in this way:

ESV (John 6: 53-57) 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

It is a very important service for Christians, which should be given due respect.
One should therefore not participate in an unworthy manner, or not participate if someone has not offered himself to God and has not yet been adopted a new lifestyle and personality by the cleansing of baptism.
During the annual Christian remembrance service, the Supper was – according to 1 Corinthians – not always respectfully observed:

KJV (1 Corinthians 11: 20 -21, 29) 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken… 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Paul corrected the municipality to behave better at the next memorial celebration:

ESV (1 Corinthians 11: 33-34) 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

  • The Lamb of God who was sacrificed for our sins. (John 1:29)

When Jesus took the bread and said: “This means my body,” he indicated that unleavened bread was a representation or symbol of his flesh, which Jesus would give for the life of all people in the world. (John 6:51) The wine in the cup also serves as a reminder that Jesus shed blood is the blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins: (Matthew 26:28)

ESV (Luke 22:19:20) 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

When we celebrate the Lords Supper, we celebrate this in the line of Jesus and his disciples. We thank God and memorialize the extraordinary sacrifice that Jesus brought for us:

ESV (1 Corinthians 11:26) 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

As the lamb that was slaughtered for God had to be without blemish, so was Jesus without sin:

ESV (1 Peter 2:22) 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

However, Jesus stood under the law, he was born as a Jew:

ESV (Galatians 4: 4-5) 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Through the sacrifice of Jesus, His disciples – the Christians – were ‘released’ from the Law of Moses:

ESV (Romans 7: 6) 6 But now we are released from the law,……
ESV (Romans 10: 4) 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
ESV (Galatians 3: 24-25) 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
ESV (Romans 13: 10) 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

  • How often should the Lord’s Supper be celebrated?

Before we further describe how frequently the Lord’s Supper should be celebrated, first something about breaking bread.
Breaking bread in Scripture represents a regular meal, but not the Lord’s Supper, as is evident in the following Scriptures:

ESV (Luke 22: 15-18) 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

After Jesus had received His resurrection, Jesus appeared to some of his disciples who were on their way to a village called Emmaus. (Luke 24:13) Arrived there, Jesus broke bread:

KJV (Luke 24:30) 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

So this breaking of bread couldn’t be the Lords Supper.
It was apparently in those days a habit to break bread and dip this into wine, olive oil or a spice mix. If the Lord’s Supper would be celebrated every day, this Supper would also become too ordinary.
The first Christians did, against all Jewish customs, all things in common.
What we read in Scripture as ‘the breaking of bread’ is thus an ordinary common meal, as we can read in Acts 2:46 and Acts 20: 7 :

KJV (Acts 2:46) 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart

Also the following Scripture reveals that breaking bread indicates a regular meal, here is namely talked about a period ‘after‘ the feast of unleavened bread:

KJV (Acts 20: 6-7) 6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. 7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…

The Lord’s Supper is part of the New Covenant.
Jesus desired to ratify this New Covenant. (Luke 22:15)
In the days of Christ, the Passover lamb (or goat) could only be eaten in the surroundings of the temple, which was situated in Jerusalem. (Deuteronomy 16: 5-6) This means that the Pesach could never be eaten in another area as Jerusalem and only then, when God’s temple was ‘still’ there to sanctify the place:

ESV (Deuteronomy 16: 5-6) 5 You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, 6 but at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt.

“For as often as” in 1 Corinthians 11:26 means: as many times as the Lords Supper is celebrated annually by the conscious Christians.
Paul gives here only ordinances on how it should be celebrated. It is not a correction of a person or persons at that time:

ESV (1 Corinthians 11:26) 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Joseph and Mary traveled to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Passover.
So for Jesus it was common to celebrate this celebration each year:

KJV (Luke 2:41) 41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

  • Finally

ESV (John 1:29) 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

John the Baptist spoke these words under Divine inspiration.
For the Jews, the 14th Nisan was a memorial day as a statute forever.
As Christians, we live under the New Covenant, and we have as ‘one body’ part of the ‘one bread’:

KJV (1 Corinthians 10:17) 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

For Christians, the Memorial Day is also an institution, now set by Jesus.
So as Christians we do not fall under the Old Covenant (the Law of Moses), but we are under the New Covenant. As Christians we are made new by Jesus sacrifice:

ESV (2 Corinthians 5: 16-17) 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

As for the Jewish Sabbath and other Jewish feast days, Christians are free:

KJV (Colossians 2: 16-17) 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(See for this also Newsletters 12. Light bearers

It is not maintaining a part of the Mosaic Law, but a memorial day ordained by Jesus as a replacement of the Jewish Passover. (Luke 22: 19-20)
Jesus could have chosen this day of memorial on any day of the year, but has clearly chosen the 14th of Nisan.
But concerning the memorial day of the New Covenant, the Lord’s Supper, every conscious baptized Christian must be part of this Supper and under prayer take of the symbols:

ESV (1 Corinthians 11:26) 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The celebration of the Supper of the Lord can also be done in closed circles:

ESV (Matthew 18:20) 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

All conscious baptized Christians partake of the bread and wine, as one community, as one body.

Date of 14 Nisan according to the Hebrew calendar:

In 2017, the Lord’s Supper (14 Nisan) is on Monday, April 10th, 2017, after sunset.


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