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Can We Talk About The Lord’s Supper?
I ask us to reexamine our traditions concerning the Lord’s Supper.

Master of the Feast

At that supper in the upper room on the night He was arrested, called the Last Supper, Jesus sat as master of a Passover feast. That is what that supper was, a celebration of the Passover. Jesus was celebrating the Passover with His disciples.

The Passover is the commemorative feast, a memorial commanded by God, celebrating Israel’s deliverance by God from bondage in Egypt. At that feast Israel remembers God’s mighty acts by which they were brought out of Egypt, stirring up within themselves gratitude to God, and teaching its history to new generations.

At that feast the father of the household sits as the master of the feast. The youngest son is to ask a special question about what the feast means, and the father tells everyone the history and significance of it.

In the Gospels we read how Jesus, preparing for the Last Supper said to His disciples that “with desire have I desired to eat this feast with you.” The double use of the word desire shows the intensity of what Jesus was saying. He very greatly had desired to celebrate that Passover with them. Israel’s deliverance was a prophetic type of our deliverance by Jesus Christ from the bondage of sin and death. This Passover was to be the last Passover in which this truth was yet hidden in prophecy. Here on the eve of the fulfillment of that prophecy a new feast was to be set before us.

So then, Jesus sat as master of the feast, in the place of the father of the household. Remember how Jesus always said that He and the Father are one (compare to John 8:58). And recall the declaration of Israel, “Hear oh Israel, the Lord your God is One God. (Deuteronomy 6:4) At that Last Supper, that most significant of all Passover celebrations ever celebrated, Jesus sat as Master of the feast. Jesus, one with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, One God in three persons, sat as master of the feast. But Jesus is also a Father to us in His own right. Jesus is called The everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6. Compare that to the prophetic words of Isaiah 18:8,

Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. (Isaiah 8:18)

Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, through Whom we are begotten unto a lively hope (1 Peter 1:3), and Who, as Lord, is the Father of Eternity to us, explained just like an earthly father would, the true meaning of the Passover feast to His children, the disciples; and they have passed that explanation on down to us in the Scriptures.

The Gospel of John, Chapters Thirteen through Seventeen, gives us great detail about what Jesus taught the disciples at that last Passover. Matthew Chapter Twenty-six, Mark Chapter Fourteen, and Luke Chapter Twenty-two give very brief accounts, but they give us the detail of the institution of what we now call the Lord’s Supper. The fulfillment of the prophecy of the Passover was at hand, that very night Jesus would be arrested, falsely tried, condemned and then when the day came, hung on the cross to die, all according to the Scriptures. Here was Jesus, the true Passover lamb, about to be sacrificed, teaching the disciples the meaning of it all,

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. (Luke 22:14-16)

At that feast The Father of our Eternity gave us a new feast for a memorial. This is the Lord’s Supper as we call it. Jesus, with desire, desired to eat that last Passover feast with His disciples, knowing what was to come. There He sat as master of that Passover memorial which was the prophecy of what was to come that very night: that He would go out from that feast and be taken and then crucified as the true Lamb of God. And at that last memorial of the prophecy celebrating what He was about to endure for us, He gave us a new memorial to celebrate the fulfillment of that prophecy,

And 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. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19-20)

Jesus explained the meaning of the new feast. Then He went out to be slain as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. Among the many gifts He has given to us, we have this celebration of the fulfillment of the true meaning of the Passover. We call our celebration the Lord’s Supper. Israel was commanded to celebrate the Passover once a year. The Church is called to continually celebrate the one who gained our true deliverance, Jesus, Christ. We do this at the Lord’s Supper. And as we do this in our gatherings, Jesus is remembered as He has revealed Himself to us, not as we may imagine Him to be. And He is given the preeminence in our worship gatherings, which is the Father’s will. The Church stirs up within herself the memory of her deliverance by Jesus Christ. The story is retold, gratitude is renewed, new generations learn about it, and the whole world as well as principalities and powers (Ephesians 3:10) may know that we, the Church,

Commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Lord's Supper and profess that it signifies our life in communion with Christ and that we await his coming in glory. (see † below)

This is one reason why we call it the work of God and say that we should prefer nothing to it.

©FH 2012

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† This has been adapted from a statement by the Catholic Church explaining why intercommunion is not possible with Protestants. The statement is found in the CCC Paragraph 1400.