Passover and Communion

Luke 22.1-23

With Judas’ betrayal looming, Jesus celebrates Passover with the disciples and institutes the Lord’s Supper/Communion.

Jesus is the new Passover Lamb. He is the fulfillment of all that the Passover anticipated…the innocent dying for the guilty, forgiveness of sins, the new covenant…a new heart and the Spirit dwelling in all those who believe. If you think the Passover is a Jewish thing….you are right. If you think it’s not a Christian thing…not so much. Jesus is our Passover Lamb, too. He rescues us from sin and death. Because of His sacrifice we have true forgiveness of sins and eternal life. His Spirit dwells in us. We too celebrate Passover…we just call it Communion, and we celebrate it when we gather together.

Every time we take the bread and the cup, we remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us…His death and resurrection, His shed blood that covers our sins, and the gift of the Spirit. It’s a time for us to look forward to the day when we will eat with our King at the great banquet in the kingdom…a reminder that He is coming back soon. As such, communion is something we celebrate as followers of Jesus. It’s one of the hallmarks of the church.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

We Gather to Build Up One Another

“But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse.” I Corinthians 11:17 NASB

You may recall in Acts 18, Paul spent 18 months in Corinth and planted the church there. He is writing to the church five years later, wondering how it all went wrong.

As we turn our attention to I Corinthians Chapters 11-14, Paul is admonishing the Corinthian Church for the things that are taking place during worship. What a compelling verse we find in 11:17.

“But in giving this instruction, I do not praise you, because you come together not for the better but for the worse.”

Paul is telling the Corinthians their meetings, or gatherings, are doing more harm than good! Wow!

As a church, our purpose for gathering is to worship the Lord and build each other up – sharing in the sacraments as a body, helping each other draw closer to Jesus and seek ways we can intentionally impact the world for Jesus.

But in Corinth things have gone awry.

One area of particular concern was how they were sharing the common meal and partaking of communion. We see good examples of this in Acts 2, but it is distorted here in 1 Corinthians 11.

The agape feast—which Paul had established as a time when believers would share their meals in common and where they would partake of the Lord’s Supper together—had become nothing more than a drunken party.

The Lord’s Supper should have been the remembrance of a preeminently selfless act -namely Christ’s death on behalf of others.

A rite of unity had turned into disunity.

While one brother went hungry because he lacked the means to eat well, another brother drank to excess.

The rich ate well, eating what they brought, the poor went without.

These things had caused divisions and missed the whole purpose of the gathering – to share things in common, love each other, and partake in communion – the Lord’s Supper, in remembrance of the work on the cross.

When we celebrate and partake of the Lord’s Supper, it is a visible sermon that proclaims “the message of the Cross” – the reality of the Lord’s death, the purpose and grace associated with His atoning work, and the certainty of His return.
The overall message of this passage is that divisions within the body can cause more harm than good.

We are to be mindful of others, selfless in our attitudes toward one another and seek to build each other up.

We are to be ever mindful that our big purpose is to help others draw one step closer to Christ.

Partaking in the Lord’s Supper should never be taken for granted and should serve to remind us of the grander purpose and the good news of the Gospel – Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

Sources used for this blog – The Bible Knowledge Commentary and Courson’s New Testament Application Commentary.

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

Time to Remember 

As I work my way through the first 13 chapters in Deuteronomy – I am reminded that there is a consistent pattern throughout the Book: hope for the future is rooted in the past.

In Hebrew idiom, to remember carries the sense of deep reflection and meditation on the past, particularly with regard to God’s mighty acts of love, grace and promise.

When I wrote last time, I described Deuteronomy as a series of speeches or sermons by Moses, his last attempt to instill an obedient spirit in his audience.

He used the threat of judgment, the promise of reward, and appeals to God’s graciousness to seek to accomplish that goal.

Moses used some great imagery as well, see Deuteronomy 1:30-31 for an example. The imagery of God going before them, fighting for them and carrying Israel as a man carries his son, brings to mind Israel’s special relationship to the Lord through His covenant with Abraham and serves as a reminder of how deep the Father’s love runs for His children.

As we approach Easter this weekend, I am reminded again of how deep the Father’s love runs for us, the sending of His son Jesus to live with us.  Jesus became sin that we might have life. I am reminded of His life, death and resurrection.

Jesus also gave us instructions, and something special to do in remembrance of Him.

Following each service this weekend, we will set up Communion stations for those that want to partake either as individuals or families. I encourage you to partake if you are follower of Christ.

I remember Jesus and the price he paid, do you?  Join me this weekend, rally your families, friends, your 8-15 and encourage them to attend a service celebrating the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.  The staff, worship team and Matt are ready to go.  Come join us!

Following the service, come to the communion stations, reflect, and mediate on His promises and hope for the future.

I close with the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

“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, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is foryou. Do this in remembrance of me.” 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.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

Amen!

Until next time, keep reading…

Jim
Excerpts and references: BKC, HCSB Study Bible, Gospel Transformation Bible