Three are the actual account of our Lord at the Passover feast in the night He was betrayed; the night before His crucifixion.
Mat 26:26-30; Mark 22-26; and Luke 22:19-20
Here He is giving instructions to the Apostles to first receive something very special personally, and secondly to continue this same celebration by passing it along to others in the Christian family.
The fourth is the account by Paul, a quarter century later, reemphasizing the importance of the communion supper in 1 Cor 11:24-25.
Please note that there are two parts to this celebration:
- First is the breaking and sharing of bread.
- And secondly is the pouring and sharing of the wine in a cup.
THE FIRST PART OF THE CELEBRATION IS THE BREAD.
The bread is an interesting analogy of the body of Christ.
To make bread you need flour and oil.
This bread was a particular bread that did not rise because it did not have any yeast in it (leaven is the Bible’s term for yeast).
Leaven or yeast represents sin in the Bible.
So, this bread is made without yeast; therefore, it represents having no sin in it.
Just as the Body of Christ went to the cross without any sin in it.
He was therefore a perfect sacrifice because He had no sin of His own, and therefore could offer Himself up for us who are filled with yeast.
So here we have unleavened bread.
Flour is made from what? Wheat.
Wheat grows from the ground and produces a fruit in the form of a kernel of wheat.
Our Lord produced much fruit while on earth. He fulfilled the will of the Father perfectly. That’s Divine fruit.
But the kernel itself is not yet flour.
In order to make flour the kernel needs to be crushed, ground down to a fine powdery existence.
Our Lord was ground down to a fine powdery substance through the seven trials, beatings, whippings, and the humiliation He endured.
John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Isa 53:10 “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering.”
So, once you have flour, you now need oil to make the bread.
Oil is that smooth, silky agent that both allows free flowing movement, but at the same time, binds the flour together.
Without the oil, the flour would not hold together.
In Scripture oil is both a reference to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit and was used as a representation of an anointing – setting someone or something apart from the others.
Without the oil in the soul of the man Jesus Christ, He would not have been able to fulfill the will of the Father.
And remember the flour and the oil must be mixed or kneaded – again, the analogy of crushing.
So as Christ noted in all four scriptures, recounting the Last Supper, the bread represented His body.
- His body which He gave for us.
- His body without sin.
- His body that produced fruit.
- His body that was crushed.
- His body that was filled with the oil of the Word and the Spirit.
- His body that was set apart from all others as the one true sacrifice for all of mankind.
And today, you make up His body.
Col 1:18 “He is also head of the body, the church….”
Eph 4:12 “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”
1 Cor 12:12 “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many.”
1 Cor 10:16b “Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.”
THE SECOND PART OF THE CELEBRATION IS THE CUP
This cup also has interesting analogies.
There were four cups used on the Jewish Passover:
- The first cup was the Sanctification cup – Set apart.
- The second cup was the Deliverance cup – Lord’s deliverance from Egypt.
- The third cup was the Redemption cup – Propitiation of our sins.
- The fourth cup was the Elijah cup – Our Lord did not drink from this cup, because it signifies His return.
Our Lord specifically chose the third cup, which spoke to His purchase of our sins (Redemption), so that we would not have to pay for our Sins.
He paid the price once and for all.
Gen 40:11 is the first mention of cup in Scripture.
Joseph was in prison and was interpreting the dream of a fellow prisoner, where the cup meant the prisoner would be restored back to his former position in the king’s house.
This is an analogy for us as we receive the cup in remembrance of our restoration to the former position of Adam who was in union with Christ prior to his fall.
Redemption brings about restoration.
And what was in the cup? Wine or better noted – grape juice.
For grape juice to become wine, it must go through a process called fermentation.
Fermentation is also an analogy of sin, so therefore this wine had to be without sin and had to be prior to the fermentation process, that is, it had to be grape juice.
But the important point is that in order to get grape juice, you have to take fully ripened fruit and crush it and strain it out to obtain the juice/wine.
Again, we see our Lord was crushed for our benefit.
Isa 53:3 “He was crushed for our sins…and by His scourging we are healed.”
Our Lord then said something very interesting about this cup and what was in it.
He said the cup was a New Covenant in His blood.
A covenant is a peace treaty or a life insurance contract.
This cup represented a peace made between God and man, which guarantees man eternal life.
Heb 9:15 “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the sins…. those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
“In His blood” speaks to the spiritual death Christ suffered on the cross. It is not speaking of His physical death.
After He had been on the cross for a total of six hours, three in light and three covered in darkness, He said, “It is finished.”
The payment of sins was finished, while He was still physically alive and had enough blood in His body to sustain His physical life.
In John 19:30, the second to last thing He said was, “It is finished!”
Then as recorded in Luke 23:46; He made His last statement, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”
And upon His death, His spirit went to heaven while His body with its literal blood remained on earth.
John 19:34 “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”
Our Lord did all of this so that you and I would have forgiveness and live forever with Him.
We are to take this time to solemnly and joyously remember what He has accomplished for us.
And He desires us to come together often to celebrate Him.
1 Cor 11:33 “So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.”
Celebrate the Union we have with Christ
Eph 1:13 “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
You share His life, which is eternal life.
1 Jn 5:11‑12 “And the declaration is this: God has given to us eternal life, and this [eternal] life is in His Son. He, who has the Son, has life.”
Eph 4:13 “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”
1 Cor 11:24-25
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 He took the cup also, after supper, saying,
‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood;
do this as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of Me’.”