one meal, one body
Read John 6:53-58 and note the purpose of the Lord’s Supper. Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 to see how we should take part in the Lord’s Supper in a way that honors Jesus.
How seriously do you engage with the Lord’s Supper? Are you ever prone to ignore its social significance?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus taught His followers to eat His “body” and drink His “blood” during the Lord’s Supper? The Jews misunderstood the idea (John 6:52), and the early Christians were even accused of “cannibalism.” Couldn’t Jesus have described this special meal with less controversy? Not really.
Jesus’ original meal with His disciples took place on the evening prior to the celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Mark 14:12). This Passover meal involved eating bread without yeast and sacrificing a lamb in memory of the time God liberated the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 12). The yeast-free bread—used by the Israelites during their escape—is also a symbol of sinlessness according to some commentators, and the blood of the lamb was a symbol of salvation (Exodus 12:12-13). As Jesus offered His disciples bread and called it His “body” (Mark 14:22), He was describing Himself as the sinless One who would save them from judgment.
Then after drinking the wine, Jesus said, “This is My blood which confirms the covenant between God and His people” (Mark 14:23-24). Prior to releasing the Israelites from Egypt, God had commanded each family to sacrifice a lamb (Exodus 12:3). The blood from the lamb, placed on their doorposts, was a “sign” to God that He should pass over the house—sparing them from His judgment. Then they ate the meat after it was roasted over a fire (Exodus 12:8-9).
A sacrifice brought God and humanity together. A shared meal brought people together. In the most extraordinary act in history, Jesus became both Passover sacrifice and fellowship meal.
By observing the Lord’s Supper today, we participate in God’s redeemed family.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 21:8-21
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