Posted by: forfreedomalone | 03/08/2019

Two questions.

I was asked a couple of questions today which I thought might be well answered here.

Do you partake of God’s Supper?

Is it true that He is fasting for us in heaven, until the time He returns?

Both of these questions, at face value, seem like ones which could be answered with a yes and a no and that’s it, but actually, they are both much more complex questions than that and they are linked, but it may be hard to see how without going back to the Jewish foundations of Christianity.

The Lord’s Supper is what most Christians call the occasions when they partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Crucifixion. But what was the Lord’s Supper when it took place in the first instance? What was Jesus doing, why did he ask his followers to do it and when did he tell them to?

The Supper which the Lord was taking was not some invention of his own, but the Passover Sedar. He said, himself, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15) The Passover Sedar is a meal taken in remembrance of the night on which God killed all the firstborn males in Egypt, both human and animal, Jew and Gentile, unless they are protected by the blood of the sacrifice. The Jews remember this occasion to this day, with gratitude and a personal awareness of what it meant to obey God’s commands regarding the sacrifice, to feel the anxiety of the moment and the rush of leaving from a land of slavery.

In a few hours, Jesus would be the Passover lamb for the whole cosmos, so the Passover meal took on enormous significance for him; although, less so at that moment for his disciples as they had no idea how it was about to be lifted from a physical event to a mammoth, spiritual one. 
Jesus knew, as he ate the matza and drank the wine that they represented HIS body and blood. He knew as he heard the crack of the matza being broken that his body would crack in the same way in a few hours time. The warm trickle of the wine as he drank it would have made him think of the warm flow of his blood, about to be spilt for the redemption of the whole cosmos. This meal was hugely significant for him, but for his disciples, it was Pesach, just like every other Pesach since the exodus all those millennia before.

This is why he commanded them to remember him when they took the Peshach Sedar. On this occassion, it had no deeper significance for them, but you can bet that was not so the following year. Every year thereafter they would recall that night, what happened and why. They would never again commemorate Pesach and only think of slaves leaving a foreign land.

So, what was the Lord’s Supper when it was first taken?
It was Pesach; Passover; a meal that all Jews took in commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.

Why did he ask them to do it?
So that they would recall the higher, spiritual, meaning of that night as they remembered what had happened and what he had done.

When did he tell them to do it?
To get that answered we need to go to 1 Corinthians 11.
Paul is chastising the people for their irreverent behaviour when they gather to remember the Lord. Paul then says, “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 for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, also 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.”

How ‘oft’ did they eat and drink this?
Once per year, at Pesach.

Jesus did not institute a new thing. He did not institute a weekly, monthly, when we feel like it, occasion, to eat a bit of bread and drink a bit of wine, thinking about him and some kind of magic would occur. He told his followers to eat the Pesach matza and drink the Pesach wine and realise that it was really about HIS sacrifice and what that meant to all of the cosmos.

I am not sure that one can say there is anything wrong with holding a communion service, but that is not what Jesus told his disciples to do. He told them to keep Pesach with understanding. So, if we are disciples that is what we should be doing.

The second question I will answer in a separate post as this one is getting a little bit too long for most folks. 

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