The Passover Seder and the Lord’s Supper

by Bob Burridge ©2018 (using the New American Standard Bible)

The Last Seder Begins (Luke 22:15-18, John 13:26-30)

Jesus met with his 12 Apostles for the Passover supper the night on which he would later be arrested. They assembled in an “upper room” according to many translations. The term used there in the original Greek text is “kataluma” (καταλuμα) which is better translated as “guest room”. Archaeology shows us that many homes at that time and in that region were built of heavy stones and often divided into two or more rooms. When guests came, one of the rooms in the house became a guest room or “kataluma”. This room would be used by visiting family members, or even rented out for group gatherings as it was with the room used by the Apostles and Jesus for the last supper.

Jesus took on the role of a servant and washed their feet, instructing them about the humility of kingdom service. He warned them that a traitor was present among them. They wondered who would betray him, and argued among themselves about their rankings in the kingdom.

At some point Jesus began to lead the disciples in the Passover Meal. God had commanded that the Passover would be a permanent ordinance for his people. It was a memorial of what God had done in the Exodus (Exodus 12:14). It foreshadowed the coming Messiah who would die for his people’s sins, and set them free from spiritual bondage.

The set order of the Passover, is known as the “Seder”. The basic elements were instituted by God through Moses. There was the sacrifice, roasting and eating of the lamb, the eating of unleavened bread, and the remembering of the meaning of the Passover.

As Israel’s culture changed and the Exodus faded more and more into the past, the ritual was expanded but it preserved the meaning of the basic elements. For example wine came to represent the blood of the sacrifice used to seal the covenant between God and his people. The Passover Seder that is traditional today dates back to ancient times, but the ritual in the time of Jesus was somewhat different.

This outline follows that earlier form of the Seder.

1. The QADAESH: This first part of the Seder means “setting aside as sacred”. It prepared the participants for the meal. It set aside the elements as having a special meaning, and told the story of God’s deliverance from Egypt.

It began with the blessing of the wine (Luke 22:15-18). Passover wine was always red wine mixed with water. The wine was so important that Rabbis commanded even the poorest people must drink the four cups of wine at Passover, even if they had to bond themselves over to labor or borrow the money to buy the wine.

Wine represented the blood of the sacrifice that sealed God’s covenant. Ancient covenants were sealed with the shedding of blood. The best example is God confirming his covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15:9-21. The cutting of animals was a pledge that whoever breaks the covenant would be brutally killed. But in this case, God passed through the body parts showing Abraham that the LORD himself would suffer the penalty in place of his people when they break his covenant. The drinking of wine at Passover came to symbolize this shedding of blood that sealed the covenant.

It was during this first part of the Seder that Jesus introduced the Passover. Luke 22:15-18, “And He said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, ‘Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.’ ”

Jesus prepared them for the deeper significance of this meal. This would be his last Passover with them before the fulfillment of these things in the advancing of his Kingdom.

He said that he had “earnestly desired” to eat this last meal with them. Literally, “I desired desiring … to eat”, which is a Hebraism that conveys strong intensity. Jesus knew he was about to fulfill all that the sacrifices and promises indicated! The redemption promised from Eden forward was about to be accomplished!

Though the church was to celebrate this special memorial as a sacrament all through this age that was beginning, Jesus will not again join with them physically in the covenantal meal until after the final judgment when the church is united with him in eternal glory.

Jesus took the cup and gave thanks. After the blessing each participant drinks a cup of wine. This is the first of the traditional four cups of the Seder.

2. The URKHATZ: This next part of the Seder was the ceremonial washing of the hands. Water was poured over the fingers as a symbolic purification.

3. The CARPAS: This was the first of two “dippings”. The “Carpas” is a piece of green vegetable (parsley, watercress, lettuce, celery, or something similar). Each person dips the carpas into a bowl of salt water or vinegar. The bad-tasting dip represented the sorrow and tears of God’s people when they were held in bondage in Egypt before the Exodus. When the carpas is dipped, they all eat of it.

4. The UNLEAVENED BREAD is remembered. The Passover bread was a matzah, a flat cake of unleavened bread. It was part of Passover that was to remember the “bread of affliction”. Israel was reminded of the sorrows in Egyptian bondage, and it represented their hasty escape from Egypt when Moses led them out. They were not to wait for bread to rise with leavening.

5. The STORY OF THE EXODUS was retold. This memorialized God’s grace in delivering his covenant people. The telling of the Exodus story was always central to Passover.

6. First part of the HALLAEL PSALMS was sung. (Psalms 113-114 begins with “Praise the Lord”)

7. WINE was again blessed and sipped. This was the second of the four cups of wine.

8. A MATZAH was again blessed and eaten.

9. The MAROR: This was the second of the two dippings (John 13:26-30). Maror was bitter herbs (like our ground horseradish).

Before 70 AD when the sacrifice at the Temple continued, Rabbi Hillel described the Maror as a matzah with a piece of the roasted lamb which was dipped into the maror by the leader and handed to each person at the table.

After 70AD when the Temple had been destroyed, the piece of lamb was replaced by “kharoset”, a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine. Each took a piece of matzah, dipped it first into a plate of bitter herbs, then into a plate of kharoset. They eat the matzah with the bitter herbs and kharoset to remember how the bitterness which was the portion of Israel, was sweetened by God’s goodness.

This second dipping was the “sop” or “morsel” Jesus used to indicate who would betray him. Jesus had just announced that there was one among them who would betray him. His announcement that one will turn against him was to stir them to self examination. Jesus doesn’t seem to have identified the traitor to everyone. It was probably John who asked Jesus who it would be. In John 13:26 Jesus answered him saying, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.”

When Jesus actually handed the morsel to Judas he urged him to go do what he had been planning (John 13:26b-29). It says, “… So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’ Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, ‘Buy the things we have need of for the feast’; or else, that he should give something to the poor.”

Satan had entered the heart of Judas completing his decline, that is he was able to be controlled for wicked purposes. As a child of the devil Judas was becoming like his evil spiritual father. His inclination was like Satan’s – to put his own selfish gain above honoring God. Nothing hindered the devil’s free activity in his fully yielded servant.

It’s significant that it was this bitter herb that Jesus used. It was a sorrowful moment when he handed that matzah to Judas.

None of the other Apostles understood what it was that Jesus sent Judas to do. They imagined other ways to explain what Jesus said to him and why Judas left. Since he was the treasurer they assumed he was being sent out to buy something needed or to give to the poor (John 13:29).

Judas left immediately after the second dipping. Verse 30 says, “And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.”

The giving of the dipped morsel to Judas took place during the seder, but before the actual partaking of the lamb or the final matzah and wine. The morsel was given before the institution of the bread and wine which would become the elements of the continuing celebration of the Lord’s Supper for the New Testament church. Jesus sent him away to do his deed with haste. Judas left “immediately” indicating there was no intervening activity. Jesus had “fenced” the table. The Lord’s Supper instituted that night was for God’s people only. It’s an abomination if those unworthy partake of it. It causes harm to them and to the whole church that would admit them.

Considering 1 Corinthians 11

There were abuses at Corinth concerning the Lord’s Supper. Paul warned that the unworthy should not partake of it. Self-examination before partaking was commanded. He gave a serious warning in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, “For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.”

The New Testament books give the Elders of the local churches oversight of the Lord’s Table. It’s the duty of the church to refuse the sacrament to the unworthy. This is called “fencing the table.” It should be made clear that only those who have been admitted to the table by the officers of a local church body should partake. The officer’s responsibility in admitting members is to be sure they personally and credibly profess faith in the work of Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins, and that they understand the Lord’s Supper as it is served to the gathered body of Christ in worship.

Jesus fenced the very first table by sending away Judas before they partook of the Passover lamb, and before he gave new meaning to the elements changing the passover meal into the covenant meal of the post-resurrection church, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

The betrayer had no part in the spiritual blessings of the community of Apostles, or of the church. He was sent out confirming his own lostness. Meanwhile Jesus confirmed his grace and love to the remaining apostles.

The Climax of the Passover Seder

10. SHULKHAN ORAEC: This means, “the table is prepared”. The Passover reached its climax in the eating of the Passover lamb. The meal always included unleavened bread, wine, and the roasted lamb. Along with these each family provided the best they could afford (it was comparable to our Thanksgiving Day meals).

The last solid food eaten was a piece of the sacrificed lamb. They ate nothing else after that. The only consuming left was of the final two cups of wine.

But after the meal Jesus did something different. He again took the matzah, the unleavened bread. The Passover lamb was up to that time to be the last morsel in their mouths. But now the lingering morsel will be this bread.

The tradition wasn’t really being eliminated. The lamb represented the Messiah. Now the bread would represent the Messiah. In other words: that which represented him would still be the last morsel.

There are four accounts in Scripture of the institution of this sacrament: Matthew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:19-20 and Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 .

Jesus originally spoke in Aramaic. Each New Testament author translated his words into Greek. The authors related what Jesus said without attempting exact quotes. Exact quotes were not common in that day. The Holy Spirit kept each report and translation into Greek accurate and without error. Together we get a full view of what Jesus taught. (NOTE: Matthew and Mark say things similarly. Paul is similar to Luke.)

There is significance in what Jesus did with the bread.

1 Corinthians 11:24, “and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.'”

Jesus took up the bread. God’s law demanded they eat only unleavened bread at Passover. It was the bread of affliction, unleavened to show how they “came out of the land of Egypt in haste” (Deuteronomy 16:3). They were not to take time to let it rise, because God’s deliverance was about to happen without delay. They were to show unhesitating obedience to what God demanded.

Today not all demand that its important that the bread be unleavened. The Greek churches condemned using unleavened bread as a remnant of Judaism. The Latin church reacted against this and demanded unleavened bread. The Reformers saw leavening as a matter of indifference but generally preferred it to be unleavened. They only objected to the use of wafers which the Roman church introduced because they are not bread in any sense.

He gave thanks (according to Matthew and Mark). He blessed it (according to Luke and Paul). There is no essential difference in these expressions. The prayer Jesus probably prayed at that time is called the motzi.

ברוּףְ אַתׇּה יהוה אֱלׄהֵנוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֺלׇם הַמּוֺצִיא לֶחֶם מׅן הָאָרֶץ
[Beruq atah, Adonai Elohaenu, meleq ha olam, hamotsi lekhem min ha-eretz]

It’s translated, “Blessed are you, O LORD our God, King of the universe (or eternity), who brings forth bread from the earth.”

It’s a declaration of the blessedness of God, and an acknowledgement that he is the one who ultimately provided the bread. It was both a blessing and a thanksgiving.

He broke the Bread. This was an action so significant that it was recorded in all four accounts. We always include it in administering the sacrament today. In making atonement for us, the body of Jesus was itself broken.

There is significance in what Jesus said concerning the bread.

Putting the four accounts together, Jesus said, “Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

When Jesus said, “This is my body” it was a startling statement! Certainly he could not have meant it physically. He stood there before them. They could see his body as he broke the bread. No reasonable person at that table would have thought Jesus meant that the bread he held was in fact his physical body. Yet, He was obviously saying he was present in the bread in some special way.

The relationship Jesus had with the bread that night was the basis for the on-going relationship he has with the bread in the Lord’s Supper as we celebrate it today.

There are four main views of the presence of Christ in the sacrament:
1. ROMANIST – This view holds that Jesus is present in the elements physically, though they appear to be bread and wine. They say the bread and wine are miraculously transformed into the actual physical body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation).

Though the characteristics of bread and wine remain, they are no longer what they appear to be. The bread and wine are gone. The body and blood of Christ are there but have no visible characteristics of their own.

Wafers were made to replace bread as part of this view so that no crumb or particle of Christ’s physical body could be desecrated by falling to the floor.

2. LUTHERAN – This view holds that Jesus is present physically with the elements. The actual physical body and blood of Christ are supernaturally mixed with the physical bread and wine. The physical body of Jesus is “in, with, and under” the elements (consubstantiation).

3. REFORMED – This view says that Jesus is present spiritually in the elements as true believers partake of it in faith. We really partake of him, but in a spiritual sense, not a physical one.

4. ZWINGLIAN – This position teaches that Jesus is only present in our minds when we partake of the elements. He’s not present in them in any real way. The elements are only symbolic object lessons representing Christ’s body and blood (memorialism).

The Reformed view is unique because it recognizes a real spiritual presence of Christ in the elements. He does not have to be there in a physical sense to be really there. We have God’s promise and assurance that we partake of our Savior in a real sense, and that he attaches his promise that there are real spiritual benefits conveyed to believers as they celebrate the Lord’s Supper properly.

Bread is a particularly good representation for the body of Christ. Throughout the ages it has been an important sustainer of life. The Hebrew word for bread in the Old Testament is “lekhem” (לֶחֶם). It is often used as the general word for food. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a name which comes from the Hebrew expression “baet lekhem” (בת לחם ) which means, “house of bread”. Jesus referred to himself as the “Bread of life” in John 6:35,48. He is the source of our spiritual nourishment. There in verse 51 Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” and in verses 53-56 he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

Spiritual nourishment isn’t limited to the partaking of the Lord’s Supper. All believers partake of Christ spiritually and are nourished by him. But when he instituted this Sacrament he gave us a commanded ordinance by which we would be reminded of his promise, show our trust in his words, and exercise our faith by this obedience and therefore be specially nourished.

It’s not the bread, the ritual, or the Pastor administering it that brings the special spiritual blessing to the partaker. It’s the Holy Spirit ministering to us through the sacrament and explained in God’s word read at the sacrament that blesses us.

Jesus said this is for you. Some of our Bible versions also say that his body is “broken for you”, and some simply say it is “for you” in 1 Corinthians 11:24. The word “broken” is in most surviving ancient texts, but not in a few old copies.

This verb is not there relating to Christ’s body in a few old copies and five later copies. Three of those include notes where an editor added it as a correction to the copied text.* The verb “broken” relating to Christ’s body is found in the rest of the manuscripts I have been able to check.** I found no place where an ancient editor corrected a copy that included this verb by saying that it should not be there.

Neither reading changes the basic interpretation of the text. Neither side denies that the body of Jesus was broken for his people. Some are concerned that this breaking of the body of Jesus would contradict John 19:36 which said that no bone of Christ was to be broken. But the word for “broken” in John 19:36 is “suntribo” (συντρίβω), and the word for “broken” here in 1 Corinthians 11:24 is “kla-o” (κλάω). This is the word used in all the ancient copies for the breaking of the bread by Jesus to distribute it. A body can be broken and severely wounded without harming the bones.

Jesus said “do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). He didn’t mean only to remember him as a person after he left them. He meant that in eating it they should remember his work of atonement, and his promise. He was giving himself for them as the Passover Lamb. He would become a substitution in his death for all they deserved at God’s hands. Paul called Jesus “our Passover” back in 5:7 of this letter. John the baptist called him “the Lamb of God” in John 1:29.

The church is to use this meal as a way not only to remember him, his promises, and his work of grace, it also is a way to exercise our faith in the promise of the Spirit to nourish us with the special spiritual presence of Christ. This is why we say there is real spiritual blessing in the Lord’s Supper.

This statement by Jesus makes the Lord’s supper a direct commandment. It also shows that it is to be a perpetual practice until he comes again.

This is a meal in which the covenant community is to share.

1 Corinthians 10:16, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?”

The meaning is connected with its representing the shared body of Christ. This is why we sometimes call this meal “Communion” (as in the King James Version of this verse). When we come together around the Lord’s Table we each partake of Christ in a special way. In partaking of Christ together, we enjoy special union with one another.

There is significance in what Jesus said about the wine.

Jesus took the cup. The first two of the four cups of Passover wine traditionally followed the meal. The third cup was filled right after the meal. The Jews commonly called it “the Cup of Blessing.” In 1 Corinthians 10:16 Paul wrote, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? …” His reference may indicate that it was this third cup that Jesus consecrated. The term “Cup” is used figuratively for the wine it contained.

There is no direct statement in the Bible that would make us doubt that this was real fermented wine. The uses of the terms used in Scripture show that there was no difference between the wine used in Passover, other celebrations, and in daily meals. It also makes it clear that this same wine could be abused if taken in excess. There are warnings in Scripture against drinking too much wine. The same word is used in each case such as the accusation at Pentecost in Acts 2:13, and the turning of water to wine by Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2).

Like the issue of using leavened bread, the Reformed churches see the matter of fermentation of Communion wine in this post-resurrection era as mostly an indifferent matter. But it should be the juice of the grape in keeping with the terms used.

Like leavening, fermentation of the wine is usually seen as a mere circumstance. But unlike leavening, which once represented the haste of the Jews in expecting immediate deliverance and in being ready to obey God without delay, fermenting had no historic significance regarding the Passover wine.

The early Tatiani are often quoted as a prime example showing that early believers abstained from using fermented wine. But this group also abstained from eating meat, and from marriage saying that such things are from Satan. They only drank water, not even unfermented grape juice. Their view would not qualify as an example of a Bible believing group.

Some American churches in the recent past turned to grape juice to avoid unnecessary offense to some total abstainers who were offended by wine. This continues where some church members continue to be total abstainers.There is no compelling reason to risk offense over this issue. Some churches offer both wine and grape juice and leave it up to the individuals as to which they choose to drink.

Some Christian churches use fermented wine diluted with water which they say represents what appeared to be water along with blood when the side of Jesus was pierced as he hung on the cross. The Jews have used fermented wine as far back in the time as we can trace.

When the meal was finished there was the fourth and last Kiddush (קידוש), the blessing of God for the wine. The prayer Jesus probably prayed at that time goes this way:

ברוּףְ אַתׇּה יהוה אֱלׄהֵנוּ מֶלֶך הָעוֺלׇם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
[berukh atah, Adonai Elohaenu, Meleq haolam, borae peri hagaphen]

Translated it means: “Blessed are you, O LORD our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.”

Jesus then explained the meaning of the cup as recorded in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26, “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.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

Shed blood is the key element in any sacrifice for sin. At the sealing of the covenant by Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel, “Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!’ So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.'” (Exodus 24:6-8)

Leviticus 17:11 says, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”

The New Testament directly connects the blood of Jesus with the blood that sealed God’s covenant as described in the law. Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,” And Hebrews 9:22 it reminds us saying, “according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

The wages of sin is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23). The shedding of blood represents the death of the sinner. But God promised to send the Messiah to die in place of His people. The death of the Old Testament animal sacrifices, and the shedding of their blood, represented the Messiah’s death. The wine at the Passover represents the blood shed in the sacrifice. It represented the Messiah’s death in the place of his people.

This God-commanded symbol at communion continues to represent the shedding of Christ’s blood that sealed the covenant of God’s grace.

His blood represented the sealing of the new form of the covenant. All four accounts of that last supper of our Lord identify the cup this way. There is no evidence that there are two separate covenants. The Bible offers abundant evidence that there is but one covenant of grace administered in different ways as God’s truth became more and more clearly revealed.

The Old Covenant refers to the time before Christ, when God’s people lived by the promises of a coming Messiah. Old covenant believers showed their faith in God’s grace by making sacrifices depicting the future anticipated death of their Savior.

The New Covenant refers to the time after Christ had come in fulfillment of God’s promises of a Messiah. New covenant believers show their faith in God’s grace by trusting in the finished work of Christ. What was foreshadowed and promised, became fulfilled, realized. What was hoped for had come.

This is the distinction made in the prophets, in the books of Hebrews, Galatians, Romans, and wherever these terms are used. Paul explained it in Galatians 3:17, “… the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.”

The blood of Jesus was shed “for many” not for all. The idea that Jesus’ blood was shed for all is without biblical foundation. Jesus repeatedly made it clear that he came to redeem only those given to him by the Father who sent him. (See his direct statements in John 6:37,53-58 17:2,9. See also Isaiah 53:5-6, Matthew 1:21, Acts 20:28, Romans 8:33, and Ephesians 1:4-6.)

The compromise view that Jesus died “potentially” for all, but only “efficiently” for the elect is without biblical evidence. This is the “Amyrauldian view” condemned by the reformed churches and explained very well in the impressive book “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ” by puritan scholar John Owen.

Jesus came to save those chosen from eternity past by grace alone. It was for them, and for them alone that his blood was shed. Had he shed his blood intending to save some who are never saved, then he failed, and his blood was ineffective in bringing them to him in faith. A clear impossibility for an all-powerful sovereign God.

Both the old and the new covenant meals depict the same thing.

The new form of the covenant meal (the Lord’s Supper) includes the same basic message as the old form (the Passover meal): the atonement is provided by the promised Messiah for his people.

The coming Messiah was represented by a Lamb being sacrificed. Jesus is identified as the “Lamb of God” (John 1:36). Three times in the Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb that was slain (5:6,12 13:8). 1 Corinthians 5:7 referes to him saying, “… Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”

There is no doubt as to what Jesus meant. The broken bread and the poured out wine represent his body which also was represented by the Passover lamb itself. The blood sacrifice was about to be fulfilled. The new covenant meal would no longer be a bloody sacrifice.

The Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament It is a set of outward symbols, bread and wine, which represent and the partaking of Christ’s body and blood in their power to settle our moral debt to God’s justice. When received in faith, the believer actually partakes of Christ spiritually in that he is nourished by the Savior according to the promises attached to that obedience by God.

Jesus said in John 6:51, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

This comment was misunderstood by the Jews who did not understand the spiritual nature of what Jesus was saying. They argued saying in verse 52, “… How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

Jesus answered in verses 53-57, “… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”

There is no time when we more directly remember and show our partaking of Christ spiritually, than when we participate in the Lord’s Supper as our Savior commanded.

Do we understand the comfort and assurance promised here? Jesus was saying that his blood would be shed to finally complete what all the old sacrifices were illustrating: the removal of guilt from all God’s people!

The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal as was the Passover meal. When we partake in faith, the Holy Spirit ministers to us by means of the word spoken and symbolized in the ordinance, to really bless us with the spiritual presence of Christ.

Come expecting great blessing at the Lord’s Table!

* [“broken” relating to Christ’s body is missing in one 3rd century papyrus copy (P46), one 4th century uncial (B), a 9th century minuscule (33), codex Vaticanus, the original text of Sinaiticus (the word is added as a correction by an early editor), two 5th century uncials (A and C where it is added as a correction), a 10th century minuscule (1739 where it is added as a correction in the margin)]
** [“broken” relating to Christ’s body is found in the corrected versions of Sinaiticus and C. It is there in the uncial copies: D, G, K, P, and ψ, the minuscules: 81, 88, 104, 181, 326, 330, 436, 451, 614, 629, 630, 1241, 1739(marginal), 1877, 1881, 1962, 1984, 1985, 2127, 2492, 2495, the hundreds of Byzantine texts, the church lectionaries, the Italian and Syriac versions, and most references in the early church fathers.]

Bible quotations are from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.

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