“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” – 1 Corinthians 11:26
You may wonder why the eating of the bread and the drinking from the cup are important part of our Sunday service? We do this every week as the first Christians did because Jesus Himself instituted it on the night He was betrayed. “Do this in remembrance of Me,” Jesus said in Luke 22:19. The first breaking of bread (Lord’s Supper) was done on Passover night, which was a Jewish commemoration of the angel of death passing over the house of Israelites in Egypt saving their lives.
At the first Passover, a lamb without blemish was killed for its blood that marked every house. Years later Jesus became the Passover lamb when His blood (death) paid for the penalty of all humanity. Today death passes over anyone who believes in the redemptive work of Jesus. If the first Passover saved people from physical death, Jesus’ death delivers us from spiritual death thus giving a new meaning for the Passover, and a new life to those who believe. So the breaking of bread is a remembrance of Jesus’ death but also a celebration of new life.
One day we will stop breaking bread and drinking wine. That is when Jesus returns. Every time we break bread we are in a sense punctuating history between His death and His return. As much as there is a looking backward to Calvary, there is also a looking forward to Jesus’ return. Each week we are getting closer to His coming back.
Our worship in the future according to the vision John saw in Revelations is one where Jesus would be in the midst of believers. Jesus Himself will take the place of the emblems (the bread and wine). After the first Passover, God met His children in the Tent of meeting (Exodus 33:7) and the tabernacle (Exodus 25) in the wilderness. When the temple was built, people were drawn to the temple (1 Kings 5) to worship God. After Jesus changed the meaning of Passover, believers come together around the emblems, and one day will personally gather around Him.
What does the breaking of bread (Lord’s Supper) means for us today?
– When we eat of the bread and drink from the cup we are declaring Jesus’ death until He comes.
– We are celebrating life through Jesus, looking to His return, following His desire that we remember Him this way.
– The breaking of bread is meaningful only to a believer who has tasted new life in Jesus. It is the relationship with Jesus that makes it meaningful.
– Taking part in the Lord’s Supper does not impart spiritual powers or make one holy.
So today if you believe that Jesus died personally for you and that He is the reason for your sins being washed away, then by all means enjoy this remembrance with the rest of us. If you are not taking part of the bread and wine, because you are unsure of your relationship that is fine too. But we would encourage you to keep seeking a relationship with Jesus because it is worth it.