Written on May 20th, 2005 - 3:43AM Last Updated: April 24th, 2006 - 5:26PM
The Lord's Supper is, among other things, a sacrifice. Perhaps not in the way we would expect, however.
Knowing that Christ's real Body and Blood are present at the thanksgiving blessing, as both Christ and the apostle Paul show (Matthew 26:26-28)(1 Corinthians 10:16), we see an awesome event taking place. The Son of God is freely giving Himself, entirely, to those at His Table—He is sacrificing Himself by placing Himself in the remembrance being celebrated at His Supper. In this way, the Supper is a sacrifice; for what more can one give of himself than his very flesh and blood?
The apostle relates this truth to the Corinthian Assembly when he chastises them for eating at the table of demons. Even though the idols are nothing (1 Corinthians 10:19), the spirits involved in the pagan sacrifices of their day were real and present at the sacrifices. Those eating of the sacrifices had communion with their demons, for the things the Gentiles were sacrificing were sacrificed unto demons, and not unto God (1 Corinthians 10:20).
He compares this to the Table of the Lord, which gives God's people communion with the Lord. The sacrifices of Israel correspond to the breaking of the bread and the blessing of the cup (1 Corinthians 10:16-18); they are to be chosen over the sacrifices of the Gentiles, which are unto demons and not Yahweh.
Those involved in sacrificing under the Law of Moses, through the Levitical priesthood, had communion with the altar of sacrifice, which was unto Yahweh (1 Corinthians 10:18). Those eating the sacrifice had a common sharing with the altar and its Deity.
Paul uses this concept to explain Communion for the New Covenant people. Just as Israel communed with the altar through their sacrifices, so does the Assembly commune with God through the Lord's Supper. Being a sacrifice—as the Lord Jesus entirely gives Himself to us through the Supper—we are taken into the presence of God as were the Israelis of old. The sacrifice is the nexus between us and Yahweh. For the Son of God to make Himself so vulnerable, then—to be eaten and drunk by His people—is the height of any sacrifice; it is the complete giving of Himself to us.
The Son of God is our nourishment; our spiritual Manna and our spiritual Drink. But He is much more than the physical nourishment that Israel ate in the wilderness. Consuming Him brings ageless life.
47Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." (John 6:47-51)
One Bread, One Body
In addition, the glory of this sacrifice is that it is not just of Jesus, but of us as well.
Because there is one loaf of bread, we, who are many, are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf of bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17)
HalleluYah, what an amazing truth! We are present in the Bread that has been blessed, just as Christ Himself is. We give ourselves upon the Table, just as God's Son does. We give ourselves as a common sharing with all those at the Table. As we eat, we receive Jesus' Body, which includes His many Members, the children of the Kingdom. It is a glorious communion indeed, the unifying of all Yahweh's people through His beloved Son.
The Lord's Supper is a sacrifice in the truest sense, as in it not only does the Lord Jesus give Himself to us, but we give ourselves to each other. We present our bodies, living sacrifices, unto the Father (Romans 12:1), and unto each other (Hebrews 13:16). All this is possible because Christ gave of Himself in His remembrance.
Teaching through Doing
In addition to the truth of Christ giving Himself literally to us in His Supper, so does He give us an example to follow.
The night on which He was betrayed, He yet chose to do the will of His Father. He did not allow the Devil to tempt Him to use His Deity to escape capture, but walked the path God had set before Him. He, having been given these people by His Father, loved them unto the end (John 13:1). He washed their feet, even those of the one who He knew would betray Him unto death. He served as He had been born to do.
This life, of complete love of obedience to the Father, was put into His remembrance. "Do this in remembrance of Me." Beyond the eating of the Bread and drinking of the Cup, they would see through to the Heart of Jesus as He gave them that remembrance. They would see His love, His devotion to Yahweh, and imitate Him.
The whole of Jesus' life was sacrifice—it was the laying down of His own will for the taking up of His Father's. As He lost His life for His Father's sake, so did He gain. And as we lose our life for His sake, so will we gain it (Matthew 10:39)! Through sacrifice comes life.
Yahweh mocks Satan by using what he has used to corrupt His plan (death, suffering and pain) to bring His people back to His first intention: Life! Satan is beaten through death, through sacrifice.
And here in the Lord's Supper, we have the perfect sacrifice before us—God's Son willingly giving Himself, utterly and completely, unto His Father and unto the loves that He loved. It is this in which we share, through the Supper, and this we imitate through our lives.
The Lord's Supper is the physical expression of the spiritual truth: that JesusChrist Himself is Life (John 14:6), and our trust in Him gains us His Life (John 20:30-31). The physical counterpart to this is that we might physically receive Him, Body and Blood, into our persons, through Communion.
His sacrifice, giving His flesh for the life of the world, is two-fold: His Body broken paid the price of our sin debt (1 Peter 2:24). By God's grace, He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). In addition, He gives us that same Body, that same flesh, in His Supper. We may participate physically in the spiritual truth of Him being our Life (John 6:53-56).
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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30It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. 31Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. (Luke 24:30-31)