Lay it to Heart

The Lord's Supper

1 Corinthians 11:
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

The Bread Should Be Broken

Jesus' body was broken. Shouldn't the bread be, too? When Jesus took the bread, he broke it. The Bible says Jesus brake the bread and said, "this is my body" in Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19. Luke 22:19 also adds, "this do in remembrance of me." If you are not breaking it are you really accurately remembering his sacrifice? Jesus' body was broken not cut. If the church will not remember correctly how does it expect the world to do so? Which bread are you using? The bread on the left is not broken. The bread on the right is.

Unleavened bread cut before cooking but not actually broken
This might be unleavened but it is not broken. It was cut before it was baked.
Unleavened bread broken after baking
This is unleavened and broken. Jesus was without sin and his body was broken for us.

The Bread Should Be Unleavened

God commanded us in Exodus 12:8, "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it." The Last Supper was a passover supper. Jesus and his apostles celebrated with unleavened bread. We are told to do the same. But people are not content with the original message finding a need to embellish it and in so doing pollute the message. It happens in wall art or posters, church bulletins, religious organization web sites, blogs, secular book retailers such as Amazon and more. I am not saying these organizations are bad, but these aspects of what they are doing are unscriptural. If it is wrong to use leavened or risen bread, it is wrong to show the Lord's Supper with leavened bread as well. Some breads used for the Lord's Supper have baking soda. This is just a substitute for leaven. Leaven represents sin. Would artificial leaven represent artificial sin? So what is the difference?

The Meal Should Be Real

In the past, the churches I have been a member of have celebrated the Lord's Supper with pieces that were small to very small as shown on the left above. I have never been served a portion of anything in a meal that small. Even samples I have been given at the grocery store are ten times larger. The Lord's Supper is a fulfillment of the passover supper which was a full meal, not just a bite. Exodus 12:10 required it to be completely consumed that night with none left until morning. It should be called the Lord's Supper not the Lord's Snack. These pieces of bread are unrealistic and would not actually be served anyone in real life.

Deacons Must Be Willing to Serve

Acts 6
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

A deacon told me the reason his church used prepackaged Lord's Supper bread and juice was because it was too much work for the deacons to prepare otherwise. Instead, they use individually prepackaged elements. The reason the deacons were brought in the church was to be servants at the tables. Today we have servants who don't serve. This is an oxymoron. As the priests did in Malachi 1:7 they offer polluted bread upon God's altar. As Malachi 1:13 says it is a weariness to them. If they are too lazy or unscriptural to bother with the Lord's Supper they should not be deacons and the pastor should be reprimanded. What kind of portions did they have at the Lord's supper anyway? Did Jesus serve one of those tokens shown in the left picture? Did he serve something more appropriate for the passover? The apostles were not having a taste test but they weren't trying to get drunk, either. The hidden message I see today is that it is too much time and trouble to remember the last supper as it was or with the same elements. Is convenience more important?

Token glass of juice used when deacons don't have time to really serve
The cup above is smaller than any regular serving at a meal, a small water cooler cup, a free sample and even a shot glass.
Realistic meal sized portion
The glass above shows a serving of juice for a meal. For wine, it would be excessive. Wouldn't somewhere in the middle be best?

Pastors Should Tell the Truth About Wine

Was the wine really wine or was it grape juice? Many preachers teach it is wrong to drink alcohol altogether. Some churches will not allow anyone to join as a member if they drink alcohol. What did Jesus Christ do? Consider wine in Jesus' time. While yeast may be added to wine to accelerate fermentation, grapes will naturally ferment by themselves. Grapes in the northern hemisphere are harvested from August to October. In God's calendar, the first month starts on the visible new moon following the spring equinox. See more on God's new year. Passover will then come in April or May. If it is a sin to drink alcoholic wine then Jesus would be a sinner because he drank real wine. The Pharisees would not have accused him for drinking juice.

Grape Aging
Month 1 October to November
Month 2 November to December
Month 3 December to January
Month 4 January to February
Month 5 February to March
Month 6 March to April

If grapes were harvested in August or September and passover came in May it would have more time to age. Grape juice will ferment at least six months before passover. One deacon from the past thought the Jews kept it in their wine cellars. Does that sound reasonable to you? God's people could not keep the grape juice from naturally fermenting. The English word "wine" means something that is fermented. Now when we come together to eat the Lord's Supper today we are celebrating the passover through Jesus Christ who gave himself on the cross. We remember or show his death until he returns to earth. While celebrating the Lord's Supper the grape juice would be from one day to one year old or even older. Would Jesus work a miracle to unferment his wine and then demand that everybody else also work a miracle to unferment theirs? If it were wrong to drink fermented wine or grape juice, the only people who would be able to participate in the passover or Lord's supper in Jesus' day would be those who celebrated shortly after the harvest or those who could work miracles to unferment the wine. 1 Corinthians 10:13 helps us understand that, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Jesus always expects our obedience but never demands a miracle. To teach that wine in the New Testament was always necessarily unfermented grape juice is absurd. Some teachers have suggested that the water supply was bad in Jesus's day so they used to add wine to the water to make it safer and that's why they had wine. It does not make sense. Isaiah 1:21-23 speaks of bad things in Israel, "How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them." Here we see water and wine are a bad thing. It appears people just need an excuse to try to explain things away. Now if you're so inclined to believe the wine is grape juice, we can just go ahead and change the word "wine" into "grape juice", after all, that's what you think it is. We'll make the new Grapejuice International Version (GIV) Bible. Here's a couple for the road:

Luke 5:39
No man also having drunk old grape juice straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Luke 7:34
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a grape juice bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!

Acts 2:13-15
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new grape juice.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

Romans 14:21
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink grape juice, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with grape juice, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

1 Timothy 3:2-3
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to grape juice, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:8
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much grape juice, not greedy of filthy lucre;

Titus 1:7
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to grape juice, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Titus 2:3
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much grape juice, teachers of good things;

1 Peter 4:3
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of grape juice, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

Do it God's Way not Your Own

It's not just that you celebrate the supper, it's that you celebrate it God's way. Believers will say the point is just that we honor Christ, that we remember his death or some other line. Some pretend that God's commandments are not clear. Why are his promises so clear when his commandments are not? This is not acceptable to God. In Genesis chapter 4 Cain and Abel brought their sacrifices to God. Cain did it his way and Abel did it God's way. God only accepted Abel. In Numbers 20:7-13 God told Moses to speak to a rock in order to bring forth water. Instead, Moses struck the rock twice. Moses did his way and not God's. As a result Moses did not bring Israel into the promised land. Leviticus 10 explains about Nadab and Abihu who offered incenses their way and not God's. They were destroyed by fire. 1 Samuel 15 records how King Saul dealt with Amalek according to his plans but not God's. In 1 Samuel 15:22-23 we are told, "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." We must do it God's way.

What Should You Do?

  1. Use unleavened bread that is actually broken.
  2. Serve real size portions.
  3. Stop using pictures that shows the wrong thing.
  4. Teach the truth about wine in the Bible.

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