In the New Testament, Jesus gave two visible symbols (called ordinances) to the church as reminders of His death, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. An important reminder is that neither of these ordinances have the power to save us, only our faith in Christ saves us.
What is The Lord’s Supper?
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (MEV) is the scripture reference that we look at for the answer.
23 I have received of the Lord that which I delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread. 24 When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take and eat. This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He took the cup after He had supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
1. It is a Simple Act
“…Lord Jesus, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread. When He had given thanks, He broke it” (vs 23-24)
The first Communin took place with Jesus and the disciples before He was crucified. At a simple dinner, celebrating Passover, on the night He was betrayed, Jesus took bread and broke it. There was no fancy ceremony. Jesus didn’t wear any fancy robes or perform any special rituals. He simply took the bread and wine, gave thanks, and gave it to those present with Him.
The Lord’s Supper is a very simple act. At Hydewood we don’t turn communion into a big show, but rather as Jesus did, we observe the elements, the bread and the juice, and give thanks through prayer.
2. It is a Symbol to remind us
“When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take and eat. This is My body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He took the cup after He had supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (vs 24-25)
The bread is a symbol for His body which was broken for us and the juice represents His blood that was shed for us. At Hydewood we do not believe in Transubstantiation, the belief that the bread and juice become physical flesh and blood of Christ. We believe, just as Jesus Himself demonstrated, that they are simply symbols used to remind us of what Jesus did on the cross for us. As we take the elements we do it “in remembrance of Him”.
3. It is a Statement of Faith
” As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (vs 26)
Like Baptism, when you take The Lord’s Supper you are making a statement. It is an action that tells everyone “I’ve put my faith and trust in Christ.” We reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross but we are also looking forward to His return to earth! Christ has risen and is coming back again!
Who Should take The Lord’s Supper?
1 Corinthians 11:27,29 (MEV)
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord… 29 For he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Only those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Communion should only be taken by Believers. If someone has not made the personal decision to accept what Jesus has done for them on the cross, not only are the symbols meaningless to them, but for them, taking The Lord’s Supper is a sin.
How do I Prepare for The Lord’s Supper?
1 Corinthians 11:28 (MEV)
28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
Scripture says to Examine yourself. We do this by confessing our sins and coming before God with anything that we need to seek forgiveness of before taking the elements.
How Often Should We Observe The Lord’s Supper?
The Bible does not say when or how often Communion should be taken. There are no specific instructions for this. Communion was originally observed in homes and with small groups before the church had grown into what it is today, and it was celebrated on many different occasions. At Hydewood, we celebrate Communion once a month as a way to celebrate the Life that Christ has given to us, and we encourage you to join us.
Additional Scripture References for The Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 1 Corinthians 11:23-30, Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-20
If you have any questions please reach out to Pastor Joshua via email at Joshua@hydewood.org