The Lord’s Supper
The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper ( 1 Corinthians 11:20 ), is called also “the Lord’s table” (1 Corinthians 10:21), “communion,” “cup of blessing” (1 Corinthians 10:16), and “breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42). Jesus and His disciples observed this ordinance in the upper room at Jerusalem (Luke 22:13, 14). At the very time, Jesus was giving instructions for the memorial ordinance of His death to be observed, the wicked religious leaders were plotting to kill him.
The Lord’s Supper, which succeeded the Passover memorial of deliverance from Egypt, was given, not as a sacrifice, but to remind the believer of what has been done for him by the great sacrifice made by the Son of God (Hebrews 9:25–28; 10:3–12, 14).
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of thanksgiving. The spiritual significance of the act of partaking of Lord’s Supper must be studied from the background of man’s original state of perfection, his fall, and his redemption by God through Christ.
How Often Should Christians Partake of the Lord’s Supper?
The apostle Paul wrote the believers in Corinth, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:26). The early Christians customarily preceded the Lord’s Supper by what they called a love feast, or agapē. Thus, the entire proceeding formed a commemoration of the last Passover feast, at which Christ instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:17–21, 26–28; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26).
The love feast was a meal to which each member made a contribution of food that was enjoyed in common with all the other believers. This custom continued in the church to the end of the 4th century, when, on account of the growth of the church and the increased size of the congregations, it was found necessary to separate the love feasts from the Lord’s Supper.
The time and frequency for the observance of the Lord’s Supper is left to the choice of the believers. It is natural to think that those who love the Lord, and are conscious of their great need of Him at all times, will be glad to partake in the ordinance often for there is a great spiritual blessing to those that participate (Matthew 18:20).
By taking part in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, Christians proclaim to the world their faith in the atoning work of Christ and in His second coming. The Savior’s words: “when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29), encourage His followers to look forward through trial and hardship to the glorious day when He will return to take His people away from this world of sin to the abode of everlasting happiness and peace.
In His service,