| THE LORDS SUPPER, like so many
essential points of the original true doctrine, has fallen into the mire of erroneous
Jude exhorts us "that ye should contend earnestly for the faith which
was once delivered to the saints."
Today different church denominations take this sacred
ordinance different ways. One church claims the bread and wine literally is transferred
into the actual body and blood of Christ. Some churches take this "supper" every
Sunday MORNING. Some take it once a month, in the morning. Others take
it four limes a year; and at night.
Truly "all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to
his own way." (Isa. 53:6.)
There is but one way to get back to the plain TRUTH once
delivered to the saints, and that is to shelve our assumptions and traditions, and then
with open mind, diligently "search the Scriptures," the only true record of what
was once delivered.
The First Lords Supper
Let us examine the passage showing the first institution of
Notice, in Luke 22:14, "And when the hour was come,
Jesus sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. . . And He took bread, and gave thanks,
and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this
do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the
new testament in my blood, which is shed for you? (Verses 19-20.)
Notice, it was "when the hour was come," that Jesus first
introduced the bread and the wine. There was a DEFINITE TIMEa
definite hourwhen He held this supper, setting us an example.
Notice, too, He commanded them to observe it "THIS DO!"
And why? "In remembrance of me," Jesus said. It was, then, a MEMORIALin
memory of His death. He instituted it on this tragic night, the very eve of His death.
In Matthews account, we read "And as they were eating, Jesus took
bread." (Mat. 26:26.) It was "as they were eating" that He took bread and
introduced this solemn ordinance we call the Lords Supper. Eating what? Eating THE
PASSOVER! (Verse 17, and Luke 22:15.)
Notice Matthew 26:2. "Ye know that after two days is the feast
of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."
Jesus knew His time had come. He was our Passover, sacrificed for us. (I Cor.
"Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came
to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the
passover?" (Mat. 26:17.)
After sundown (the days began at sundown) Jesus sat down with His twelve
disciples in an upper room. (Mat. 26:20; Mark 14:15.)
And as they were eating the passover supper (Mat. 26:26), "Jesus took
bread, and blessed it, and gave it to the disciples. and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye, all, of it;
for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of
So we see it was the night of the final and last passover supper that Jesus
introduced the Lords Supper. To thoroughly understand the connection between the
Lords Supper of the New Testament, and the Passover of the Old, let us make a quick
examination of the passover.
The Ordinance Under the Old Covenant
The original passover marked the exodus of the children of
Israel out of Egypt. God had been pouring out the plagues upon Egypt, to induce Pharaoh to
let the Israelites go. You will find it recorded in the 12th chapter of Exodus.
On the 10th day of the first month (the Hebrew, or sacred year, began with
the new moon in the Spring, near the equinox, not midwinter), they were told to take a
young lamb without spot or blemish, a type of Christ, the Lamb of God. This lamb was to be
kept until the 14th day of the first month, Abib, when they were to kill it "in the
evening" at dusk (verse 6).
As soon as it was killed, the blood was to be sprinkled over the door-posts
of their houses. The lamb was to be roasted, and eaten in haste. At midnight that night
the angel of the Lord passed thru the land, striking dead all the first-born of the land.
But "when I see the blood, I will pass over you," the Lord told the
Israelites. Many Jews today are beginning to see that it was the BLOOD
that saved them.
For seven days they ate only unleavened bread. The 14th of the first month,
Abib, was the Passover, and the 15th was a feast day, or annual holyday (verses 15, 16,
and Num. 28:16, 17). The 15th was the first of seven days of unleavened bread, and the
seventh of these, or the 21st of Abib, was also a holy feast day, or annual Sabbath,
called a "high day" even still today by the Jews.
Year after year Israel continued to observe the Passover. The eating of the
lamb symbolized the acceptance of the broken body and spilled blood of Christ, showing
their faith, looking forward, that He would come.
Instituted an Ordinance Forever
Now notice Exodus 12:17, 24. The Passover was
instituted an ordinance FOREVER. Some will say circumcision was
not done away, but was changed today it is the HEART (Rom. 2:29).
In both cases God meant FOREVER, and so, as we have seen, at the last
passover supper Jesus CHANGED the manner of observance of this ordinance.
No longer do we kill a lamb and eat it, since the Lamb of God has been sacrificed once for
all. Instead, we take the bread, symbolizing His broken body, and the wine, symbolizing
His shed blood, as a memorial, looking back.
How Often Observed?
Now notice Exodus 13:10, speaking of the days of unleavened
bread. "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to
year? The time is once a year, at night, after the sun has set in the beginning of
the 14th of Abib.
Jesus set us an example (I Pet. 2:21), observing it as this set time once a
year. (Luke 2:4 1.)
Suppose the Israelites in Egypt had observed this ordinance at some other
than this set time? They would not have been saved when the Lord passed by that night! God
does things ON TIME. He had given us an exact time for this ordinance.
Jesus instituted it "when the hour was come?
The Ordinance of Humility
In giving us the account of the instituting of the
Lords Supper ordinance, Matthew, Mark and Luke describe the taking of the bread and
wine. But John relates another part of this ordinance.
It is in the 13th chapter of John. Verse 1 shows the event is the
last Passover. And, the supper being ended (v. 2), Jesus took a towel (v. 4) and began
washing His disciples feet (v. 5).
"So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was
set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and
Lord, and ye say well; for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master have washed your
feet; ye also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have given you an EXAMPLE,
THAT YE SHOULD DO AS I HAVE DONE TO YOU? (Verse 12-15.)
Many today do not want to humiliate themselves by washing the feet of their
church brethren. Some argue that Jesus commanded only the disciples to wash one
anothers feet. But they will admit it was a COMMAND to them. Very
well; turn to Matthew 28:19, 20:
"Go ye therefore; He said to these same disciples, "and teach
all nations, baptizing them, . . . teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded YOU." So they were to teach US to observe ALL things WHATSOEVER
He commanded them. Surely God is no respecter of persons!
Kept Once a Year in the Apostolic Church
Now notice I Cor. 5:7, 8: "Christ our passover, is
sacrificed for us! Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven. . . but with
the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Paul gives directions regarding the Lords Supper in the 11th chapter of
I Corinthians. Some have misunderstood verse 26, which says: "As often as ye eat this
bread and drink this cup; and interpret it to say "take it as often as you
please? But it does not say that!
It says "as often" as we observe it, "ye do show the LORDS
DEATH till He come." And Jesus commanded, "this do ye, as oft as ye
drink it, in remembrance of me." (Verse 25.) We do it in remembrance of THE
LORDS DEATHa memorial of His death. And memorials of momentous
occasions always are observed annually, once a year, on the ANNIVERSARY
of the event they commemorate. That is the way we observe the 4th of July, Armistice Day,
Jesus instituted this New Testament ordinance ON THE EVE OF HIS DEATH.
It was the 14th Abib, Hebrew calendar. He was our Passover, sacrificed for usand He
was sacrificed on the same exact day of the year that the passover lambs always had been
slain! As the Old Testament passover commemorated Israels deliverance from Egypt, a
type of sin, so the New Testament Lords Suppera continuation of the passover
with different emblemscommemorates Jesus death, and our deliverance from sin.
Immediately after that last Supper, Jesus and His disciples went out to Gethsemane, where,
later that night, Judas Iscariot led the bloodthirsty mob who seized Jesus, and led him
away to be crucified during the daylight part of the same 14th day of the month.
Jesus set us an example, and by following His example and observing this
sacred ordinance at the same time He didthe same time the passover always was
observed, commanded to continue FOREVERwe do continue to remember
His death, annually, on the very anniversary of His crucifixion. It is the most solemn and
sacred occasion of the yearespecially when observed at this correct scriptural hour!
Notice verses 27, 29, in I Cor. 11. This is not speaking about a Christian
being worthy or unworthy to take it. It is speaking of the MANNER in
which we do it. To take of it UNWORTHILY is to take it in a wrong manner.
Had the ancient Israelites in Egypt observed the first passover at any time except the
exact time appointed by God, they would have done it unworthily, and suffered the plague.
Surely if we, once we see and know the truth, partake of this most sacred ordinance at any
other time than that set apart in the Scripture, we would do it unworthily, and to our
damnation. To take the bread and wine while not truly accepting the body and blood of
Christ with the whole heart would be taking it unworthily and to ones damnation. Let
us observe it WORTHILY!
Example of the First Century Church
The first century church of God, under the original
apostles, continued to observe this solemn ordinance once a year at the set time.
The days of unleavened bread were still being observed. Notice Acts 20:6,
"And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread."
That was in 59 A.D.
Then notice Acts 12:3. The Holy Spirit inspired these words, to tell us the
time of year: "Then were the days of unleavened bread? That could not have been
written had these days been done away and kept only by Christ-rejecting Jews.
In the mouth of two or three witnesses is a thing established. Notice a third
text, Acts 12:4. The word "Easter" is a mistranslation. The Greek word is
"Pascha," meaning PASSOVER. It is exactly the same word used
for "passover" in Mat. 26:2, 17, 18, 19. Many other translations faithfully
render this "passover" in this text, as it should be. So this text is,
"intending after the PASSOVER to bring him forth to the
people? This was more than ten years after the New Testament church had been
The Meaning of "Break Bread"
Some churches turn to Act 20:7"and upon the first
day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread: To them this says
take the Lords Supper every Sunday morning.
Let us examine this. Notice verse 6. This was just AFTER the
days of unleavened bread, when the Lords supper had been taken. Paul was holding a
farewell meeting at Troas, ready to depart at sunrise. When was Paul preaching? It was not
Sunday morning, hut what would now be called Saturday night. It was between sunset, when
the first day of the week commenced, and midnight (v. 7) and there were many lights
burning (v. 8). But it was after midnight before they broke bread, when they were all
getting hungry. Notice carefully, it is in the 11th verse. "And had broken bread
and EATEN." This bread-breaking was not the Lords Supper,
but eating a plain meal.
"Break bread" does not necessarily refer to the Lords Supper,
as some have carelessly assumed. In fact, this term is NEVER used to
designate the Lords Supper in the New Testament. Notice Acts 27:34, 35:
"Wherefore, I pray you, take some MEAT he took bread,. . .
and when he had broken it, HE BEGAN TO EAT."
Notice Acts 2:46: "and breaking bread from house to
house, did EAT THEIR MEAT with gladness." Here they were breaking
bread daily. eating meat, and Paul says if we eat to satisfy hunger at the
Lords Supper, we do it to our condemnation. (I Cor. 11:34)
Then notice Mat. 26:26 Jesus said He would not again take the Lords
Supper until after His second coming, in His Kingdom. Yet, later, as He sat "AT
MEAT," eating a meal, He broke bread and blessed it. (Luke 24:30.)
They then used a kind of bread such as is used in many European countries
today, and instead of slicing, they broke it. "Break bread" was a common term to
indicate eating a meal.
Let us return to the faith once delivered. Let us humbly and obediently
observe this solemn, sacred ordinance as we are commanded, and at the time set apart in
the Bible, after sundown on the 14th of Abib, or Nisan, sacred Hebrew calendar.
This date, 14th Abib, is calculated by the moon. The first day of the new
year always begins with the day nearest the Spring equinox when the new moon is first
visible to the naked eye AT JERUSALEM (not in the United States). The
Jewish calendar as used by Jews today is correct. But it must be remembered that "in
the 14th day of the first month at even is the Passover, and in the 15th day of the same
month is the FEAST?