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Rituals
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Some years ago popular singer Bruce Springsteen said, when asked about his marriage to Patti Scialfa, “I' m now a believer in all the rituals and things. I think they're really valuable. And I know that getting married deepened our relationship. For a long time, I didn't put a lot of faith in those things, but I've come to feel that they are important. Like, I miss going to church.” Rituals are important. The Lord’s Supper is a ritual for Christians, introduced in the New Testament by Jesus, at the time of the Jewish Passover Feast.

1. What did the Passover commemorate? Exodus 13:14

“In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’”

2. What greater deliverance did Jesus achieve? Colossians 1:13-14

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Paul says, “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

3. Why did Jesus say Christians should observe the Lord's Supper? Luke 22:19

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’”

4. What do the bread and “cup” of the communion supper represent? Matthew 26:26-28

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’  Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

When Jesus said, "This is my body," "This is my blood," He was speaking figuratively, just as He was when He declared, “I am the door," "I am the true vine," "I am the bread of life," etc. The bread and the “fruit of the vine” symbolise Jesus’ death for our sins, and remind us that we are as dependent upon Him spiritually as we are upon food and drink physically.

5. The disciples often argued about who was the greatest among them (Luke 9:46-48; 22:24-27). In introducing the Communion service, what example did Jesus give of true greatness?” John 13:1-17

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  … ‘Do you understand what I have done for you? … Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.’”

6. When did Jesus say He would celebrate this meal again? Matthew 26:29

“I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Paul says whenever we celebrate the communion service we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26). John calls this event “the wedding supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:6-9)

The Passover pointed back to deliverance from Egyptian bondage. But it also pointed forward to the greater deliverance from sin. So the Lord’s Supper points back to Jesus’ death for our sins and forward to the Second Coming when we will feast with Him in the kingdom of glory. All who continue to have faith in Jesus now are guaranteed a seat at that feast then.
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Bible Discovery by Errol Webster. Reprinted with permission by SIGNS. Biblebay © 2001-2014, Westlake Village, CA.