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The Purpose, Function, and Method of the Lord’s Supper - What Is the Meaning of the Lord’s Supper?

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The purpose, function, and method of the Lord’s Supper:

What is the Meaning of the Lord’s Supper?

Angelene Larsen

RLGN 301-D01

August 12, 2017

The notion that the Bible is full of many contradictions which as Christians in the Western culture in the regards of who Jesus was and how his life we read in the Bible. One example is the doctrine of “The purpose, function, and method of the Lord’s Supper.” For Christian is the meaning of the Lord’s Supper is that Jesus knew he was to die and wanted to have the last meal with his disciples to say goodbye. As Christians they do Eucharist in Church so they are close to Jesus as they take the bread and wine in remembrance of who Jesus was.

The Lord’s Supper is the last meal that Jesus ate with His disciples before He was betrayed and was arrested. In Luke 22:19-20 which says, “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.”[1] This is the sacrifice that Jesus did for us so that we can be forgiven and know that God is always with us. There are many people that do not understand what the Lord’s Supper really means, so they want to show non-believers that the Lord’s Supper or some others say the Last Supper is important and that we as Christian’s need to remember it.

There are different ways that people do the Lord’s Supper or most call it Eucharist, since most do it in the church or in someone home. Most priest or rectors say the same things when they are doing the Eucharist. According to John Burkhart, “Table blessings, whether in public or private with or without benefit of clergy, are the true creeds of our common life.”[2] What this statement means is that whenever we do the blessing of the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper it does not matter where we do it but to know that we are doing it for the Lord our God and the remembrance of what Jesus and what HE sacrificed for us.

There are many methods of doing the Lord’s Supper that was done back in the centuries that most people forget. The reason for this, is that non-believers do not understand why we do it. So, non-believers need to be shown what it really means to celebrate Jesus as He was and to know that He did not die in vain but died for our sins, with the bread and wine it is who He is and that He shared His body and blood for us to be closer to Him. Each time we do Eucharist we need to remember why we are doing it and it is not for solace but for comfort of knowing that we are taking the body and blood of Christ into us, so that we are close to Him. According to Elizabeth Hurth, “to love and obey Jesus Christ for what he is, and what he had done for us.”[3]  With the Lord’s Supper some people wonder why Jesus had the supper the day before Passover, while others believed HE had it that very night. But some historical findings say that Jesus knew something was to happen and He decided to have supper that evening. According to Joel Marcus Jesus says, “may have modeled his last meal on the feast of deliverance he did not think he would live to celebrate.”[4] Jesus was being the sacrifice for our sins, he knew that He must die so that we as Christians could forgive for our sins. According to Stephen Platten, “Sacrifice may be seen broadly in either a strong or weak sense.”[5] Non-believers see were Platten is coming from, but we as Christians were not there when Jesus died on the cross or how he felt when he sacrificed for us so we can be forgiven and able to go to his new kingdom when the time came. Also, with the meaning behind sacrifice it is known as a theological gravitas as thanksgiving and memorial. Most religions believe that Christ sacrifice himself for us, while others the non-believers say that Christ is not a real person just as God is not a real person. Some evidence show that Christ was real and that archeologist believe that there are artifacts showing were Jesus had taken the disciples to have the last dinner on or before the Passover.

The Lord’s Supper is a celebration is about the eucharistic gift which comes from the action of Christ who did the supper and then died on the cross for our sins. According to David Power, “and testifies to the union with him through the Sprit in his relation to God and in his risen life.”[6] To understand this Jesus shows us that when he died on the Cross, then rose on the third day He then went into heaven to take the right seat of his father God so that we as Christians can see the union and the know that the Spirit of him will always be with us. But before we can understand this both Christians and non-believers need to look at all the facts of what the real meaning behind the Lord’s Supper which some non-believers do not celebrate his life here on earth and be close to him when we die. Most Christians know that the Lord’s Supper by looking in the Bible or the painting of Leonardo De Vinci, and how he portrays what Jesus was like and how the disciples were there, followed by some seeing that Mary Madelene was there also, but some say she was not because of the fact she was a woman. Some historians have said that Jesus and Mary were married and others say they were not. It is hard to know because we were not there but that we need to consider the bible which, some of the stories were kept out because it was not showing how divine Jesus was. The death of Christ is a tremendous gift to us, the reason is that it is precious and a gift of great value. It is a gift that involves a personal sacrifice for us and how we should receive it. Christians should receive the gift of great gratitude and great love for what Christ did on the cross for us. Christians need to rejoice that Jesus concurred death and has set free all who were enslaved by the fear of death. Christians also need to remember Jesus death with the knowledge that he has triumphed over sin and death. Also, Jesus did predict our morning would turn to joy and the coming to the Lord’s table to have communion to celebrate and not to hold a funeral. In the New Testament, we share many things with Jesus in several ways such as his crucifixion, death, resurrection, and life. Christians need to remember that our lived are with him and in him. We need to see that the Lord’s Supper is a picture of spiritual reality. Christians need to see that reality and not ignore it because Christ and what he did for us.

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