What Is Holy Communion according to the Bible?
Holy Communion is the “Lord’s Supper.”
The term Holy Communion was derived from 1 Corinthians 11:20. It shows that it is the Lord who establishes this supper. It is also called “the Lord’s table” (1 Cor 10:21) and the “breaking of bread” (Acts 2:42).
The Bible also records of breaking bread on other occasions (Acts 27:35; Lk 24:30), these may also refer to the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7). After Pentecost, the church was founded. Believers were determined to obey the teachings of the disciples. They must have broken bread to commemorate the death of Jesus.
The sacrament is now called “the Holy Communion.” “Supper” means that it is to be held in the afternoon or evening.
Where are the Biblical references to support the institution of the Lord’s Supper?
- There are four important references:
1) Mt 26:26-29;
2) Mk 14:22-25;
3) Lk 22:19-20;
4) 1 Cor 11:23-25.
These passages record the institution of the Holy Communion by the Lord on the night of His betrayal. The words “covenant” or “new covenant” were mentioned to depict that the Lord’s Supper is the beginning of God’s new covenant with men.
What is Holy Communion if there is any significance to it? Are there other references which point to it?
John 6:52-58 records Jesus’ promise and prophecy before He established the Holy Communion.
He said, “My flesh is real food and my blood real drink.” The disciples did not know what He was referring to until His words were fulfilled on the night He was betrayed.
How was the Holy Communion established?
Holy Communion was established with the Lord’s bread and the Lord’s cup (1 Cor 11:27).
Specifically, it was established with unleavened bread and one cup of grape juice (Mt 26:29).
How did the Lord establish the Holy Communion?
“Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave to His disciples saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mt 26:26-28).
By this, the Lord referred to the bread and the cup as His body and His blood – and established the Holy Communion.
What are the similarities and differences between the Lord’s Supper and the Passover?
Despite their significant similarities;
- The Passover is of the old covenant while the Lord’s Supper signifies the new covenant. The lamb slain at Passover was a type of Jesus.
- In the Lord’s Supper, God’s true lamb is given for us. We may eat His flesh and drink His blood. “Christ has been sacrificed.” (1 Cor 5:7).
He appeared once for all at the end of the ages, to do away with sin by sacrificing Himself (Heb 9:26, 28; 10:12, 14).
It no longer resembled the old covenant, where yearly sacrifices had to be made (Ex 12:5-6; 27).
“And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” (Heb 10:18).
Hence, “What is Holy Communion?”. It is a Sacrament instituted by the Lord.
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