You and I are forgetful people. We need to be reminded of what is important, right, and significant in our lives. The Devil wants you to be distracted from the important. He wants you to forget your new values, your new love, your new life, and your new relationship in Christ with the Heavenly Father. He wants your heart and mind to be preoccupied with other interest rather than your interest in Jesus. He wants you to be unfocused and inattentive to what God has done for you and in you.
The Devil wants you to forget about how much God loves you. The devil wants you to stop thinking about how much you need a close relationship with Jesus, forget that Jesus redeemed you from sin, overlook your covenant relationship with God, ignore your unity around Jesus with other believers, disregard the idea that Jesus is going to return some day, and forget how worthy the Lord is of all your praise.
He wants you to forget all that. However, every one of these subjects is covered in the Lord’s Supper. Jesus wants His followers to remember these things every time they observe the Lord’s Supper. When Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” He is letting us know there are some things we should not forget but keep at the forefront of our mind. These things are significant to your spiritual growth and development as a follower of Jesus.
As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many. 25 I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.” 26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. (Mark 14:22-26, NLT)
Jesus takes the Passover meal which symbolized what God had done for the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians and upgrades it. It all pointed to Jesus and Jesus repurposes the Passover and uses some of the elements to help His disciples to remember some key truths about Him and their relationship with Him as His followers. This has come to be known as Communion, the Lord’s Supper, and the Lord’s Table. Since this is the Lord’s Supper and we are to use it to remember Him then there are six significant things you need to remember from it, and they all deal with the Lord.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the first three. Let’s review and then look at the last three.
The Lord’s Nourishment
The first deals with the Lord’s nourishment. Your relationship with Jesus is to be your spiritual nourishment. Your relationship with Him and His Word is what your soul and heart should feed on and grow by. Mark says in verse 22, As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.”
There is something significant going on here that we cannot see, but let’s see if we can see it. Remember, this is the Passover Meal and the bread they used was a special kind of bread prepared in a special kind of way. When the loaf was finished it would be a solid loaf of bread that had been striped (like with cuts on it), it was also pierced in the preparation process, and cooked or burned in such a way that it would appear bruised. Jesus holds this piece of bread up in front of His disciples – this bread that has strips on it, been pierced, and has the appearance of being bruised and says, This is my body.
Now listen to Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded [pierced] for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (NKJV). Jesus held up a loaf of bread that perfectly symbolized what was about to happen to Him and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Then Jesus says, Take it, for this is my body. Jesus takes this bread which symbolizes His body and what He is about to go through for the disciples and all those who would follow Him later, including us today, and saying, “My life, my body, my piercing, my stripes, and my wounds are for you. I want you to take it, I want you to receive it and let it nourish your heart, your soul, your mind and receive all the benefits that come from my life.” Just as this bread that was pierced, striped, and bruised nourishes our physical bodies, so the physical sacrifice of Jesus who was pierced, striped, and bruised nourishes our spiritual bodies. Receive Him, take Him, accept Him.
The bread represents all the suffering Jesus would go through on your behalf. Because of His suffering you gain access, by faith, to all that He purchased on the cross. He becomes the nourishment for your soul.
The Lord’s Redemption
Not only does the Lord’s Supper remind us of the Lord’s nourishment, but it also reminds us of the Lord’s redemption. Mark then says in verse 23, And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. This particular cup was called the cup of redemption. During the Passover it represented God delivering the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Jesus takes this cup and repurposes it to refer to the redemption of God’s people from sin. The cup of wine represented the Lord’s blood and the redemption of our souls. He bought your freedom from the slavery of sin.
The Lord’s Covenant
The third thing we see is the Lord’s covenant. Mark says in verse 24, And he said to them, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.”
A covenant has profound implications. In the Bible, a covenant is the most solemn, binding, intimate contract known. It was never entered into lightly. A covenant is a deep promise between people to perform certain actions.
In the Old Testament, here is how people would make a covenant. They would sacrifice an animal, cut the animal in half and place one part on the left and the other on the right so the halves are opposite one another. The two people would then walk between the two halves. This was called the walk of death. This indicated their commitment to die before they were to break their covenant with one another. This was a blood covenant. This covenant was made before God and also indicated their desire for God to take their life if they broke this covenant. In essence, a covenant was a pledge to death. In covenant the shedding of blood demonstrated the intensity of the commitment. By entering this covenant, the people were bound for life.
In a covenant there was an agreement between the two people. Each one was responsible for something. In the Old Testament covenants with God, God promised to do certain things if the people obeyed Him and He also promised to do certain things if the people disobeyed Him. The people’s part of the covenant was a promise to obey Him and worship Him.
In the New Testament with the new covenant between God and His people the level of commitment that God is willing to invest in keeping His promises is seen in the shedding of the blood of His only Son, Jesus Christ. In this new covenant, God has promised to forgive the sins of those who enter into this covenant with Him by faith and give them all the benefits of being one of His adopted children.
When you observe the Lord’s Supper you are remembering the covenant you have with God. God promises to keep His part and you are promising to keep your part. You are reminded of this covenant relationship between the two of you.
The Lord’s Supper is about remembering the covenant God has made with you and confirmed by the blood of Jesus.
The Lord’s Unity
The fourth thing we see is the Lord’s unity. One of the purposes of the Lord’s Supper is to remind us that we are united around Jesus. This means we are connected and joined together because we all have the same Lord, same Savior, and same Spirit living within us.
You and I are different. Your spiritual gift is different than mine, your leadership style is different than mine, and your preferences are different than mine. Our unity is not in our music style, dress style, or gifting, but in Christ. When it comes to the body of Christ some of you are a hand, while others are a foot, and while others are an eye or a mouth. We are all needed, but we serve differently and have a different purpose. Some of you plant the seeds of the gospel and God’s Word, while some of you water those seeds. We all have the same mission and the same center, that is Jesus is the Lord of our life. We live for Him. We are followers of Him. Our unity is around Him, even though we are different.
We see this unity in verse 22 when Jesus took a solid piece of bread and said this is my body and then broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples…. When Jesus broke the bread He was not teaching that His body would be broken. Jesus had no broken bones through the crucifixion and none of His physical limbs were removed. What Jesus was indicating through this object lesson was the disciples all benefit from the same bread – the same source. Their spiritual nourishment and life comes from the same source… Him. It’s like Jesus is saying, “This bread represents Me and each of you are nourished and built up and unified because of Me and my sacrifice for you.”
We see the same object lesson in verse 23 when Mark tells us Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. Jesus took one large cup and thanked God for what it represented. He then passed that one cup around and each one drank from that one cup. That one cup represented His blood and the new covenant between God and His people. The image of them drinking from the same cup represented their unity around the blood of Jesus and the new covenant that Jesus brings. This covenant we have with God also includes other believers. As a follower of Jesus, you are not only in a covenant relationship with the Heavenly Father, but also with His family – other believers. We are unified around Him which means we are committed to Him and to His people.
One of the things that should happen when you take the Lord’s Supper is to remember that the other followers of Jesus in your life are on the same team. You are a part of the same family. You are all are a part of the body of Christ. Your oneness and unity is around Jesus.
The Lord’s Return
The fifth thing we see is the Lord’s return. The Lord’s Supper is to be taken until Jesus returns. This reminds you that Jesus will one day return to set up a new kingdom. The best is yet to come. In verse 25 Jesus says, I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus says, I tell you the truth…. When you see this phrase, you need to stop and give Jesus your undivided attention. He is giving special emphasis to what He is about to say next. He is saying listen up, pay attention. Don’t miss this.
He then says, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new in the Kingdom of God. When Jesus said, I will not drink wine again He is letting the disciples know that He would not drink the fourth cup of symbolic wine at the Passover Meal. The fourth cup of wine represented going to the promise land. Sometimes called the cup of consummation or the cup of praise. This was Jesus’ way of promising His disciples and us that He would return to establish the new Kingdom of God when He returns. Jesus is saying, “I will drink the next cup of consummation in the true promise land of my new kingdom.”
The Apostle Paul was teaching about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11 and said, “For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again” (1 Cor. 11:26, NLT). The Lord’s Supper should remind us that Jesus is coming back to take care of some unfinished business.
When you take the Lord’s Supper remember His death, what it was for, how much He demonstrated His love for you, remember that your source of spiritual life is Jesus, think about being redeemed from sin and the covenant you have with Him, and the unity you have with other believers because of your relationship with Jesus. Remember all these things, think about them, and let the truth of each one impact the way you talk, behave, and react. Let them influence your values, your purpose, and how you view this world and relationships. Do all this until Jesus returns. This is what the Lord’s Supper is about!
The Lord’s Praise
The sixth thing we see is the Lord’s praise. Jesus is worthy of your songs of praise for all He has done. Mark says in verse 26, Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. This tells me that Jesus sang. They all sang a hymn. A hymn is a song of praise to God. It focuses on the character and nature of God. It’s a song of adoration.
By the way, in Ephesians 5:19 we are told to sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (NLT). Singing a “psalm” is what we would think of as putting Scripture to music, a “spiritual song” is a song with a spiritual theme, and a “hymn” focuses on the character and praise of God.
We are told that after the Lord’s Supper they sang a hymn and left for the Mount of Olives. This is the only time in the Bible where it alludes to Jesus singing with the disciples. I wonder what Jesus sounded like when He sang? I wonder what He looked like when He was singing a song of praise?
The timing of these songs is interesting. Jesus was about to go be falsely arrested, beaten, rejected, falsely accused, mocked, spat on, tortured, hung on a cross to die, and all His disciples were about to fail Him. He knew all these horrible things were going to happen. Yet here we see Jesus singing a song of praise.
You know what this tells me? Everything does not have to be perfect or easy to praise God. Jesus is showing us that even when life is about to get tough and you know it, and people are about to fail you, and you know it you can and should still praise God for what He has done and for what He is about to do. This is called a sacrifice of praise.
The Lord’s praise is rooted not in circumstances of the moment but in the nature and trustworthiness of God. When life is getting tough, don’t focus on the problems and failures of others or the pain of the situation, but focus your attention on things above, the character and nature of God. He is loving, so praise Him. He is forgiving, so praise Him. He is faithful, so praise Him. He is gracious, so praise Him.
Next week we will observe the Lord’s Supper. Between now and then, think through these things the Lord wants you to remember.
The Lord’s Nourishment: Jesus wants you to remember the source of your spiritual life is Him. Are you spiritually feeding on His greatness? Are you growing spiritually? Are you remembering that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for you? Remember these things.
The Lord’s Redemption: As a follower of Jesus, do you have the mindset of someone who has been set free from sin? Are you remembering that Jesus delivered you from the kingdom of darkness and placed you into the kingdom of light? You are forgiven, pardoned, redeemed, born again, a new creation. Remember this.
The Lord’s Covenant: God and you have entered a covenant together. Don’t forget that God is a faithful and covenant God who keeps His promises to you. Remember that you are a part of this covenant and you have declared Him the Lord of your life. Remember this.
The Lord’s Unity: Jesus wants you to remember that you are not alone. You have brothers and sisters in Christ. You are part of the family of God. Your unity is around Jesus being your Lord. Remember this.
The Lord’s Return: Jesus wants you to keep at the forefront of your mind that He will return some day. Everything is moving toward that day. Keep your life in perspective of His return. Remember this.
The Lord’s Praise: Because of all these things, God is worthy of our praise. Remember that no matter what is happening around you, you have a great God inside of you who has saved you, redeemed you, loves you, and is coming back for you. He is a great God! Remember this.
Think about these things this week. Remember these things. When you come next week for the Lord’s Supper you will be ready to celebrate what Jesus has done for you!
 Historically, after the Passover Meal, people would sing songs found in Psalm 113-118. These psalms and songs were expressions of joy and gratitude for God’s redemption. What are some of the lyrics of this hymn. If they were singing Psalm 118, which they probably were it would have included verse 6 which says, “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? 7 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me” (NLT). Then in verse 24 they would have sang, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (NLT). This song ends in verse 29 saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever” (NLT).