Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 26:26-30

"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." -Matthew 26:26-30

To whom are these commands spoken?

Jesus is with His disciples in the upper room. Here He institutes the Lord's Supper with them.

What do these commands require?

Take, eat; this is My body. Drink from [the cup], all of you.

What truths do we learn here?

Rather than exposit all of these verses, I would just like to look at the truth surrounding these two simple commands. First, Jesus commands the disciples to take and eat of the bread. The bread represents His body. It doesn't become the body of Christ, but is simply a representation of it. Second, Jesus commands them to drink from the cup, which represents Jesus' blood.

This whole ceremony is a representation of the new covenant established by Jesus sacrificial death on the cross.  It is the beginning of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:31-34 which says, "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." -Jeremiah 31:31-34

It seems that each command that we cover reveals how privileged the disciples were to receive these commands directly from our Lord. I can't think of anything more thrilling than participating in the fulfillment of God's Word and the revealing of God's plan. This brings new meaning to celebrating the Lord's Supper for me. It means that each time we partake of the Lord's Supper we proclaim that there is forgiveness of sins, knowledge of the Lord, and a new covenant with God. All of this is because of Jesus death on the cross and resurrection.

What are the consequences for disobedience?

Simply put, if you disobey this, you are missing out on one of the biggest blessings of the Christian life.

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