“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” —Mark 14:22-24
As is obvious, the subject matter of the text is what we know as the Last Supper. However, everything the Lord said and did has a far greater spiritual meaning than what the text bears out with just a surface reading.
The Lord’s Supper was that which was derived from the Passover meal. The meanings of both—the Passover and the supper—are similar, yet different. The Passover represented something which was to come, while the supper represented that which had already come—Christ. The Passover represented a work not yet finished, while the supper represented a work completely finished.
Ordinance Or Sacrament
The taking of the Lord’s Supper is very holy as it is a memorial for the church regarding the sacrifice of Christ. Though it is very holy and not to be ignored or taken lightly, it is an ordinance of the church and not a sacrament. A sacrament means there is a salvation in the cup and the wafer or cracker, and we should know that there is no salvation in communion.
In Mark 14:22, not only are we given the first steps in taking the Lord’s Supper but also, in the order stated, we are given the steps of the Christian life. That order is: Jesus took, blessed, brake, and gave.
Jesus took the bread, and the bread represents His body, which was offered at Calvary’s cross for humanity’s redemption. It is also a picture of all who come to Christ and though stained with sin and doomed to hell, once repentance is offered, we are “taken” by Christ. The believing sinner is taken and transformed from a child of darkness to a child of light. It doesn’t matter how great the transgression; our Lord has never refused to take any sinner and save him. John 6:37 says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Jesus took bread and blessed it. After taking the bread, the Lord blesses the bread. The offering of His body on Calvary’s cross was blessed by God the Father. Likewise, when the sinner comes to Christ, he enters into the economy of God, and God’s economy is a blessing economy. Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” In Deuteronomy 28:3-13, the Lord lists the many and varied blessings He has prepared for all who would obey His word. In Hebrews 8:6, the writer states, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” So the blessings that are now available to every believer are even greater under the new covenant.
He Broke It
Jesus took bread, blessed it, and broke it. For the Lord to be a blessing to humanity, His body must be broken as it was at Calvary. So, too, must the believer be broken in order to be a blessing to those around him. This is the sanctification process, though, in the eyes of God, one is sanctified at salvation. The practical aspects of sanctification are progressive, hence, the term progressive sanctification (I Cor. 6:9-11). Progressive sanctification is the ongoing act of the Holy Spirit working in us for us to “be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29) in order for us to be presented “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24).
The breaking is never pleasant or easy, for the breaking is the abrogation of self, which must be hidden in Christ. Never forget, Christ died not only to save man from sin, but also from self. Self is not easily subjected. Actually, when one reads the book of Job, one is reading the very first book of the Bible to be written. As the first book written, it is interesting to note that the theme of Job is not the salvation of the sinner, but the sanctification of the saint.
“Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them” (Mark 14:22). When He gave the bread, He was not only giving them physical bread but, spiritually, He was giving Himself. Salvation is a gift, hence, the word take. Salvation is not hard. All one has to do is take, by faith, the greatest gift given to humanity—the gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ—as one’s Lord and Savior.
“He took the cup” (Mark 14:23). The cup signifies the shedding of our Lord’s blood on Calvary’s cross. This cup is called the “cup of blessing,” and what a blessing the blood of Jesus Christ is. Everything we have as benefits of salvation comes through the blood of Jesus Christ.
“He took the cup, and when he had given thanks” (Mark 14:23). In our daily walk with the Lord, we should be living a life of continual thanksgiving. Be thankful, daily, for God’s goodness.
Gave It To Them
“He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them” (Mark 14:23). In giving them the cup, He was saying, “All that I do, I do for others.” This is the servant principle.
And They All Drank Of It
“He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it” (Mark 14:23). The phrase, “They all drank of it,” tells us that the Lord died for all. Christianity is not a Western gospel only; it is the gospel of Jesus Christ for all men in all the world.
Thank God for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
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