Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
When you think about it, it’s not really surprising that God used food and an annual meal to remind his people of their very important heritage and to celebrate some key attributes of himself which he wanted to drill into their consciences. The Passover Feast was an annual commemoration of the Hebrew Children’s deliverance from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. It also served to focus an entire nation on the fact that God was their deliverer and savior. This sacred Jewish meal even made its way into the life of the community of followers of Jesus, the Church. Christian Jews understood that Jesus the Messiah has fulfilled every aspect of their religion, not the least of which was the Passover and its commemorative meal. Jesus himself had become Isaiah’s Suffering Servant, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). And Jesus, when he observed his final Passover meal with his disciples, assigned the fulfilled meaning to both the bread and the wine of this meal to himself. It was about him. The bread is his body and the wine is his blood, poured out for our forgiveness. Now we are to “do this in remembrance” of him.
The Apostle Paul, later in helping Gentile Christians get their acts together in their followership of Jesus, explained how serious the symbolism of this meal is, even now for Christians, whether we are Jews or not. The unleavened bread, baked without yeast, should remind us of our need to purge our lives of the yeast of sin (I Corinthians 5:7-8). And the bread, originating from one loaf or lump of dough, is a symbol of the fact that we too are one in Christ and that unity in the Body of Christ is a non-negotiable (I Corinthians 1):14-22). This is why we cannot continue to go through our religions motions, such as participating in the Lord’s Supper, if we are unlovingly divisive in our relationships with each other in the Family of God. When we do, we do more harm than good (I Corinthians 11:17) to the Body of Christ, and Almighty God is not amused. Paul told the Corinthians that the division among them was bringing God’s discipline and judgment upon them. That is why many of them were weak, sick and dying. That’s some serious stuff! It would probably be prudent for us to ask ourselves then, “Am I a unity maker or a division causer in the church?” Do you work harder at unity between yourself and others or at division? Make sure. How God deals with you depends on it.