Notes for Sunday 18th March 2018
The Body & Blood of Jesus
Notes by Kevin Matthews – Acts Center – Sunday 18th March 2018
1 Cor 11:23-26
23 I passed on to you the tradition the Lord gave to me: On the same night the Lord Jesus was betrayed, He took the bread in His hands; 24 and after giving thanks to God, He broke it and said, “This is My body, broken for you. Keep doing this so that you and all who come after will have a vivid reminder of Me.” 25 After they had finished dinner, He took the cup and in the same way said, “This cup is the new covenant, executed in My blood. Keep doing this; and whenever you drink it, you and all who come after will have a vivid reminder of Me.” 26 Every time you taste this bread and every time you place the cup to your mouths and drink, you are declaring the Lord’s death, which is the ultimate expression of His faithfulness and love, until He comes again.
A vivid representation
In this passage Paul – who of course was not present with the Disciples at the Last Supper, relates that it was Jesus Himself who revealed the truth of the events that took place that night. The wording he uses here is almost identical to that which is used by the Gospel writers with some added detail. In verse 24 and 25 Paul quotes Jesus as saying “ whenever you eat/drink, you and all that come after will have a vivid reminder of me”. So Communion is a “vivid reminder” of the passion of Jesus and His undertaking on the cross. Here is the heart of our fellowship with Jesus. The use of the word “vivid” here is a good one, it denotes something more than to make something plain. It indicates something that is presented with extreme clarity, something that is vibrant and beautiful.
The Table Preaches
Paul then concludes this section with a quite astounding idea. V26 Every time you taste this bread and every time you place the cup to your mouths and drink, you are declaring the Lord’s death …. Until He comes. The Table of the Lord stands at the center of the Church, as Jesus stands at the center of all things. When we present the Bread and the Wine as the Body of the Lord and the Blood of the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes and anoints the ordinary elements and causes them to become endued with purpose and power. The Table and the elements stand under the anointing of God and PREACH. Here is presented in its fulness the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Here is the GATEWWAY to the Kingdom of God, for “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
Paul is saying, “listen to the table, here what the Body and the Blood are speaking, there is life here, deliverance and hope.” This is not preaching that is based upon the weakness of human ability, it is not preaching that is eloquent and emotive. It is Preaching that declares the unalterable Truth of God’s Word about the finished work of Jesus on the Cross.
The transforming Power of the Spirit
There is Divine certainty here, there is the release of Power and Presence for the Holy Spirit stands at the Table to reveal and minister the very life of Jesus to the believer. Some believe in the physical transformation of the elements by the power of the Spirit, we hold that the Holy Spirit supernaturally ministers the life of Jesus to the believer as the elements are received with faith. Both speak of a similar reality, the transmission of Jesus’ own life together with the benefits of His atoning work on the cross at the point of receiving the elements.
The Body of the Lord
Jesus met with His Disciples in the Upper Room to Prophetically reveal the truth about the Exodus. The Passover meal was a shadow looking forward to the sacrifice of the Eternal Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the whole world, offering release from the darkness and slavery to sin. He revealed to them God’s plan for the following day, when at the exact time that the Temple Lambs were slaughtered for Passover, He would shoulder the Judgement of God and shed His own precious Blood.
He handed them the Bread and told them to take it, eat and digest it, take it into their beings, allow it to become a part of them, allow it to feed them and strengthen them.
The picture of the Passover lamb in Ex 12 v 7-13 shows forth healing as being an integral part of the atonement. The consumption of the flesh of the Lamb provided strength and wholeness for all. It was in the strength of this bread that Israel could escape Egypt.
Compare this with Ps 105 v 37 that declares that all following the Passover there was not one sick or weak in the whole company that left Egypt that night.
37 And he brought them forth with silver and gold, and there was not one sick person among their tribes.
There is great Truth here:
Empowering, Enabling, Transformation and Healing
- The Body of Jesus is Jesus’ own Life and Strength which He offers to us in a Divine exchange Isa 40:31 but those that wait for the LORD shall have new strength; this is the empowering of God
- The Body of Jesus releases the Power to follow the direction of God, to do the Will of the Father. This is the enabling of God.
- The Body of Jesus feeds and strengthens our Spirit and releasing to us the Power to become more like Him 2 Cor 3:18 Therefore we all, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord with uncovered face, are transformed from glory to glory into the same likeness, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. We are transformed by the Spirit as we look. This is the transformation of God
- The Body of Jesus releases the Power of God into our Physical beings, bringing Life and Healing. This transformation is a reality because Jesus physically bore our Sicknesses and Pains on His own Body. Isa 53:4-5 Surely he has borne our sicknesses and suffered our pain: and we considered him stricken, smitten of God, and cast down. 5 But he was wounded for our rebellions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes healing was provided for us. (JBL) Matt 8:16-17 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.(KJV ) 1 Pet 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (KJV ) This is the Healing of God which is released to our Body and Mind.