Sunday, June 14, 2020 ()

Bible Text: Matthew 26:26-28 |

[The text of the sermon for June 14, 2020 is below.  Our video of this sermon will not be available due to technical difficulties.  We hope to do better next week when that sermon will be posted on our  Facebook page at] 


We missed having the Lord’s Supper in April and May—and it is just so wonderful this morning that we can finally come together again as followers of Jesus Christ and partake of this sacrament of the Church. And now, it’s certainly appropriate to review what the Lord’s Supper means to us as Christians. Paul provides a brief statement as to why we observe the Lord’s Supper by reminding us: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV) And that’s a good basic statement. But this morning, I would like for you to look more deeply into the meaning of the Lord’s Supper by considering the key words connected with it. The first word is “bread” which is paired with and Jesus’ “body”. The second key word is “wine” (or sometimes referred to as the “cup”—as in a cup of wine) and this is paired with Jesus’ “blood”. And the final word that is so very important is “remembrance.” To better understand the application of these three words—bread, wine and remembrance as they appear in the Lord’s Supper, we need to have a little historical background. Specifically, we need to know a little bit about the Jewish festival of the Passover.

You see, when Jesus inaugurated the first Lord’s Supper, it took place on the Thursday evening immediately before His crucifixion. And, the following Sunday is the day now celebrate as our Easter Sunday—commemorating Jesus’ resurrection. And we know that all of this took place during the time of the Jewish festival of Passover. And, it just so happens that the bread and the wine are prominent features the Passover feast. Passover itself is an ancient Jewish holiday that remembers God’s great power and faithfulness in bringing His people out of the slavery forced upon them by the Pharaohs in Egypt. And as you will recall, God sent ten plagues upon the Egyptians to make their Pharaoh come around to finally letting them go. It was the tenth and final plague that was the most devastating. With this final plague, the Lord swooped down upon Egypt and killed the first born male of every family in the land. But, for the protection of the His people, God had instructed Moses to tell each Hebrew family to sacrifice a lamb and then paint the blood of the lambs on the door posts of their homes. Those who were faithful in doing this would be spared death and the Lord would “pass over” them—hence comes the name of this Jewish holiday of Passover.

Similarly, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of that great sacrifice of the Lamb of God—Jesus Christ, who shed His blood for us on the Cross that we may be saved from eternal death brought on by our sins. In fact, John the Baptist, very early on during Jesus’ ministry, confirmed Jesus as being the “Lamb of God” when seeing Jesus, he declared: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NASB) (See also 1 Corinthians 5:7.)[1]  And as part of that Passover celebration, the Jews have a Passover feast. The head of the household stands at the table with his family and holds up a loaf of unleavened bread and then says: “This is the bread of affliction which your fathers ate in the wilderness.”[2] Of course, Jesus’ disciples were very familiar with these words. All of them had taken part in this traditional Passover feast many times during their lives. But, picture the scene during that first Lord’s Supper when Jesus stood there before His disciples and held up a loaf of bread. The disciples were all expecting Him to recite those traditional words that their fathers and grandfathers had said time and time again. But, Jesus gave them something infinitely more valuable that the dusty, old words of their forefathers. Jesus gave them Himself. Just imagine their amazement and wonder when Jesus blessed the bread, broke it, and then said: “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26 (NIV)

Now, if you had been there with those twelve disciples, those words of Jesus would have been truly shocking and appalling. “The eating of human flesh?—Man, that’s cannibalism!” you would have thought. “Can this be Jesus saying such a thing as this?” you would have wondered. Their shock would have been intensified by the fact that Jews were strictly forbidden from eating human flesh, or from drinking blood.[3] So why would Jesus make such an outrageous statement as this? Well, he made this shocking statement to prepare His disciples for the most radical thing that was about to happen in the history of the world. It would be the one event that changed the possibilities for all of humanity. You see, Jesus was bringing on a New Passover in the form of a New Covenant. It is the New Covenant that He would offer as He moved on to tell them more about drinking from His Cup and of the wine representing His Blood. But, before getting to the wine, we need to understand a little more about the bread.

Just as those sacrificial Passover lambs were slashed and pierced with knives to save the Hebrews in Egypt from death, now Jesus was offering His Body as the replacement for the Passover lambs. And so His death would open the Way for the deliverance of His followers from the wages of sin that is death.[4] But, we really can’t afford to miss something here. We don’t want to miss what is going on with the “breaking” of the bread. We tend to only see this “breaking of bread” as representing the sacrifice of Jesus’ body on the Cross. And while it is true that Jesus’ hands and feet were pierced with the nails and by the spear thrust into His side, the crucifixion did not actually involve the breaking of His body. Therefore, metaphor must be intended to communicate something beyond that when the text speaks of the “breaking” of the bread. So, what is it that clues us into the fact that the “breaking” of the bread involves something other than Jesus’ death on the Cross?

Note that the prophecy of Zechariah points to Jesus’ crucifixion when the Lord proclaimed: “They will look on Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Zechariah 12:10 (NIV) Yes, the prophets foretold that Jesus would be pierced with nails and a spear, but they also declared that not a bone of Christ would be broken. David prophesied that God would shield Jesus on the Cross when he said:  “He protects all His bones, not one of them will be broken.” Psalm 34:20 (NIV) In fact, that is why the Old Testament Scriptures direct that, when the Jews were to observe the Passover feast, none of the sacrificial lambs’ bones should ever be broken. Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 And we know that the Gospel of John, when recounting the detailed facts of the crucifixion, indicates that none of Jesus’ bones were actually broken. For John 19:31-34 tells us that when the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs to hurry on His death, they discovered that He was already dead. And just to make certain He was dead, they pierced His side with a spear. Then, it goes on to clearly state: “But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.” John 19:33 (NASB) Well, with this being the case, what is the significance of Jesus “breaking” the “bread” when He conducted that Last Supper with His disciples?

Think about this in the context of Jesus’ ministry and what He did with bread and what He said about bread? Jesus took the bread when He fed the four thousand and He “broke” it and gave it to them freely and in great abundance.[5] And, it is no coincident that on another occasion, when He fed the five thousand in a similar manner, John’s Gospel tells us that this happened when “the Jewish Passover Feast was near.” John 6:4 (NIV) And, what did they do with that bread? They ate it. They consumed it. They made it part of themselves and it became part of them. They needed to eat that bread or they would starve physically. Jesus is now showing His disciples during this first Lord’s Supper, as He shows us this morning, that He is the Bread of Life. And unless you partake of His Bread, you will surely die spiritually. And so He told His disciples that they must eat of His flesh so that He would be IN them. This is not a small thing. This is a big deal. Paul tells us why when he strongly advised: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, THAT JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)

So, what does that mean—for Christ to be IN you? Well you can come to the answer to that question by considering another question. And the question is this: In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, how is Jesus described? This is how John describes Jesus and who He is: 1  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . 14  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1&14 (NASB) So, Jesus is described as here the Incarnate Son of God—more specifically, the WORD MADE FLESH.  In the Lord’s Supper, Jesus reminds us both of His great bodily sacrifice on the Cross AND that we are to feast upon Him for He is the Word of God. That is why Jesus so aptly describes Himself in John 6:48 as the Bread of Life. His death on the Cross and His gift of Himself as the Word of God provides the only means of deliverance for God’s people.[6] That is why Jesus “broke” the “bread” and told His disciples to eat His flesh. He is not talking about cannibalism—He is showing us the only way to salvation. I love the way New Testament scholar Michael Green sums it up when he says: “We feed on Christ in our hearts, really feed on Him. But we do so by faith.”[7] Do as Paul recommended—examine yourselves this morning, as we will be called to do before we partake of the Lord’s Supper this morning. And, ask yourself, “Is the Bread of Life in me? Is it part of me?

Now let’s consider that second key word, that is so essential to our observance of the Lord’s Supper—the word “wine”.   And “wine” is paired with Jesus’ blood.   As I mentioned, the Passover blood first appeared in the Book of Exodus when the Hebrews smeared blood on their doors to be saved from death. So, Jesus’ reference to the wine being His blood parallels the symbolism that Jesus used when He spoke of the bread being His body—and the sacrifice of Himself on the Cross. Again, wine was an essential part of the Passover feast. The sacrificial connection is quite direct. The blood of the Passover lambs saved the Hebrew people from death and led to their freedom from slavery. The shedding of Jesus’ blood on the Cross saves us from eternal death in hell and frees us from the prison of sin. But, why didn’t God just declare our sins to be forgiven and then He could have spared Jesus the shedding of all that blood on the Cross? Why?—the answer is because God is both just and He never lies.

God made it very clear in the beginning when He told Adam and Eve that if they failed to follow His commands (in other words if they sinned), they would surely die—not only a physical death, but an eternal one in Hell as well. Despite God’s warning, they promptly went out and ate of the forbidden apple and broke God’s commandment and committed sin. And Man has been sinning ever since. Justice demanded that they die—as God had declared, for they had clearly sinned—as all of us have clearly sinned and are likewise justly condemned to death. So if God simply let them or us off the hook without insisting that our sins be paid for, then He would be both unjust and a liar. And we know that God is neither of those things because He is both just and true. John 3:33, Isaiah 65:16 So that’s why Jesus had to pour out all that blood by His agonizing death on the Cross. Just as the Passover lambs’ blood provided assurance that the Hebrews would be spared from death, so too did Jesus’ blood atone for our sins. No one else’s blood was precious enough to do that. Only the Son of God’s blood was worthy to accomplish the payment of your sins and mine.

That’s why Jesus held that cup of wine up in front of His disciples and told that His blood is the New Covenant. There would be no more need to sacrifice lambs, because the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, is the one ultimate and final sacrifice for the entire world. But as with the Bread representing His Body that requires “eating”, only those who “drink” of His Blood will receive their salvation. Only the Blood of Christ can give eternal life. That is what Jesus taught the Samaritan Woman at well—those who accept Him as their source of drink will never thirst again. Jesus said: “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 (NIV) And so, at that first Lord’s Supper, Jesus raised the cup of wine and urged his disciples saying, 27Drink from it, all of you. 28  This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28 (NIV) There is no other drink like the Cup of Christ that is available to Man, nor any food so life-giving as the Bread of His body. So many of Jesus sayings are connected to this Last Supper and to the consumption of His Bread of Life and His life-giving drink. Realizing this brings new meaning to Jesus’ words when He said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (NIV) Jesus wants us to understand that we will never quench our soul’s thirst or satisfy its hunger with the things of this world. The only things that will satisfy are His spiritual food and His spiritual drink that offer us our only hope of salvation. That is what His sacrifice on the Cross guaranteed.[8] Above all things, Jesus wants us to remember that.

Which brings us to that final word for us to think about this morning—“Remembrance.” In 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, Paul points out that when Jesus instructed His the disciples as to how the Lord’s Supper should be observed, He told them that their eating of the bread and drinking of the wine must be done “IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.” The Greek word that Paul used for “remembrance” is anamnesis. And, it is important for us to understand that it doesn’t just mean to recall something—it doesn’t mean to simply remember something that happened in the past. Rather, it is a word calling for us to view the historical past, with an eye to both the present and the future. So what Jesus calls us to do is to think deeply about what He did on the Cross and how it relates to us in the here and now. And not only that, but we need to understand that what Jesus did on Calvary relates to our future in God’s eternal heavenly kingdom as well.

Again, the Jewish Passover comes into play where they’d traditionally recite a beloved Passover saying: “This the Eternal did for me when I went out of Egypt.” They saw the past acts of Gods as shaping what was possible for them in this present life, as well as paving the way for the future. That’s exactly what Jesus was trying to communicate to His disciples at that first Lord’s Supper regarding the meaning of His coming death on the Cross. And so here today, as we partake of the Lord’s Supper two thousand years later, we need to see in a fresh and new way what Christ did for us. The bread and the wine that you will take this morning remind us that Jesus’ death for our sins all those many years ago has power and relevance for us today, as well as for tomorrow. And so, we are called to experience His presence among us this morning while we share the infinite benefits of His death on the Cross and the eternal promise seen in His resurrection from the tomb.[9]

But, there is one final thing we need to remember. It is something that Paul warned us about when partaking of the Lord’s Supper. It is both a loving, yet stern warning. Paul said to remember this: 27  “If anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28  That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29  For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (TLB) This then is no trifling matter. Examine yourselves this morning and remember the meaning of the bread and the juice that you are about to partake.

Let us pray, in preparation for the Lord’s Supper as we feast upon His Bread of Life and as we are refreshed by His Living Water, and we are forgiven through the Blood of the Lamb.


Forest Hill Baptist Church

June 14, 2020

Darvin Satterwhite, Pastor

©2020 All Rights Reserved



[1] 1 Corinthians 5:7 “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (NIV)

[2] Green, Michael. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity: An A-To-Z Guide To Following Christ in Every Aspect of Life Edited by Paul Stevens. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

[3] Ibid.


[4] Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)


[5] Matthew 15:36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. (ESV)


[6] Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, NewTestament - Matthew, Mark, Luke.

[7] Green, Michael. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity: An A-To-Z Guide To Following Christ in Every Aspect of Life Edited by Paul Stevens. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

[8] “What did Jesus mean when He said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood?,”


[9] Green, Michael. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity: An A-To-Z Guide To Following Christ in Every Aspect of Life Edited by Paul Stevens. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.


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