The Lord’s Supper
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:17-26; Mark 14:12-15; Luke 22:7-30). This act of worship commemorates and proclaims His death until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
Christians need to observe the Lord’s Supper with a sense of reverence. Partakers should meditate upon what they are doing, and why they are doing it. Paul warned that those who eat or drink in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27).
The Lord’s Supper consists of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine. We know that the bread is to be unleavened because Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper during the feast of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:17). There would not have been any leaven in the house during that time (Exodus 12:19). The fruit of the vine is unfermented grape juice.
The Lord’s Supper is to be observed on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). The first day of the week is very significant to Christians because it was on the first day that Jesus rose from the dead, the church of Christ was established, and early disciples gathered for worship.
It is striking that Luke, in Acts 20:7, specified the day in which the disciples came together to observe the Lord’s Supper. This was not a common feature of his writings. However, he wanted his readers to know that this special memorial was reserved for the special day of the week. The Didache, a treatise of early church teachings, says, “But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread” (14:1) and Justin Martyr wrote that disciples gathered together and observed the Lord’s Supper on “the day called Sunday” (Apology 67).
Some argue that since Acts 20:7 does not say “every” first day of the week there is no obligation to observe the Lord’s Supper weekly. Such reasoning is illogical. For instance, God commanded the Jews to observe the Sabbath in Exodus 20:8. It says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Since that verse does not say “every” Sabbath were the Jews at liberty to skip a few? The very thought is absurd. We all recognize that the command to keep holy the Sabbath would include every Sabbath even though it does not use the word “every.” The same is true with the Lord’s Supper. We are to observe it every Sunday!
If Acts 20:7 said “first day of the year” it would imply a yearly observance. If it said “first day of the month” it would imply a monthly observance. It says “first day of the week” therefore implying a weekly observance!
Lord’s Supper is be observed in the assembly (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians
11:17-34). Just as the New Testament specifies the day for eating, it also
specifies the place of eating. The Lord’s Supper is an act of worship that is to
observed collectively. If a brother is in a hospital or nursing home and cannot
assemble with the saints, he is not required to eat the Lord’s Supper.