They devoted themselves to the breaking of bread Luke 22:7-23

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
During his lifetime Jesus did not instruct His disciples with all kinds of complicated rituals like those you can find in other religions, even in Judaism. He just broke bread and gave it to them saying, “Do this to remember me.” And He gave them a cup to drink saying, “Do this to remember me.” So ever since Christians obeyed that command and broke bread and shared the cup to remember Jesus.
Acts 2 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common…. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts
When we think of “communion” or “the Lord’s Supper” we usually imagine a church service with hymns and prayers and a sermon. But for the first Christians, breaking of bread was rather different. It would usually be part of a meal together. As they ate together there would be teaching and discussion and prayer and even worship. And as a natural part of that those meals they would stop and use bread and wine to remember Jesus.
And eating together was a much more important thing than it is for us today. In the time of Jesus, as it is still in the middle east today, eating together meant much more than it does to us. In our busy West eating has been hijacked. Either it is about fast food, just trying to take more than enough calories to survive. Or else it is about fine dining, where all the attention is on the flavours and the textures and most people couldn’t care less who they are sitting next to.
In first century Palestine people ate together for much more important reasons than that. You wouldn’t eat with strangers – they might break all kinds of dietary laws and that would render a religious Jew ritually unclean. Sharing food was a sign of friendship and fellowship and closeness and unity, even of reconciliation and forgiveness. On the other hand, refusing to share what was called “table fellowship” with another person marked them out as somebody you considered to be an outsider.
In that setting, eating a meal together with your “clan” established the boundaries of who was “in” and who was “out.” The seating arrangements of who sat where reinforced status and hierarchy in the household. Religious meals passed on the faith of the family, especially for Jews and their weekly fellowship meal. Eating together and who you shared table fellowship with was very important in building community. There are no less than 19 references to eating together just in Luke’s Gospel and in Acts. And it is highly significant that in the Gospels we find Jesus time and again breaking with Jewish conventions and sharing table fellowship with tax collectors and prostitutes. Even eating at the homes of Matthew and Zacchaeus who were both despised tax collectors. As Jesus ate and drank with the poorest and the lowest of society, that revealed who His true family are. And Communion has that same significance for Christians today! We are sharing Table Fellowship with each other, and with Jesus Himself!
Communion and believers’ baptism are the only two “ordinances”, the only acts of worship which Jesus has commanded from his followers. Because they followed the patterns of worship in Jewish synagogues, the first Christians would also have sung hymns, read from the Scriptures, and included teaching and prayers in their gatherings together. But the most important part of worship in the Early Church was this “breaking of bread.” Gathering together frequently for worship and communion was a central element of living the Christian life for those first believers. And gathering together for worship has rightly been at the heart of church life for Christians in every age in every place since. Every month we share bread and cup to remember Jesus. But what does sharing Communion together actually remind us about?
Welcome to the Lord’s Table, the Lord’s Supper. Jesus Christ Himself invites his disciples here to meet with Him and eat with Him and with each other. And here the past, the present and the future all coincide.

Thanksgiving for Gods acts of salvation in the PAST
This is my body given for you
Isaiah 53 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood poured out for you”
Isaiah 5310Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Here at the Lord’s Table we remember all that Christ has accomplished for us on the cross. Dying in our place and taking the punishment for our sin.

Celebration of presence of Christ in the PRESENT
Jesus did not say, “this is last Passover I will eat”. He was looking forward to eating with his disciples again. Jesus KNEW he was going to suffer and he gave us this reminder of what He was about to go through

LUKE 22 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
In the death and resurrection of Christ all the Old Testament promises of the Jewish Passover are fulfilled.
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
But the bread and the cup look BEYOND that suffering – beyond the cross to the resurrection. Remember those disciples who met with the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus on the first Easter day.
Luke 24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognised by them when he broke the bread.
So the bread and wine have new significance. It is the Lord’s table! Here WE meet with the Risen Christ Himself.
Matthew 18 19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
So communion celebrates our wonderful salvation already accomplished for us in the past by Jesus but it also recognises the presence of the Living Risen Jesus Christ with us, here today. Jesus is with us by the Holy Spirit, living in every Christian. And so we meet with Jesus IN EACH OTHER as we meet with each other.
1 Corinthians 10 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
We give thanks for Christ’s redeeming death and we celebrate His glorious resurrection from the dead. Jesus Christ, Risen from the dead, is indeed already Messiah and Lord of all! As we take communion we meet with Jesus by faith even now, we truly commune with Him. But the best is yet to come! Because Communion also celebrates our amazing hope for the future!
Communion looks forward to the Return of Christ
1 Cor 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Communion looks forward to the heavenly banquet, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
Revelation 19:6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
When WE face suffering, discouragement, opposition, rejection, even death, communion gives us HOPE! We look forward to sharing the bread and the cup with the saints in glory!
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
Acts 2 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common…. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts
Those first Christians broke bread together every day. This is the way Jesus has given his church to remember Him, to focus on his death and resurrection and the meaning of these events for our lives today. Communion is “a means of grace.” It is God’s way of blessing believers as we are seek to follow Him. Roman Catholics and Anglicans celebrate communion EVERY DAY All Christians should expect to take communion regularly. All Christians should give communion services a special priority because at the Lord’s Table we meet with our Lord in a very special way!
There is an ancient way which some Jews bring their Passover meal to a climax. It is the hope of every devout Jew to celebrate the Passover at least once in David’s city. So there is a Jewish custom of ending the Passover meal with a toast. Passover participants raise the cup and say, “Next year, in Jerusalem!”
The Lord’s Supper reminds us of the past – of all Christ has accomplished for us by his sacrificial death, his blood poured out for us. It also reminds us of the present and the presence of the living Christ among us as we meet in His name. But communion also points us forward to our Lord’s glorious second coming. For every Christian there will be one final sharing of the bread and the cup on this side of eternity. After that, when we meet once again, we will be in Christ’s presence in glory. So when we raise our cups we can hope and pray in anticipation, “Next time, with Christ in heaven!”

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