Discover What the Bible Says about the Lord’s Supper
When We Take Communion It’s to Remember What Jesus Did for Us
The Lord’s Supper is another phrase found only in the New Testament. This isn’t surprising since Jesus instituted this practice when he taught it to his disciples at Passover. Most Christian churches follow Jesus’s command to celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19), though they do so in a variety of ways. And many churches revere it as a sacrament.
Two common words for the Lord’s Supper are Communion (Holy Communion) and the Eucharist (the Holy Eucharist). Neither of these words, however, appear in the Bible. In fact, Lord’s Supper only appears once in 1 Corinthians 11:20 (and two more times if you count the subheadings that translators added later: 1 Corinthians 10:14 and 1 Corinthians 11:17).
Jesus Institutes The Lord’s Supper
Three of the biographies of Jesus include the account of Jesus turning the Passover meal into the Communion. These occur in Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, and Luke 22:7-23. In each of these passages, the added subheading is “The Last Supper,” reminding us that this is Jesus’s final meal before his arrest and execution. But the phrase The Last Supper doesn’t appear anywhere else in the biblical text.
Last, in his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul also talks about the Lord’s Supper, explaining the process and teaching the people the proper way to approach it. Apparently the church in Corinth struggled with doing Communion right (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).
Another interesting phrase that’s possibly related is breaking bread. Breaking bread occurs three times in the Bible (Acts 2:42, Acts 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 10:16). Breaking bread could be a euphemism for Communion or simply sharing a meal with other believers.Should we treat every meal we eat with other followers of Jesus as Communion? Click To Tweet
It’s up to us to consider if every meal we eat with other Jesus followers is in fact a celebration of Communion. More to the point, should we treat every meal we eat with other followers of Jesus as Communion? When we celebrate the Communion, we remember Jesus and what he did to restore us into right relationship with Papa.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.