The Lord's Supper Instituted.

7-17. THE LORD'S SUPPER INSTITUTED.
(Jerusalem. Evening before the crucifixion.)
a MATT. 26:26-29; b MARK 14:22-25; c LUKE 22:19-20; f I. COR. 11:23-26.

      a 26 And as they were eating,

f the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread;

  24 and when he had given thanks, {b blessed,} f he brake it, gave to the disciples, and said, b Take ye: a Take, eat; this is my body. f which is c given f for you: this do in remembrance of me. [As only unleavened bread was eaten during the paschal supper, that kind of bread must have been used by our Lord, and it is fitting that it should still be used by us in keeping the Lord's Supper, not only for propriety's sake, but because that bread which is emblematic of purity is most suitable to represent the body of the sinless Christ. The Catholics and some few others take our Lord's words literally when he says, "This is my body." On this they found the doctrine of transubstantiation, i. e., that the bread and the wine become literal body and blood when blessed by the priest. There are many weighty arguments against such a doctrine, but the main one for it is found in the words of our Lord. But Jesus could not have meant them literally, for his body was untouched and his blood unshed on this occasion when he spoke them. Moreover, in the twenty-fifth verse of Mark given below, Jesus calls the wine "the fruit of the vine," when, according to the theory of transubstantiation, it had been turned into blood and hence was not wine at all.]

  b 23 And he took a {c the} cup in like manner f also c after supper [Luke distinguishes between the cup taken during (see Section 117) and that taken after supper. The first belonged to the passover, this to the Lord's Supper. Wine, mingled with water, was drunk during the paschal supper. Jesus took a cup of this for his new institution. But the word "wine" is nowhere used in any of the accounts of the Lord's Supper, the terms "cup" and "fruit of the vine" being employed in its stead. Those, therefore, who choose to use unfermented grape juice are guilty of no irregularity.] a and gave thanks, and b when he had given thanks, he gave to them:

  24 And he said {a saying} b unto them, a Drink ye all of it ["All" refers to the persons and not to the wine. It was important that all the disciples participate in the cup, but not that all the wine should be used];

  28 for this is my blood of the covenant, c This cup is the new covenant in my blood [ Jeremiah 31:31-34 . peoples to use blood in making any pact or covenant ( Exodus 24:6-8 ). Christ represents himself as the victim from whence the blood was to be taken to ratify or seal the new covenant, and he makes the cup the symbol of that blood. A full discussion of the old and new covenants will be found in the Book of Hebrews. We may, however, sum them up by saying that the old covenant promised the land of Canaan and Christ in the flesh to the Israelites, while the new covenant promises heaven and Christ in glory to the Christian], b which is poured out for many. [It is explicitly stated elsewhere that Christ died for all ( Hebrews 2:9 ; 2 Corinthians 5:14 2 Corinthians 5:15 ), and the word "many" is used, not to contradict, but to emphasize the fact. When the persons included are contemplated individually, the term many is employed on account of the vast number of them; for no man can number the individuals for whom Christ died. But when they are contemplated under the feebler conception of the whole, the term all is employed.] a unto remission of sins. c even that which is poured out for you. [The prime object of Christ's death is here declared. It was to accomplish the forgiveness of sins. All other purposes which it served are subordinate to this, and all other blessings which it secures are consequent upon this-- John 1:29 ; Ephesians 5:2 ; Hebrews 7:27 ; 1 John 2:2 ; 4:10 ; Isaiah 53:10 ; Romans 8:2 ; 1 Corinthians 15:3 .] f this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. [The word "remembrance" comes as a refrain after both the loaf and the cup. The central purpose of the supper is to bring the sacrifice of Christ and all its blessed results vividly to mind.]

  26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he come. [This verse is a comment of Paul's upon the nature of the supper. In keeping the Lord's Supper we proclaim to our own souls and to the world our trust in the death of Christ, and our hope that he will return and fulfill the expectations begotten in us by it.]

  a 29 But

  b 25 Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink {a shall not drink henceforth} b of the {a this} fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in God. a my Father's kingdom. b and they all drank of it. [In speaking of this future drinking of the fruit of the vine Jesus does not mean literal wine, for he does not drink literal wine with his disciples in the kingdom as it now is, nor will he do so in the eternal kingdom. The term "drink," therefore, is used figuratively for that communion which Jesus has with his disciples while they are drinking the wine of the Lord's Supper. The term new is most naturally understood as modifying wine, but as the wine of the supper is not necessarily new wine, we think it rather indicates the new method of drinking wine just described.]