Breaking Bread- The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper Part 10
Among the acts of worship, or the institutions of the Lord, to which the saints attend, the breaking of bread is the most conspicuous and important, and for that reason particularly and only is the church called together on the first day of the week. We are expressly told that the disciples at Troas met for this purpose; and what one church did by the authority of the Lord, as a part of His instituted worship, they all did!! We have not inferred or guessed this to be true, Luke under the direct operation of the messenger of God who received his information from the Holy Spirit, so stated in Acts 20:7. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together for the breaking of bread, Paul, being about to depart on the morrow, discoursed till midnight.” From the manner in which this meeting of the disciples at Troas is mentioned by the historian, two things are very obvious. First, it shows this meeting on this particular and special day an established custom. Second, the primary object of their meeting was to break bread. They who object to breaking bread on the first day of every week when the disciples are assembled usually preface their objections by telling us, that Luke does not say they broke the bread every first day; and yet they contend against the Sabbatarians, that they ought to observe every first day to the glory of the Lord for on this day He arose from the dead!! They again tell us that Luke does not tell they met for this stated reason. How inconsistent, then, are they who make this sentence an express precedent for observing every first day to remember His resurrection and ignore that He also gave His church the joy of remembering the purpose that His resurrection accomplished!! If this day approves one remembrance, it approves the other; for the weekly observance of this day, as a day of the meeting of the disciples, and the weekly breaking of bread in those meetings, stand or fall together.
All must confess, who regard the meaning of words, that the meeting of the disciples and the breaking of bread, as far as words go, are expressed in the same terms with respect to frequency. If the one was fifty-two times in a year, or only once, so was the other. If not, why not? Or, if they met every first day of the week, they broke bread every first day they met!! If they did not meet every first day to commemorate His resurrection, we are just as happy to say they would not have met to celebrate their release His resurrection had purchased the partaker. But, for what and for whom did they come together, why on this special day, and why EVERY first day of the week? For purposes of clarification, how would brother Luke have stated what he intended to say? We can see why this day was so important both to them and us, for it was on this day of the week our Lord arose from the dead, sent the Holy Spirit from heaven, announced the plan of salvation for the remission of sins, forgave the sins for the first time in the annals of time, allowed the public confession of the name of Christ before men, instructed all who were so inclined to salvation to be baptized in water, kept all who were assembled on that day together that had been added to His church, and commanded all of them to join in the celebration of their forgiveness by eating of unleavened bread, which symbolized the sinless life of Christ which they all had a part in crucifying, and drinking of the fruit of the vine which, by drinking, entrenched in their minds they had truly been forgiven of sin because of the act of their God who had died, been buried, and arose for the dead for them!! I ask you a question: what other day would do all these things at once??
The definite article “the” is, in the Greek and in the English tongue, prefixed to stated fixed times, and its appearance here is not merely accidental, it is definitive of this ONE day, is expressive of a stated or fixed day of singular importance. To those who have not the forgiveness of sin, having never met the blood of Christ in baptism, one can see why this observance is not that important, but why meet at all?? Later, the apostle Paul wrote the Church of Christ in Corinth: “For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show (katagello in the Greek-which means to announce, declare, make known-publicly publish and report) the Lord’s death till He come.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 They met to preach, proclaim that Christ died, arose, and ascended to set at the right hand of His Father in heaven and that the partakers were heirs in this beautiful story.
Suppose that some 500 years from now the annual event of the 4th of July was questioned??