Breaking Bread- The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper Part 9
Confusion occurs when denominationalist try and wrongly assert that the phrase “breaking of break” can be either a common meal or the Lord’s Supper, usage determines. To show this an error in understanding we will see how this was used in the text where we find it. Common among the Jews was the verbiage we often use which is translated “breaking bread.” For example, Acts 2:46; “daily, with one accord, they continued in the temple and in breaking bread from house to house.” They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of hearts. When Paul raised Eutychus from the dead at Troas, we are informed he “brake bread” “When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.” Acts 20:11 Notice: when “he” had come up “he” broke bread and the “he” had departed, is referring to one in the same person. The breaking of break here was used indefinitely, because he that eats is in the same number with him that breaks the bread. When an established usage is referred to, the article or some definite term ascertains to that which is eluded. So, in Acts 2:42, it is “the breaking of bread” and in Acts 20:7, it is “they assembled for the breaking of bread.” The usage has by this time been established as explained by the apostle when he wrote to the Corinthian Church of Christ. This bread is explained by Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:16, as “the bread we brake, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” He is not asking a question, he is stating a precedent that to which he is referring that they, to whom he was writing, would understand.
In the partaking of the bread and cup, every heart of every Christian, sees through the “eye of faith” when you see these emblems, and remembers the union shared by bond. The bread shows His body, broken, not for His benefit, but ours. The blood, shed for the remission of sins, represents the wounded side from which His blood flowed. He did this not for Himself, but the partaker. When the representation of His blood has graced our lips, only one thought should pass through our hearts, “My body was wounded, for we who partake, His life was surrendered.” As we receive the bread and cup, we have to understand the significance of Who’s life and Who’s blood we partake. We, who once “aliens from the commonwealth of God and strangers from any covenant, without hope” pass these emblems on to the next citizen of heaven with joy because our sorrows and humiliation which damned us has been atoned. We have owned our Lord as our Savior and King. We have “become a people, who were not a people.” Once an alien from the everlasting embrace of His everlasting arms (a debtor which nothing could ever pay) we are allowed to hold fast our boasted hope unshaken to the end. As the poet wrote; “we stand there, face to face.” We, who have “known no man after the flesh,” literally see the ties that spring from eternal love, revealed in a broken body and shed blood, address our senses and draw forth all that is within us that which is complacent and dull of affection. We recognize we are in the presence of our Lord and King!!
What a cause this grants for me to argue with tomorrow!! As Job cried out; “I know that my Redeemer lives for I have seen Him and do repeatedly see Him with the eyes of my flesh.” We, who feel the eloquence ad power of this observance, stand with Christ as He stood, affirming His determination to enter that eternal home as our Captain, sin’s arguments and Satan’s drawing power are woefully inadequate, the enticement with the flesh is over, Calvary’s appeal is far too strong, providence has built for us a wall, and the redeemed of all ages now share with us our release from capital punishment as “it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth within me.” Assembled around this table of remembrance, I have an argument within my heart that sin and Satan can never cause me again to debate. The Lord’s Supper is well intended to diffuse His love within us and who could ever attend on the first day of the week and not have this table spread? How could we ever claim to be worshipping the Creator of all things and deny what He left we who He has loved by giving us the reformation power this brings to our minds? As the Jerusalem Church on the day of Pentecost in the year A D 33 showed us the pattern, how could we leave out what was so perfectly and fully intended to remind all His children, by eyes of faith and eyes of flesh, what love was, when perfectly and absolutely defined! We stand in awe of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love us so much.