Breaking Bread – The Meaning of the Lord’s Supper Part 2
The Church of Christ is organized under the government of His Son, and is called His house and temple erected for Himself, which He called His house and glorified it with the symbols of His presence. In allusion to this, the Christian community, organized under this government is called God’s building, built upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone.”
The church, as typified by the tabernacle of the Old Testament, is in the middle space between the outer court and the holiest of all. “The holy place made with hands were figures of the true.” The common priests went always into the first tabernacle or holy place, and the high priest once a year into the holiest of all. Thus our Great High Priest went once for all into the true “holiest of all, into the presence of God,” and has permitted us who have been baptized into Christ, called a “royal priesthood”, a chosen race, to enter always into the only holy place now on earth—the Church of Christ; “as living stones we are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices most acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:8
The “house of God” was a single community under the Christ which the apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Hebrews; “Having a Great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:22 It is apparent that there is under the Lord Messiah, now on earth, an institution called the house of God; and this resembles the holy place between the outer court and the holiest of all, which is that position the Church occupies and which position we will prove.
In the Old Testament holy place (and the house of God in the New Testament) there is furniture on which those who officiated placed items of remembrance. Exodus 25:30 “In the first tabernacle which is called holy, there were the candlestick, and the table, and the show-bread (in other places was called the bread of presence).” On the golden table EVERY SABBATH were placed twelve loaves, which were exhibited there for one week, and on the next Sabbath they were substituted by twelve fresh loaves sprinkled over with frankincense. The loaves which were removed the table were eaten by the priests. These were called in the Hebrew “the loaves of the faces,” or “the loaves of the presence.” This emblem of the abundance of spiritual food in the presence of God for all who dwelt in the holy place stood alwaysupon the golden table furnished by the twelve tribes, even in the wilderness. The light in the first tabernacle was not from without, but from the seven lamps placed on the golden candlestick; emblematic of the perfect light, not derived from this world, which is in the house of God.
If this was in the emblematic house of God, to which corresponds the Church of Christ, there was not only a table overlaid with gold, always spread, and on it displayed twelve large loaves, or cakes, sacred memorials and emblems of God’s bounty and grace; so shall we say that in the NEW house, over which Jesus is a Son, there is not to stand always a table more precious than gold, covered with a richer food for the holy and royal priesthood which the Lord has instituted, who may always enter into the holy place on the designated day, by command of Himself, to partake?
Paul reminds the saints in Corinth of their familiarity with the Lord’s Table, in speaking of it as being as common as the meetings of the brotherhood. “The cup of blessing for which we bless God, is it not the joint participation of the blood of Christ? The bread (loaf) which we break, is it not the joint participation of the body of Christ?” When one event occurred so must the other!! One can see how common the sight of the bread and cup were to the saints of Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch, and everywhere the saints came together on the first day of the week originated at the inception of the Church!! These were spoken of as common and usual in the meetings every first day of the week. Notice: it is not the bread and cup of blessing which we HAVE received with thanks but the cup of blessing which we DO receive and break!! The aim is now established as fact; for it has been shown that in the Lord’s house there is always the table of the Lord, It is hardly necessary to add, that there is the Lord’s table, as a part of the furniture, for it must always be there, unless it can be shown that only some occasions require the furniture present, and others its absence; or that the Lord is poorer in the New Covenant than He was in the Old Covenant!! Where, then, comes the Judaic church without the table being spread or is the Lord too delinquent to spread the table for His friends? John 15:14-17