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LEADERS GUIDE Topic: Lord's Supper: Part 1

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Simple Reminders

  • The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.

  • This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.

  • We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.

Lord’s Supper Hand Motion

Researchers have found that moving our bodies and adding actions to our learning significantly increases our ability to remember. Here is a hand action you can add to the command to remember it:

  • Step 1: Take both hands make them into fists (turned down) in front of you

  • Step 2: Turn your fists to the side- action of breaking something apart

Brief Commentary and Context

Summary of Lord’s Supper - The Lord’s Supper (or Communion/Eucharist) was given as a gift by Jesus to his disciples and the Church through the ages to remember his death, to symbolize a new covenant, to gather his body, the Church, around a table in fellowship and to anticipate the meal we will one day enjoy in his eternal presence.

“This meal looks different in various Christian traditions…The key is to remember the humble gift that Jesus became in his sacrifice and the new life we receive from him… “Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus said (e.g. Luke 22:19). This meal invites us to remember Jesus. It represents to the senses⏤just like the meals God established for the Israelites⏤the life and death of Jesus. This meal is not something we do for Jesus; rather, it reminds us of what Jesus has done for us. And it becomes something we do with Jesus. We participate with him in it.” (Bible Project Article: Why is the Lord’s Supper Significant in the Bible by Shara Drimalla & BibleProject Team).

Brief Commentary for - Luke 22:1-23 “The Lord’s Supper”

On the night before his crucifixion during the Feast of Unleavened Bread (the Passover) Jesus gathered his disciples. The room was thick with nostalgic connection and hidden betrayal. “When Jesus wanted to give his followers - then and now a way of understanding what was about to happen to him, he didn’t teach them a theory…He gave them an act to perform. Specifically, he gave them a meal to share. It is a meal that speaks more volumes than any theory.” (N.T. Wright, Luke For Everyone, p.261-262.) This would be the Passover that every other Passover had been pointing to. It was no accident that Jesus chose this marker moment. Passover was the defining act of God in Israel’s history, their salvation and deliverance from their oppressive enemy through sacrifice. The disciples had eaten this meal their entire lives remembering and commemorating their peoples' exodus from Egypt. But there was no way they could understand what Jesus was about to do. Taking the bread in his hand, blessing and breaking it he gave it to them. Jesus in one statement, would change over a thousand years of tradition, redefining the meaning of the meal forever. “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” We are only left to imagine the look on their faces, jaws dropped, wide-eyed and stunned by Jesus’ words. They lingered and ate for some time as Jesus opened up the mystery of the kingdom and his coming suffering. He poured words of promise and peace over their frightened souls. They were warned of persecution, but Jesus anchored them in hope. After sometime he lifted the cup stunning them again, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Was this actually the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s ancient prophecy about a new covenant, was it happening now, right before their eyes?

This meal and the moment they shared would become a lasting pattern, a means of imparting divine grace (sacrament) and a central devotion practiced by Jesus’ followers in the church down through the ages. His broken body is our oneness and wholeness, his poured out blood is our forgiveness and freedom. An act that covers our past in mercy, meets our present with lovingkindness and secures our future in hope. Each time we receive the bread and cup together in faith we are called to remember the sacrificial love expressed through the death of our Lord that has become our life eternal. Partaking of the Lord’s supper we become recipients of healing, forgiveness, deliverance, comfort, reconciliation and victory at this never ending feast of life. Jesus spoke and embodied a blessed, broken and given life which is now the cruciform shape of our lives together. We have a relationship with the Father and the church based upon grace at the cross, a righteousness built on the work of Jesus and not our own, this is the New Covenant. All we have and all we are is gift.

“The ongoing and repeated participation in the Lord’s Supper reminds us that, wonderful as it is, this is not the final meal that Jesus has prepared for us. When he returns, Jesus will gather his people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. And they will once again have access to the tree of life (Revelation 22:2). He will bring them to the meal that he has prepared for them, and they will enjoy an eternally life-giving meal in his presence (Revelation 19:6-9). The Lord’s Supper reminds us of the life and work of Jesus, and it marks us as people of his new covenant. And while doing all of this, it also anticipates that final glorious feast. The meal serves as a taste of what is to come—a taste of true life. As we practice this new covenant meal, may it stir within us hope for his return and thankfulness for who he is and what he has done.”

Core Truths from the Topic:

  • Summary Scripture: Matthew 26:26-28- "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

  • Luke 22:19-20- “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’”

  • 1 Cor 10:16-17- "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."

  • 1 Cor 11:23-33- For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.

  • Acts 2:42- "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers."

  • John 6:53-58- "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

  • Acts 20:7- "On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight."

Bible Stories

  • The Last Supper – Matt. 26:26-29

  • The Last Supper – Mark 14:11-26

  • Early Church in Jerusalem – Acts 2:42-47

  • Church in Troas with Apostle Paul- Acts 20:7-12

  • Paul’s Instruction – 1 Cor. 11:23-25

  • Jesus after resurrection – Luke 24:30

Extra Resources

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