HOW CAN WE EAT ALL THE LORD’S SUPPER?

Wayne S. Walker

     Question:  “How can we be eating all of the Lord’s supper since man
has processed the flour and left things out, and didn’t the Lord say to
eat all of it, not just a bit of cracker pinched off the whole?”

     Matthew 26.26 says of Jesus and the apostles, “And as they were
eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the
disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.'”  The text tells us
that when He instituted the supper, Jesus took bread.  What bread?
Obviously, He took the bread that they were using to celebrate the
Passover feast.  Thus, the bread used at the institution of the Lord’s
supper would have been the same bread used for the Passover.  We know
that it is acceptable to God for us to use that kind of bread, so how
does the Bible describe it?

     The flour that was to be used during the Passover is described in
Numbers 28.20, which says, “Their grain offerings shall be of fine flour
mixed with oil; three-tenths of an ephah you shall offer for a bull and
two-tenths for a ram.”  While this passage does not actually describe the
bread to be eaten, it does describe the flour that was to be used on that
occasion and calls it “fine” flour.  “Fine” flour is that which is not
coarse but ground finely so that it was smooth.  So the bread for the
Passover would have been made from flour that had been processed to some
degree.  To use flour that had the chaff removed was not wrong for the
Jews in observing the Passover.  And to use today’s processed flour to
make the bread for the Lord’s supper is not wrong for us.

     When the Lord instituted the supper, He asked all the disciples to
eat.  He did not ask them to eat, or drink, all of anything.  This would
imply that we could not stop the Lord’s supper until all the bread and/or
all the fruit of the vine were consumed.  But that is not what Jesus
said.  We read in Matthew 26.27, “Then He took the cup, and gave thanks,
and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.'”  The familiar
King James Version says, “Drink ye all of it,” but the newer versions
make it clear that the command was for all to drink, not for all of it to
be consumed.  The same concept would be true regarding the bread.

     Remember also that Jesus took the bread and broke it, that is, He
took off a piece for Himself to eat, and then gave it to the disciples
and told them to do likewise.  This is exactly what we do when we pinch a
piece off the loaf.  The scriptures simply do not demand that each person
eat a specified amount of the bread or drink a specified amont of the
fruit of the vine, but simply that all the disciples present partake.
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood
of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body
of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10.16).

     As we look at the pattern for the Lord’s supper revealed in the New
Testament, we find that the important thing is not the amount taken but
the fact that it is done as the Lord Himself directed.  Paul in 1
Corinthians 11.23-26 says that the Lord took bread, gave thanks and told
the disciples to eat it.  Then He took the cup and told them to drink it.
 And Paul concludes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this
cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”  Thus, what the Lord
did and told His apostles to do is what we are to do as well.  (From
“Search for Truth,” March 5, 2000.)

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