Eucharist: The Greek noun eucharistia, meaning ‘thanksgiving’, appears fifteen times in the New Testament while its related verb is found several times in New Testament accounts of the Last Supper, including the earliest such account: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when 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”. (1 Corinthians 11:23–24).
Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper, in Greek Kyriakon deipnon, was in use in the early 50s of the 1st century, as witnessed by the First Epistle to the Corinthians (11:20–21): When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
Communion: The term Communion is derived from Latin communio (“sharing in common”), which translates Greek koinōnía in 1 Corinthians 10:16: 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?
In 212BC Archimedes was murdered. Mt Vesuvius erupted and buried the city of Pompeii in 79AD. The volcano Krakatoa erupted in 1883. On the 16th July 1969 a man stepped onto the surface of our moon. All of these events we remember, and they all had major consequences for humanity. Is our religious rite of Communion merely a modern remembrance of an ancient event? Around 33AD Jesus partook of a Passover meal with His disciples for the last time. And we remember His words regarding the elements of bread and wine as part of that meal. But we also need to recall that He was celebrating an older event, an event that occurred some 1500 years earlier. The Israelites were being held in cruel bondage by a tyrannical Pharoah, and one night, since known as Passover, God overruled Pharoah, setting the captives free, and releasing them to return to their promised land. On their way, God saw to it that their captors were stripped of their wealth, their armies were destroyed, and that all of the Israelites were in excellent health. Definitely an event worthy of remembrance, particularly if you were Jewish as the modern state of Israel exists as a consequence. Does the event of Jesus’ last passover meal have similar consequences? On the cross, God (Jesus) conquered the bond-master Satan, setting all of humanity free, then restored our eternal health, authority and power with the indwelling of His Spirit at Pentecost, and returned us to our state of blessed fulfilled promises. This is surely an event we should celebrate remembering, but even more so as we enjoy our oneness now and forever with Him and each other.
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