My scripture today is found 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Today we join Christians from every country around the world in Celebrating
World Communion Sunday. Just think of it all around our globe Christians of
every tongue, tribe, and on every continent are doing what we are doing this
morning. They are gathering as brothers and sisters in Christ to sit with Jesus
at the Communion table.
I wonder how many we are in terms of numbers. I wonder what challenges each
person faces in their walk with God. I wonder how big the communion table in
heaven will be when I see it for the first time.
Communion is for us a Sacrament that was introduced to us by Jesus our Savior.
We come together as one body of believers to share in commemorating the Last
Supper of Jesus Christ.It became the
last supper for Jesus because He had been betrayed and sold out for 30 pieces
of silver by one of his own followers Judas Iscariot. The occasion of Jesus
Last Supper happened to be during a special Jewish ceremony celebrated by all
Jews called the Passover.
The Passover was an annual celebration where the Jews remembered how the Living
God Yahweh sent the Angel of Death over the country of Egypt to kill the first
born of the Egyptians. The Angel of Death Passed over the Jewish people and
their firstborn saving them from death. The Jews had the blood of a lamb on
their doors and door posts identifying them as Gods people. It was the last of
ten great plagues against Egypt. They are recorded in the book of Genesis as:
Water turned to Blood
Frogs over the land
Three Days of Darkness
Death of the First Born of Egypt
All these things were to be remembered and were recounted by Jesus and his
disciples during the Last Supper. The day before the Last Supper Jesus ordered
his disciples to make the arrangements for the Passover meal. Matt 26:17
Jesus Last Supper became for us our Passover meal. Jesus used the bread and the
wine already on the table as elements to represent His body and blood.
So….let me ask you this morning…..What ten great plagues has God rescued you
from since Jesus blood has covered you?Maybe you are still suffering from some kind of sin and seek freedom.
3,000 years ago when the first Passover was celebrated the Jews made bread
without a leveling agent. It was a bread made in haste so no leaven was used.
It was to remind them that they would be delivered suddenly. From that day
until now all leaven must be removed from a Jewish home in preparation for the
Passover and if any is found it must be put in a paper bag and burnt or sold to
a non-Jew in order to purify the home for the Passover celebration. Then a
final search and sweeping of the house must be done to ensure all leaven is
My dear family of Midway….. we are to examine ourselves before we partake of
communion we are called to search our lives and our hearts for any hidden sin.
We are to sweep our hearts clean before God.
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the
The firstborn male of a Jewish family must fast the day before in recognition
of how the firstborn of the Egyptians was struck down by the hand of God.
All Jews were required to abstain completely for the next seven or eight days
from all foods containing leaven or chametz. They were also to refrain from all
work on the first and last days of the Passover but could work on the days in
What did the Last Supper look like? One of the Disciples would have lit two
candles and said a blessing over each candle as it was lit.
The wine would then have been blessed and a cup poured for each person as well
as an extra cup for the prophet Elijah. In all four cups of wine would be
consumed by each person present at specific times of the ceremony. But Elijah’s
cup would remain untouched.
They would have washed their hands and then taken parsley to remind them of the
rebirth of spring and then dipped the parsley into salt water to remind them of
the many tears shed by the Jews while in slavery.
Three breads were then displayed with the middle one being broken and passed
around for all to share. Half of one of the breads would be hidden and covered
for children to find later. It is called the afikomen, it is a Greek word. It
means something to the effect of that which is coming.
The youngest in the room would have asked the four questions:This would probably have been the disciple
John who was the youngest of the disciples.
Why do we not eat leavened bread?
Why do we only eat bitter vegetables tonight?
Why do we dip our food twice, once in salt water and once in the Charoses? (A
kind of fruit paste)
Why do we recline as we eat. (This symbolizes that the Jews have the status of
The Passover Feast is still celebrated in this way to this day.
The Jews were held as slaves in Egypt for over 400 years seeking a deliverer
from their oppression. God provided Moses to lead them to freedom from their
bondage. But they like us had to choose to leave their life of slavery in Egypt
as we choose to leave our life of slavery to sin for freedom in Christ today.
God has provided a deliverer for you dear sinner. It is Jesus Christ and he has
paid the price of your slavery and suffered the lash of the oppressed for your
Jesus is seen in the Passover ceremony today.
Lamb is the traditional meal. Jesus blood was shed to cover our sinful lives
just as lambs blood was put upon the Jews door posts and lentils. According to
the New Testament, Christ was the lamb that was slain for our sins (John 1:29).
Jesus is the Lamb of God.
The Matzoth bread contains no leaven - Jesus had no sin. The Matzoth bread had
holes in it and stripes representing Jesus wounds and scourging. Isaiah 53:5,
Jesus is represented in the afikomen, (epikomen) it is a Greek word. It means
something to the effect of “that which is coming.” Jesus himself died was
(broken), buried (hidden), and rose again (found). He tells us many times in
the bible that he is coming again and will be revealed.
Three pieces of Matzoth represent the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy
During the meal, the door to the home is opened in case the Messiah should
grace everyone with His presence.
What many do not realize is that the Messiah has already come. He stands at the
door and knocks (Revelation 3:20).
Jesus calls us to this communion with him today so that we might remember the
way God freed the Jews so long ago in such a powerful way and so that we might
remember Jesus life of sacrifice, death and resurrection freeing us from sin
and death and raising us to an eternal life with God our Father.
Do we need to be delivered today?Have
we become slaves in life to something that is holding us back from knowing the
freedom God offers?Today….right this
minute….we need to sweep our lives clean of sin today and search our hearts?
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.