TRADITION OF THE INSTITUTION
Paul also says, “The cup of blessing that we bless” “The cup of blessing” “is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?” The cup of blessing was the third cup of the Jewish Passover. He also writes in the next letter, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) We had an old covenant that was fulfilled at Passover. Now the new covenant has begun. What does it say in the new covenant? “Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:25-26) It’s one step deeper than just saying, “I believe.” Yeah, I believe in Jesus, but I’m receiving Communion while I wait for Christ to come back. Because it says, “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-29) We have to prepare ourselves. It’s saying, you’re about to receive Jesus’ real body and blood. Are you prepared? Have you abstained from eating food in the last hour? Have you confessed your sins? Do you have mortal sin on your soul? Are you ready? Are you prayerful? How do you receive this? What’s so special? Leviticus tells us that the life is in the blood. This is Jesus’ body and blood. Take it and receive His life. But one can’t just take it without caution. St. Paul says if you’re not careful, you eat and drink judgment upon yourself.
St. Paul also writes in first Corinthians five, verse seven, “Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8) Now what feast is St. Paul talking about? If you’ll turn back to page one on your handout, we’re going to go back to Exodus 12. St. Paul is referring to the feast of the Passover that continues in the Eucharist. It says on verse 14, Exodus 12:14, “This day shall be a memorial feast for you in which all generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD as a perpetual institution.” (Exodus 12:14) “all generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD as a perpetual institution.” It never stops. It never stops. This feast continues in the Eucharist.
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