And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said,
Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying,
Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.
But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.Matthew 26:26-29 ASV
… the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying,
This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.1 Corinthians 11:23-27 ASV
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying,
This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
And the cup in like manner after supper, saying,
This cup is the new covenant in my blood, even that which is poured out for you.Luke 22:19-20 ASV
And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body.
And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them: and they all drank of it.
And he said unto them, This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Verily I say unto you, I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.Mark 14:22-25 ASV
Christ made the Lord’s Supper the solemn sign and seal of the covenant for the forgiveness of the sins of his disciples in all ages.
Christians who forsake the Lord’s Supper are described in the New Testament as having “trodden under foot the Son of God” and as having “counted the blood of the covenant wherewith (they) were sanctified an unholy thing” and as having “done despite” (insulted) unto the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29).
These scriptures are the account of the establishment of the Lord’s Supper, an event recorded by all three synoptics and by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
The four witnesses to this scene (Paul’s, of course, by direct revelation) are remarkable for variation in the words of Jesus, as separately reported; but this should be understood as the natural result of independent testimonies and is much more convincing than verbatim accounts would have been, for in such a case there would invariably have existed a presumption of some common source.
Of course, the accounts perfectly agree and are fully compatible and supplementary, each to the others, making up a graphic and exciting composite of this momentous occurrence.
Of vast significance are the words “unto remission of sins,” translated “for the remission of sins” in the KJV.
Note that Christ’s blood was not shed because men were already forgiven but in order that they might be forgiven. Christ did not die because men were already saved but in order that they might, as a result of his death, receive salvation.
Whatever the expression means in one place it must also mean in the other. Thus, the familiar heresy that baptism is not related to forgiveness of sins is refuted, incidentally but devastatingly, by Christ’s use of the key phrase in this verse.
This expositor has never seen an exposition, version, commentary or translation in which the identical words (unto remission of sins) in Acts 2:38 and Matthew 26:28 were not identically translated.
Both passages in the Greek text, and as far as is known in all translations, are identical in form and meaning.
Therefore, if Christ’s pouring out of his blood was a prerequisite in the procurement of human forgiveness, then also baptism is a prerequisite action in the procurement of that same forgiveness on behalf of his disciples.
An age-old controversy, and one that rent Christendom asunder, raged over the meaning of “This is my body.” Is the expression a metaphor, or is some mystical meaning implied?
The Roman doctrine of transubstantiation is grounded here. Yet, when one has read the long and tedious dissertations on this subject, a fresh reading of the whole context will clear the mind and bring sharply into focus the obvious truth.
Christ often used metaphor in his teaching, saying, “I am the door,” “I am the way,” “I am the bread of life,” etc. The compulsion to receive “This is my body” as a metaphor comes from the fact that it was not Jesus’ literal flesh that they ate.
The expression “This is my body” which they were to take and eat, actually focuses attention upon the lamb of the Passover, the type, of which Jesus was the glorious fulfillment.
Not in eating an actual lamb, but in living the Word of Christ shall men attain unto salvation.
The Second Advent is a major doctrine of Christianity; and it is fitting that it should be honored in the pivotal ordinance of the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper.