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Liturgy of the Eucharist

by Robert Randle  
3/10/2013 / Devotionals

The celebration of the LORD'S Supper is the most solemn event in the Christian Church and holiest of sacraments, and yet do we pay attention the words spoken by a member of the clergy surrounding the communion table.

This is besides the fact that in some denominations a loaf of bread is used which is not the unleavened bread ("matzo") that is mentioned in the Old Testament during Passover, where we derive our observance. Anyway, when an individual presides over the table one is prone to quote 1 Corinthians 11: 23-24 where the Apostle Paul quotes Jesus as saying, "Take eat, this is My body, which is broken for you." The thing is, though, the closest narrative to this is found in the gospel of Luke 22: 9, where Jesus says, "This is My body, which is given for you."

Even Matthew and Mark don't even go that far.The reason to bring attention to this little detail is that using the word "broken" gives a connotation that is inconsistent with the rest of scripture. It would seem more appropriate for the verse to use words like: given up /delivered up, ransomed, or even sacrificed for you. And while Jesus was certainly subjected to humiliation and torture, yet His body (or spirit for that matter) was not 'broken' in the usual sense of the word.

The most important part is that which Paul transposes from Luke's gospel, namely, "Do this in remembrance (or as a memorial) to Me." How fortunate we are as believers that this most precious privilege and rite was left on the pages of inspiration by authors who weren't even among Jesus' disciples,but nevertheless passed it on for future generations to follow in this most blessed experience of partaking of the flesh and blood of the Son of Man (John 6: 51-54).

Exodus 34: 20
You shall not break (Heb. thish) any bone (Heb. estem) of it [the Passover lamb].

Psalms 34: 20
He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken (Heb. nish'barah).

John 19: 36
These things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled; not one of his bones (Heb. estem) will be broken (Heb. thish).

Matthew 26: 26
While they were eating, Jesus took bread (Heb. lechem), and after blessing it, He broke (Heb. yiph'ros) and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take eat, this is My body."

Mark 14: 22
While they were eating, Jesus took bread (Heb. lechem), and after blessing it, He broke (Heb. yiph'tsa) and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take eat, this is My body."

Luke 22: 19
And when he had taken the bread (Heb. ha lechem) and given thanks, He broke (Heb. yib'tsa) and gave it to them (Heb. lahem), saying, "This is My body which [is given] for you; do this in remembrance
(Heb. zik'riy) of Me.
NOTE: There is no Hebrew translation for [is given] and doubtless was placed there to make more sense.

1 Corinthians 11: 23-24
For I have received of the LORD that which I deliver unto you, that the LORD Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks He broke (Heb. yib'tsa) it and said, "Take eat, this is My body which is broken for you; this do in remembrance (Heb. zik'riy) of Me."

1 Corinthians 5: 7b
For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed (Heb. nizbach) for us.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
February 9, 2013

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