Understanding the bread of the Lord's Supper
24who Himself bore our sins in His own
BODY on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for
righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24).
scripture actually sums up the meaning of the bread of the Lordís
Supper. His body as referred to in the above scripture is
represented by the bread. His body was delivered up to deliver us
from sin so that we can live for Him. This scripture speaks of being
set free from sin, not just forgiven for sin. As we will see, the
cup speaks of forgiveness for sin, but here, the message of the
bread is one of us being set free from or delivered out of our sin
through Christís death on the cross. There are numerous other
scriptures that make this point; i.e., Romans 6:1-11, Romans 6:18,
Galatians 2:20, II Corinthians 5:14-15, etc.
Let me repeat,
the above mentioned scripture tells us that Jesus bore our sins in
His BODY (bread) on the cross so that we 1) have been set free from
sin, 2) can live for righteousness. This, in a nutshell, is the
meaning of the bread of the Lordís supper. Now, there are other
meanings to the bread, but the above is the fundamental and primary
meaning. There are other scriptures that make the same point, but
here we can clearly see the meaning of His body delivered up for us.
scriptures, His body and our bodies are primarily for doing things
on the earth. Through His body delivered up for us, He set us free
from doing sin and living for ourselves, so that we can use our
bodies to live right; to live for God and others like He did with
His body. A body is all about doing. The bread symbolizes His body.
By symbolically eating His body through the bread of the Lordís
Supper, we are 1)eating our deliverance out of our selfishness and
sin, and we are 2) eating the Lordís will (righteousness, love). To
repeat point number two above; eating the Lordís body is eating His
will. To repeat point number one; eating the Lordís body is eating
deliverance from our own wills (sin).
34 When He had called the people to
Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires
to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and
follow Me. (Mark 8:34).
describes the meaning of the bread of the Lordís Supper. Here, there
is the "dying to self" message and also the "following Him" message.
10By that will we have been sanctified
through the offering of the BODY of Jesus Christ once for all.
10:10, we see the same theme for the body of Christ delivered up for
us. His body was delivered up for us to set us apart from sin. The
Bible says that we are free people through the Lordís death. This is
a sanctification message, not the forgiveness message of the cup.
His body sanctifies us (bread). His blood justifies us (cup). (In
the Lordís Supper, the body and blood take on unique meanings. In
other contexts, the blood might mean both. The body, though, always
relates to truths of sanctification, suffering, and practical
righteousness; this is especially true in the Lordís Supper.)
10:5-7, the body of Christ is associated with doing the will of God.
Again, with the bread we are symbolically eating the body of Christ
not only to declare our freedom from sin, but also, by eating, we
are symbolically eating the will of God. The bread means to us
sanctification and the will of God; i.e., sanctification and
righteousness; or, deliverance from selfishness and walking in love.
Sanctification does away with sin. Righteousness replaces what we
did away with, with something good and of God.
6Your glorying is not good. Do you not
know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7Therefore
purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you
truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was
sacrificed for us.
8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven,
nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Corinthians
Here, we see that the
very nature of unleavened bread, which is what the bread of the
Lordís Supper is (Luke 22:1), relates to the messages of
sanctification and righteousness. We see the now familiar theme of
purging out the sin (malice and wickedness) so that we can live for
righteousness (sincerity and truth).
4Therefore, my brethren, you also have
become dead to the law through the BODY of Christ, that you may be
married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we
should bear fruit to God.
5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were
aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to
death. (Romans 7:4-5).
Again, His body
delivered us from ourselves so that we can live well and be fruitful
for God. We cannot deliver ourselves. We cannot just decide to die
to ourselves and live for God. Only by relying on the truth of His
death, that our body of sin died with His body on the cross (Romans
6:6), can we walk free from our sinful passions which are aroused
when we say no to them or try to impose law on them. By symbolically
eating His body, we are declaring that "...one died for all, then
all died; and He died for all, that those who live should no longer
live for themselves...(II Corinthians 5: 14b-15a). We are declaring
that "...he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:7). We
are proclaiming the authority of the Lordís death over the power of
sin in our lives. We are taking it into us by faith.
mentioned truth of the cross does not mean that we never sin. It
means that through the cross of Christ, we have authority over our
selves and flesh and our sin. It means that we donít have to be in
bondage to any sin. Making a mistake is one thing. Living in
continual bondage to some habit is something else entirely. We might
make mistakes but we do not have to keep making the same mistake
over and over again. Because of the cross, we have been crucified
with Christ; we have been set free; we are free.
physical healing is also represented in the bread and the cup. The
truth of physical healing parallels the "crucified with Christ"
message of the cross; i.e., they both are truths about the bread.
Unleavened bread, though, is fundamentally and primarily all about
sanctification and righteousness. Also, healing for the body flows
more easily when believers are coming out of their sin. One could
look at this as follows. What a person does with his body
(sanctification and righteousness) is more important than the
condition of his body. For example; a old, crippled, sick lady who
spends her time praying is more pleasing to God than a beautiful,
healthy babe who is living for self. But, thank God, His ultimate
will for us is to have a healthy or right functioning body that is
Read on in this
section for more understanding of a vital truth of the cross that
the bread stands for!
THE MESSAGE: ITíS WHAT YOU ARE
What shall we say then? Shall we continue
in sin that grace may abound?
Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in
it? (Romans 6:1,2)
In Romans 6:1-2
and Romans 6:11, Paul is telling us that we need to try to overcome
our sin nature. He is telling us that we need to strive and strain
and to eventually reach a higher level of spirituality and personal
development where we wonít sin so much. Right? Wrong! No, on the
contrary, the apostle Paul is telling us that we ARE dead to sin
because of our faith in what Christ did for us on the cross. He is
appealing to what is true about us in Christ.
Itís what we
ARE! The key to experiencing deliverance from sin is to realize and
get a revelation of what is true about ourselves because of the
cross. Trying to be crucified with Christ is works. Realizing the
truth about myself in Christ is grace through faith. Certainly I
need to want to repent. But, I must also realize that I cannot
deliver myself, or crucify myself with Christ. He included me in His
death by grace and therefore I AM dead to sin.
from the Spirit of God, become convinced of the truth about yourself
now that you are in Christ. Accept the grace of God. Stop trying to
be what you already are. Grace has changed what you are. Learn to
live from the victory, not for the victory. Letís look at some other
points regarding this vital facet of the cross.
Itís Our Death
How do you stop
a sinner from sinning? By encouraging him to try harder? By building
his self-esteem so that he has confidence that he can do it? Hardly.
There is only one way, and it is not pretty.
off, that death is Godís solution for our sin problem! The solution
is our death with Christ so that He may raise us up as new
creations. God does not try to remake our old man or our flesh.
Romans 6 and many other scriptures make this point very clear.
cannot rid ourselves of our body of sin. We cannot die to self on
our own; we can only want to die to self. By grace through faith, we
are included in His death.
death with Christ is not a glamorous proposition. You cannot market
this death to the world. Yet it is the essence of our deliverance
from the power of sin. We go no where in the kingdom without
accepting our death with Christ. We can go almost anywhere by
accepting it. There are great rewards on the resurrection side of
Itís Past Tense
Our death with
Christ is spoken of in the past tense. ". . . It is finished! . . ."
(John 19:30). The past-tense-ness of this truth speaks to our
identity. Since itís been done for us, therefore, we are this way.
On the cross if Jesus had said it was only half finished, then we
would be only half dead. Admittedly, many of us feel half dead. If
He had said it was close to being finished, then we would be close
to being dead. Yet the truth is that we have died to sin in Christ.
Itís an Identity Thing, Not a
Paul appeals to
our identity! We-who-died-to-sin is the answer to our sin problem.
Heís saying that the key to deliverance from the power of sin is you
who are in Christ: you who died with Christ and who are therefore
dead to sin.
Certainly not! How shall we who died to
sin live any longer in it? . . .
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be
dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord
remembering the ten-steps-to-freedom program nor the twelve-step
program nor even what the seven steps to freedom are. Itís a
one-step program! You need to remember what you are! You died with
Christ and therefore you are dead to sin!
religion has you trying to be someone or do something in order to be
something. Yet in Christianity, Christ has changed who you are by
grace. The key to experiencing your deliverance is a revelation of
what has been done for you and to you. Many Christians labor and try
to be what they already are in Christ. Many Christians labor to
overcome flesh problems, all the while ignoring their simple but
Here lies the
key to experiencing freedom from deep and ingrained sin habits of
sexual lust, anger and bitterness, alcohol and drugs, or pride and
self-will. This revelation of Christís death has been crucial to my
experiencing freedom from unsolvable sin problems.
I was going
through some temptations I humanly couldnít handle. In my business I
was beginning to make some significant money. The money and the
position were beginning to go to my head. Pride, anger, and lust
were beginning to be the norm rather than the exception. As I went
to the Lord for an answer, this revelation began to unfold. It came
over a period of more than a year, but praise God, the results were
great. I canít say I havenít sinned since, but those sin problems
and attacking demons were dealt a crushing blow in my life.
Now, a key to
making this truth effective in your life is to realize that we have
an identity issue here. That you were included in Christís death is
not a reference to your position but to your identity. You didnít
positionally die with Christ; you died with him!
have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but
Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I
live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself
for me (Galatians 2:20).
Certainly not! How shall we who
died to sin live any longer in it? . . .
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves
to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our
Lord (Romans 6:2,11).
theologians have gutted the life from this fundamental truth by
adding the word positional. They say we are dead positionally or
legally to sin. Yet Romans 6:2,11 and 1 Peter 2:24 and all the other
scriptures simply say we are dead to sin. The Bible says to reckon
yourself dead to sin (Romans 6:11). To say we died positionally puts
this truth out beyond us, reserved for us somewhere--we donít have
to consider it true right now. It makes it a goal to which we must
try to attain. It would be somewhat like putting us back under the
law. We would try again to achieve something for God. Yet the fact
is that we died with Christ! Itís what we are.
Now we are dead
to sin by virtue of our having died with Christ. We are also new
creations by virtue of being raised with Christ.
Another way of
looking at this identity issue is to recognize that our death with
Christ tells us who we are not in Christ, while our resurrection
with Christ speaks to us of who we are in Christ! We are raised up
new creations. We are not the old people we used to be.
Itís a Revelation
important key to making this truth effective in your life is to
realize the difference between revelation and mental assent.
Revelation occurs when the Holy Spirit makes the truth real to you.
Revelation becomes genuine faith.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of Him,
the eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the
saints (Ephesians 1:17,18).
on the other hand, is having an intellectual concept about a truth.
One has no trust nor faith in that truth.
In Romans 6:6
we see this key to making this truth effective in our lives. It is
"knowing this. . . ." Also, Romans 6:3 says, "Or do you not know . .
. ?" By seeking the Lord and meditating on our death with Him, the
Lord gives us revelation and assurance regarding the truth about us
now that we are in Christ. This knowing or faith is more precious
than gold (1 Peter 1:7).
In short, a
revelation that we died with Christ is our ticket to freedom from
the power of sin. All you brought to the Cross was the want-to. All
you need is the revelation that it is true about you.
Donít be afraid
to spend some time meditating on and seeking God for this
revelation. You donít get it while racing in and out of church
services. You need to take time before God in prayer and let the
Holy Spirit speak to your heart. Godís plan for deliverance from the
power of sin is well worth understanding and knowing. It is a
big-time key to experiencing all He has for you!
Itís a Reckoning
Any time some
desire stemming from our flesh starts to manifest itself, we need to
consider or reckon ourselves dead to it (Romans 6:11) and walk in
the opposite direction. Yet as stated before, we canít reckon or
count on something as true about ourselves (6:11), unless we know it
A person can
try to consider himself free from or dead to sin. He can repeat the
phrase over and over, but until he knows he is free (6:6), he wonít
experience his deliverance. Yet, once he does know he is free, he
can at any time go back to this truth, consider himself free from
any sin (6:11), and walk in a different direction.
not pretending. It is counting on a truth or considering a fact in a
given situation. When your flesh is about ready to act up, reckon or
remember or consider the truth about yourself in Christ.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who
became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and
sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).
We cannot jump
on the cross and die with Jesus. We can only want to do that. By
grace God put us in Christ and included us in His death.
Now that you
are in Christ, you donít have to lift one finger to get free from
the power of sin. You donít have to make even the slightest effort
to get free. Why donít you? (Bear with me.) You already are free!
God put you in Christ when you first believed. You already died with
Jesus. ". . . It is finished! . . ." (John 19:30). You cannot do the
slightest thing to improve upon this situation. Cease striving and
accept the grace of God! Believe it and experience your freedom in
Why Do We Still Sin?
If we are dead
to sin, then why do we still sin?
reason Christians sin is that they do not know what is the truth
about themselves. They donít know they died with Him.
we sin is that we forget who we are and whatís true about us. In the
heat of the day, we can get caught up in our old ways of responding.
We can get caught up in other peopleís ways of responding to things.
We need to remember Godís one-step formula to freedom from sin: we
need to remember who we are.
Letís keep in
mind what God has done for us and what He has made us. When he sins,
the Christian is like a dog that meows or a cat that barks. He is
acting inconsistently with who he now is.
Christians sin because they donít want freedom from a particular
sin. This attitude is serious and dangerous. Judgment, demonic
oppression, deception, or worse can result from willful sins.
critical picture of the Christianís situation is the account of the
children of Israel in the promised land. This account is truly the
mother of all biblical analogies. Now I canít go into much detail
here, but the following is a useful way to view this subject.
the children of Israel this land. He said, "Every place that the
sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you . . ." (Joshua
1:3). Before they set foot on the promised land, God had already
said it was theirs. Before they had actually taken Jericho, God had
said to Joshua, "See! I have given Jericho into your hand . . ."
(Joshua 6:2). They could take the land because God had already given
it to them.
Now you are the
promised land. Your soul and body are the promised land. Just as He
cleared evil out of the promised land, God wants to clear evil out
of you. Just as He wanted to replace the evil inhabitants with His
people who would live righteously and be blessed therein, so God
wants to replace your old man with His righteousness so that He can
bless you with life and glory.
God said to His
people, "I have given the land to you," and yet Jericho still stood
tall with its thick walls. Plenty of enemies were alive and well
when God made His promise. You might ask me, "Chris, do you mean
there are enemies in our promised land?" Yes, there are. In our
lives and souls, God has promised deliverance from all evil. Yet,
there are pockets of resistance against this promise. High things
exalt themselves "against the knowledge of God . . ." (2 Corinthians
God says your
old man died with Christ. Yet there are still Jerichos and enemies
raised up against Godís promise. These habits, bondages, or
strongholds sometimes seem to taunt and defy you, as if saying,
"Weíve had you twenty years, and now you think youíve been set free.
Impossible! You canít deny that we exist."
Yet you would
declare with all faith, "Habit, there has been a change of
ownership. In this contract (the Bible), you have been specifically
excluded. I donít deny that you exist; I deny your right to exist on
this property any more!"
"Now if you donít believe and respect the authority given me by this
contract (the Word), I will call for the power (the Holy Spirit) to
back me up on this! Iím moving in a different direction now."
that I have been crucified with Christ gives me the authority to
expect and demand bondages to lift off me. "By faith the walls of
Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days" (Hebrews
11:30). Seven days implies perfect faith, since seven is the number
of completion. James 1:6-8 admonishes us to ask in faith with no
Some of the
Jericho's--pride, anger, lust, alcohol, drugs--in your life may have
been there for years, and the walls are thick. These thick walls
must give way to the unrelenting force of your faith in Godís
promise. Encourage yourself in the Word that declares your freedom;
confront the problems and hold your confession. Step out in a
different direction by faith.
And not being weak in faith, he did not
consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a
hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarahís womb.
He did not waver at the promise of God
through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to
God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was
also able to perform.
And therefore "it was accounted to him for
righteousness" (Romans 4:19-22).
helps at this point also. Binding them often relieves pressure. They
hide behind manís sin and deception. They exert pressure and speak
discouragement, unbelief, and all manner of deception to oneís mind.
They also like to claim territory not theirs.
sometimes ask, "Does my death with Christ mean that I never sin?"
This is the wrong question to ask. The important question is how
much deliverance do you truly want. The Lord gave me this truth to
answer people regarding their sin. "You are entitled to as much
deliverance as you really want!" In His death, Jesus has freed me
from any and all sinful habits and problems. How many do I really
want out of my life? My want-to is the limit to my deliverance. Here
is a great place for a sound, biblical name-it-and-claim-it
teaching. Name that sin; claim your deliverance.
Now, I doubt if
anyone on the earth today wants 100 per cent deliverance. Yet we all
press on to a stronger resolve in certain areas of weakness.
Dead To Sin?
How do you take
a sin to the cross? Where is the cross? Do you hang a crucifix on
your wall and kneel before it?
compare a sin you committed to the truth that you died with Christ,
you are effectively taking that sin to the cross, i.e., the truth of
the cross in your life.
The rock solid
truth that I am dead to sin in Christ is the cross in my life. When
I compare who I am with what I just did (sinned), I experience the
pain and shame of the contradiction. Something has to give! Either I
stop sinning or I back off my commitment and stand of faith, i.e., I
stop believing I died with Christ and am therefore dead to sin. The
sharp contradiction between who I am and what I just did is painful.
Itís supposed to be. Then again, is there such a thing as a painless
I can always
move the cross to avoid the pain by saying, "Well, Iíll get free
someday," or by countless other escape strategies. Moving the cross
or completely backing off it will lessen or nullify its power in my
life. On the other hand, by receiving forgiveness for and
deliverance from a sin, I experience the promised peace and victory.
All the above
considerations also apply to the forgiveness we have in Christ. The
truth that we are forgiven in Christ is also the cross in our lives.
Lordís Supper is simply going to the cross with all of our sins and
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