Announcing the Lord’s Death

1 Corinthians 11:23–26 (NLT)

For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.

Paul says in the Lord’s supper we are not announcing Jesus’ resurrection, but “His Death.” The other crucial point to mark is the emphasis on, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

The positive focus and command is for us to remember Jesus in the atonement, with an emphasis on HIS broken body, and HIS blood. Then both of these are to be focused in regard to “His death,” rather than resurrection.

What does this mean?

First, it is NOT mainly a focus on you. It is about Jesus. He is asking you, to remember Him!

Second, it is what Jesus’ “death” accomplished at that particular time and place.

After reading and watching some of the faith preachers, I have noticed an abnormal focus on “you” receiving healing when taking the Lord’s Supper. The mistake is not in that one is able to receive healing when they take the Lord’s Supper, but that it is not emphasized that way in the Scripture.

Below is a quick positive teaching on what the “broken bread” and “blood” mean, in light of Jesus’ “death.” One part will deal with Jesus’ body broken for our healing.

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (or Christ). Upon hearing the word of Christ, in the Lord Supper, it is more than possible for faith to rise up and receive the promises of God; however, the focus of the Lord Supper is about remembering Jesus’ body and blood, in His death. It is not mainly about you.

Jesus says to remember His broken body. The question then is simple. What does the Scripture say about Jesus broken body? What does the Scripture say about Jesus body and its death? The broken body of Jesus was about the substitutionary atonement. What does the Scripture say about this?

First, is the overall nature of God. God loved us. Jesus loved us.

The Body:

As to the details, Isaiah 53 says some specific things about the body of Jesus in the atonement.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. [Matt. 8:17.]

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. (Isaiah 53 4-5 AMP).

The fact that our sins were upon His body, is not disputed. In verse 12 it uses the Levitical word (the one used in Lev. 16 about the escape goat) for borne our sins. That is, our sins were transferred off us, and put-on Jesus, by the judgement of the Father. Thus, the Father, broke, beat and punished the “body” of Jesus, all the way to death, for the sin that it carried.

However, the same Levitical word is also used in verse 4, when it says, He borne our sickness and pain. That is, our sicknesses were transferred off us, and transferred to Jesus, by the Judgment of the Father. Then verse 4 concludes that the “body” of Jesus looked like it was “afflicted,” as if “with leprosy.” Thus, the Father broke the “body” of Jesus with affliction for the sickness it bore.

However there is more about this death of Jesus.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, for your sake he became poor, in order that you, by his poverty, may become rich.” 1 Corinth. 8:9 LEB

This passage cannot be spiritualized away. It is about money. When doing context and systematic theology we read Paul saying something similar about sin and righteousness in his second letter to the Corinthians, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God,” (2 Corinth. 5:21 LEB). And so, by the substitutionary poverty of Jesus, just as in His substitutionary sin, we become rich and we become righteous.

Jesus borne on His body, our poverty. His body was stripped naked. He was so poor, His body was naked in its death. Jesus in His ministry had so much money, that Judas was able to steal from the money bag and it not cause a problem. In His substitutionary death, Jesus was penniless and naked. He became our poverty so that, now in this place, in Him we might have an abundance to wealth, and in this have an abundance to give to the gospel ministry and poor.

However, there is more about this death of Jesus.

“But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became God-given wisdom for us—our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, (1 Corinth. 1:30 HCSB)

Here Paul, sums up the substitutionary atonement of Christ as, “Jesus became righteousness for us.” In this list we hear of a new aspect, Jesus became our wisdom for us, in this atonement death. Since this atonement is already defined by Paul as a substitutionary death for all our negative things, when we know in order for Jesus to be our wisdom in us now, we know He was our ignorance on the cross for us first. Jesus did not fight back with words to His accusers. On the cross, Jesus’ body was silent to the mocking. Think about all the cruel things the mocked Him with, when He hung on the cross. The only time He spoke is when the high priest used his authority to make Jesus give an answer. He looked ignorant and stupid. He born that shame on this silent body, on the cross.  Jesus took on our stupidity and ignorance, so that in Him we might become the Wisdom of God.

Time would fail me to mention all substitutionary transfers His body borne for us, such as Jesus taking on our abandonment. His body borne the shame of abandonment. All forsook Him. His body did not have a friend hugging and clinging onto Him in love to comfort Him. No. His body borne our abandonment for us, so that in Him we become the children of God, with endless brothers and sisters!

The main aspect of the Lord’s Supper, about the “body” of Jesus, is not the positive aspect of what we receive; rather, it is about the negative aspect of all the negative things Jesus body received for us! The death focus of this Supper is about what died in the death of Jesus body. Our sin was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. It died there, once and for all, at the Place of the Skull. Our poverty was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. Our sickness was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body at that place and time. Our ignorance was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body. Our abandonment was transferred off of us, onto the body of Jesus, and it died on His body.

All these negative things were taken off of us, and DIED in the body of Christ, once and for all. Your sins have already died. Your sickness has already died. Your ignorance has already died. Your poverty has already died, in the body of Jesus.  By announcing the Lord’s death, you are announcing all the negative things that was once yours, were transferred upon the body of Jesus, and died there.

The blood:

The blood of Jesus, as Paul says, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood.”

This phrase about “God being our God, and we His people,” is what God promises in the New Covenant.  Thus, it is not surprising to see Jesus making this phrase and connecting it to the new covenant and then to “His blood.” Why the blood? And what does this have to do with announcing His “death.”

“Now when someone leaves a will,[g] it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.

That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal.” (Hebrews 9:16-18 NLT)

The reason Jesus mentions us to remember His “blood,” and the New Contract, is that the “DEATH” (blood) of the tester makes the contract “active.” Whereas the body of Christ is purely a negative focus on all the negative things Jesus body borne, the blood is (although negative directly) more of focus on the positive aspect of the New Contract being “effective” in Jesus’ death. Jesus’ bloodshed, not ours, activates the new contract. God promises, in the positive, I will not remember your sins, I will write my Laws upon your heart, I will not stop from doing you good, I will be Your God, and you will be My people.”

The blood and death of Jesus makes this already active for us. We are to remember the blood that poured out of His body, for so many hours. We are to remember, out of love for us, He is letting His blood flow out, so that in His death the new contract of unmerited favor becomes active for us!

When we proclaim Jesus’ death we proclaim that,

In His blood, “God is our God, we are already His people!”