taste of the bread
the taste of the cup
16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion
of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the
communion of the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:16
The cup of the Lordís
Supper is a delicious drink. It is called in Scripture, "the cup of
blessing." Whether it is wine or grape juice, this drink is
physically pleasing to sip. This fact is not accidental. This
delightful drink, this cup of blessing, stands for a delightful
message: He suffered death for me that I might have life. He took my
judgment on Himself. I donít have to pay for my sins; instead, I get
to inherit a blessing. When a judge declares you not guilty, you are
delighted and relieved. This is an easy message to swallow and the
drink that symbolizes this message is similarly easy to swallow.
On the other hand, the
unleavened bread of the Lordís Supper, although being good for you
spiritually, is simply not delicious. This flat bread does not have
sugar on it. It has no custard filing inside of it. We donít eat it
with cream cheese and a topping. Unlike the cup, it has a dry,
unexciting taste to it. This is deliberate.
In the Old Testament
this bread was called the bread of affliction because the Hebrews
made the dough without leaven because they were leaving Egypt in
haste. This bread was eaten during the Feast of Unleavened Bread to
commemorate their coming out of Egypt in haste.
Just as the Hebrews came
out of Egypt in haste, so the New Testament believers come out of
sin in haste. The unleavened bread stands for the truth that the
believer has been crucified with Christ so that he can live for
righteousness or follow Jesus. "Crucified with Christ" is a good
message but it is truly hard to swallow. The dry unleavened bread
stands for a difficult message to receive. Itís kind of like eating
your peas and carrots. Eating them might not be an enjoyable
experience, but they are very good for you; and, eventually, you get
used to them and even desire them.
Letís look at the two
elements of the Lordís Supper this way. Imagine going into a
corporate board room and telling these people that their problems,
legal and otherwise, are over and that furthermore, their company
was going to experience unprecedented growth, prosperity and
success. Would they not be relieved and thrilled with your message?
This is essentially the message of the cup.
Now imagine going to the
same management team and telling them that a lot of changes need to
be made in their company. Imagine telling them that they are making
a series of mistakes that need to be rectified immediately. Not only
will you leave them with a list of mistaken company
policies (sanctification), but you will also present them with a list
of new policies to implement (righteousness).
Obviously, this latter
message relating to criticisms and suggestions would be much harder
for them to swallow. This latter message is essentially the message
of the bread of the Lordís Supper.
We often hear the
phrase, "God bless America." This phrase is like asking America to
drink the cup of blessing. This is easy for people to swallow. What
about a phrase relating to God make America holy and help her live
right. This would be like asking America to eat the bread of
deliverance or the bread of affliction. Are Americans interested in
being delivered out of their sins in order to live for God. This
latter message is not so easy to swallow.
Nevertheless, the bread
of the Lordís Supper is good for Americans. It is good for American
churches. It is good for you; not delicious, but it stands for a
truth that will make you good.
In order to clear up
some possible confusion, we need to understand that repentance is
implied by both the cup and the bread. One needs to repent and
believe to receive both forgiveness for sin and deliverance from sin
The Exodus story has two pictures of repentance. For the Hebrews to
be shielded from the angel of death they were instructed to stay
inside their houses. This is a picture of the repentance necessary
to receive forgiveness of sins. For the Hebrews to experience
deliverance out of Egypt, they needed to be trying to get out of
Egypt. Daaah! The opening in the Red Sea that the Lord made for them
would only benefit those who were willing to move their legs and
start walking across. The picture of the Hebrews walking away from
and out of Egypt is a picture of the repentance necessary to receive
deliverance from sin.
delightful as the cup of blessing is to the palate, it still is
necessary to repent in order to receive the blessings it symbolizes.
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