Commands of Christ

Take, Eat, and Drink

Where is this command found?

“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Matthew 26:26–28

Applying This Command

It was at the communion table that Jesus revealed Himself as the sacrificial Lamb Who would have His body broken for His disciples and His blood “shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). It was also at this table that Jesus revealed the true nature of His disciples: one would betray Him, all would be offended because of Him and forsake Him, and one would deny Him three times before the night was over.

The spiritual illumination that takes place at a properly conducted communion service is also illustrated after the resurrection. Two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. Jesus joined them and participated in their conversation, but they did not recognize Him. He began at Moses and all the prophets and explained all the passages that referred to Himself. Their hearts “burned” within them as He spoke, yet they still did not recognize Who He was!

Paul’s greatest goal in life was to know Jesus in an intimate way, in the power of His resurrection. This is the very purpose of the communion table. It is entering into the fellowship of His sufferings and being conformed to His death, so that we might experience His life in our bodies. (See Philippians 3:10 and II Corinthians 4:10.)

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on Matthew 26:26–27, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Take, Eat, and Drink.

Psalm 139:23–24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I Corinthians 11:28–30

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”

II Corinthians 13:5

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

Galatians 6:3–4

“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

Psalm 26:2

“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”

Lamentations 3:40

“Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.”

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Study Question

Q: According to all of the Gospels, Jesus gave the cup to His disciples to drink, but He Himself did not drink. Why? (See Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:16–18.)

A: The spiritual illumination that should take place during communion is clearly illustrated during the Last Supper. It was at this communion table that Jesus revealed He would have His body broken and His blood “shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). He also revealed the true nature of His disciples: one would betray Him, all would forsake Him, and one would deny Him three times before that night was over.

In the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus stated that He would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day He drank it anew in His Father’s kingdom. (See Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:18).

Luke’s account records these words of Jesus: “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come” (Luke 22:18). After communion, Jesus expanded this statement, saying, “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom …” (Luke 22:28–30).

Jesus used the last meal He shared with His disciples to open their spiritual eyes to see the magnitude of God’s plan for them. By not drinking of the cup, He focused their attention beyond the agony of the cross to the glories that would be theirs throughout eternity.

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