Communion: Instituted by Christ Himself?

John Gill

Communion was instituted by Christ himself, who has given an example to do as he has done, which has great force and authority in it. He not only practiced and celebrated it himself, which gave a sufficient sanction to it, but he has commanded it of his apostles and disciples and all succeeding ministers and on all his followers to the end of the world.

This is contained in the words Jesus used at the first institution of the ordinance: "Take, eat, this is my body; drink all of this, for this is my blood; do this in remembrance of me" (Matthew 26:26-27; Luke 22:19). The apostle Paul expressly declares that what he delivered concerning this ordinance, he "received from the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:23). Thus, it is not soemthing he invented, nor did he receive it of men, nor was taught it, but he had it by the revelation of Christ.

Because the Lord's supper was instituted by Christ and celebrated by him, "the same night in which he was betrayed," this shows the very great love of Christ to his church and people and his affectionate concern for them. His sufferings were coming upon him and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death - he that was to betray him was at hand. Jesus was just about to be delivered into the hands of sinful men who would put him to death. He was ready to suffer and die for his people. At that time, amidst all his sorrows and in the near approach of his most dreadful sufferings, he thought of his people and provided for them a divine taking of food, spiritual food for their entertainment to the end of the world.

Adapted from A Body of Practical Divinity, Book 3, Chapter 2, by John Gill.

Originally published September 23, 2010.

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