This do in remembrance of me. – Jesus Christ, The Gospel according to Luke (22:19).
It may be short, but this resounding quote from the Lord Jesus Christ is key in the observance of the biblical supper – the Lord’s Supper – that He privately conducted together with His apostles two thousand years ago.
The Members Church of God International observes the Lord’s Supper in Israel’s reckoning time, which falls at sunset on the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar. MCGI celebrates the holy gathering that coincides with the setting of the sun in Israel, in their respective time zones. This shows the Congregation’s unity in observing the Supper at the time the Lord Jesus Christ did the same.
MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano explains before the Congregation during its Thanksgiving ceremonies on March 27 that “the Lord Jesus Christ did this exactly to fulfill the Scriptures.” According to Bro. Soriano, the Lord observed the Feast of the Passover a day prior the killing of the lambs in Israel.
The celebration of the Lord’s Supper takes its inspiration from the account in the Holy Bible. In the book of Matthew 26:1-57, the Lord Jesus Christ celebrated the Feast of the Passover together with his chosen twelve in a house not far from the garden of Gethsemane where he was later arrested. During the Feast, he related to his disciples that he must suffer, die, and on the third day rise again. Similar accounts in the gospels of Mark, Luke, and John relate the activities during the solemn ceremony, which included Jesus’ teaching, washing of his disciples’ feet (John 13:5), the eating of bread (Luke 22:19), and the drinking from a single cup (Mark 13:23), the latter two symbolizing his body and the blood of the new covenant which is poured for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 22:19-20).
During the Feast of the Passover, a lamb without blemish is killed and later eaten. This Jewish custom dates back to the time of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. According to the account in Exodus 12:1-14, God commanded his people that on the eve of their exit, they ready a male lamb without blemish, kill it, and later eat in haste the meat which was roasted in fire. The blood then was brushed on the posts and lintel of their doorways, which will be a sign for the angel of death to ‘pass over’ their houses and spare them from the plague of death. The ‘passing over’ of the angel of death is where the Passover Feast gets its name.
In the previous year’s Lord’s Supper memorials, Bro. Eliseo Soriano explained through the Bible that the Mosaic account is prophetic of the events that were to take place in Jesus’ time. Using St. Paul’s explanations, Bro. Soriano related to the Congregation that the objects of the first passover – unblemished lamb, its meat, and blood – are all symbolic of Jesus Christ. It was during the height of the Passover Feast that Jesus Christ was seized by betrayal and later tortured until his death on the cross. The lambs that were slain in the time of Moses all count for one lamb that was slain to redeem man from sin, and the lamb happens to be Jesus Christ.
Bro. Soriano coupled his explanations with other biblical proofs and intelligent discussions that attest to Jesus Christ as the lamb that was to save people from their transgressions. Some are the account of Abraham and his sacrificing of Isaac, the prophecies of the early prophets, John the Baptist’s declaration, and John’s visions in the island of Patmos.
This solemn celebration of MCGI recounts once more the greatest sacrifice of one man and God’s unconditional love for mankind, according to Bro. Soriano in his sermon during the previous year’s Lord’s Supper ceremonies. This is clearly written in probably one of the most favored verses of the Bible, John 3:16 which says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)