Today is a special day for us. For nearly 2000 years, this day has been commemorated by the disciples of Jesus. In an unbroken chain, disciples have set aside the first day of the week to remember that Jesus died and was resurrected.
On the night of Passover, Jesus gathered with His disciples and partook of that Old Covenant memorial. As they ate their memorial supper, Jesus took some of the unleavened bread, broke it and gave to His disciples telling them it was His body. Then He had them take the fruit of the vine, already divided among them, and told them it was His blood shed for the remission of their sins. He told them as often as they partook of this memorial, they were to remember His death (Luke 22:14-23). Paul explains that when we participate in this same memorial, we are proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes (I Corinthians 11:26).
This memorial was a central part of the Christian faith and practice. Paul referred to it in I Corinthians 10:16-22. The Christians broke bread and drank the cup of blessing. It was not a meal; it was a memorial and a participation in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. According to Acts 2:42, the disciples were devoted to breaking this bread. They were devoted to remembering and proclaiming Christ’s death through this memorial.
In Acts 20:6-7, we see that Paul, though in a hurry to get to Jerusalem for Pentecost (Acts 20:16), waited for an entire week in order to gather with the disciples to break bread, that is, to remember Jesus in this memorial. He waited in order to partake of this memorial on the first day of the week with the disciples. He did not wait for a quarterly or an annual observance. He waited until the first day of the week and the disciples gathered then to break bread.
In I Corinthians 11:20, Paul rebuked the Corinthian church because when they were gathering together they were not partaking in the Lord’s Supper. They had corrupted the memorial and were not doing what they were supposed to when they gathered. This explains that when the Corinthians church was assembling, they were supposed to take the Supper. In I Corinthians 16:2, we see that the Corinthian church gathered on the first day of the week, otherwise they could not gather a collection so that there would be no collecting when Paul came.
We are gathered today to edify one another, to worship God, and to proclaim the Lord’s death on the same day of the week on which Jesus resurrected. Every first day of the week, we gather to do this. If you are our guest, we welcome you to remember that Jesus died and was resurrected, not because this is a special holy day to be observed annually, but because this is the first day of the week. It is the day our Savior was resurrected. It is the day His disciples have remembered His death and resurrection for 2000 years. We are excited to once again recall what Jesus did for us. We are excited to proclaim to you that God became flesh, dwelt among us, died among us and was resurrected among us. May we glorify Him until He returns.