The words breaking of bread signify eating together with one another in reverence and harmony with the Lord. Jesus broke bread during the Passover meal with His disciples and turned that Old Covenant feast into the prophetic sign of the New Covenant. We call this sign the Last Supper, the Lord’s Supper, a Love/agape feast, Breaking of Bread, Eucharist or Communion, Those are words of rich relationships in Christ Jesus with one another.
Breaking of Bread
The Lord’s Supper is a prophetic sign of the past, present and future in the kingdom of God that was and is and is to come. It involves both our physical and spiritual partaking and participation. Since it is a prophetic sign, we need our eyes opened by the Holy Spirit in order to see, hear and feel more than bread and wine in it. The Holy Spirit dwells in all who trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (1Cor 3:16) and gives us that capability.
In Luke, we see Jesus revealing Himself to His disciples through breaking bread right after His resurrection. At first they did not recognize Him. When Jesus broke bread, their spiritual eyes were opened and they knew Him. We know Jesus in the breaking of bread.
When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. Luke 24:30-31 NASB
In the celebration of Passover, Jesus broke the bread which was the sign of His soon coming sacrificial death.“For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:23-24). A few days later, He was crucified. We are to remember His death till He comes. “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor 11:26). Since we know Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, we thank Him for His sacrifice, proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes.
The bread Jesus broke was unleavened. It was made without yeast as required for the feast of unleavened bread which was annexed to Passover. Leaven represented whatever had the power of corrupting, whether doctrine, or example, or anything else. Paul had to straighten up the church in Corinth about a man whose wickedness they tolerated in their midst. In his exhortation to them he refers to the celebration of agape calling it “our festival.” And, “our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ.”
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ: wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
In Acts 2, we see the first celebration of the Lord’s Supper as an agape feast.
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved. Acts 2:42-47
That is a good description of the Lord’s Supper as an agape feast also addressed in Jude 1:12. The Greek word agape is translated love. “And we know and have believed the love/agape which God hath in us. God is love/agape; and he that abideth in love/agape abideth in God, and God abideth in him” (1 John 4:16). Faith and agape is in Christ (2 Tim 1:13). The fruit of the Spirit is agape (Gal 5:22). The agape chapter of the Bible is (1 Cor 13). Breaking bread at home is agape.
Agape is an environment. These believers were not one hour on Sunday church Christians. They were 24/7 believers, who thrived in harmonious community relationship. They put their love into action and made it real, walking in good works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 KJV).
Drinking the cup
In his preface to the Lord’s supper, Luke shows Jesus was looking forward to Passover fellowship with the 12 and brings forth the mindset Jesus had toward His imminent crucifixion. He knew He was to suffer, but Jesus was looking beyond it to the end of His reign when He turns over His kingdom (Col 1:13) to His Father (1 Cor 15:20-28) in the kingdom that is to come . “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, thinking nothing of its shame, and sat down at the right of God’s throne” (Heb 12:1-2). Even then, Jesus was looking forward to the kingdom that is to come (Rev 21-22) and the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-10).
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:14-20 NASB
The first cup Jesus took was the cup which was ordinarily taken at the beginning of Passover supper. The second was the sacramental cup. It was known as the cup of blessing (1 Cor 10:16). Jesus took the cup saying “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
To aid our comprehension of the meaning of that statement, let’s dig in the Spirit and go to the Word.
Jesus said: “the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. John 6:53-63 NASB
Jesus spoke of His crucifixion death as the cup.
But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup that I drink? or to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We are able. And Jesus said unto them, The cup that I drink ye shall drink; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized. Mark 10:38-39
Blood was a sign for the LORD’S pass over the Israelites.
And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. Exodus 12:11 KJV
The actual pass over was when He passed over the houses with blood on the sides and tops of the doorframes. “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (Ex 12:13 NASB).
The ordinances commanded for the Passover supper also contain prophetic signs of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for our sins so that we might have life. .
The cup was the prophetic sign confirming the new covenant.
Jesus took the cup saying “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”
In Hebrews 9 we see the comparison of the old covenant with the new covenant. The old covenant had an earthly temple and earthly sacrifices for sin. They did not clear the conscience (Heb 9:1-10).
But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Hebrews 9:11-15