God always does things by intent. The elements of the Lord’s Supper are actually three in number. We will miss a valuable truth if we fail to realize what they are. As there were three dispensations; three members of the nature called God; three parts of man; there are three elements in the Supper.
“Our Lord took the bread.” This was unleavened, there was nothing mixed, carried across, contaminating, or altering its basic oneness. He interpreted the bread to be “His body” which HAD to be given. Unlike the sacrifices of the other covenants, the physical part of the sacrifice of the New Testament Covenant is ONE!! “He took the cup.” There were TWO parts to the cup, the utensil itself and the element within the utensil. Christ interpreted the contents of the cup as “My blood,” yet there was a cup which we understand to be the avenue of means by which the offering would be made. He described the cup as the container in Luke and 1 Corinthians 11. IN these two passages the container is the representative of the means or way that He would die for the Church. As often as we partake we are teaching, proclaiming, declaring, and verifying to the recipient and the audience of the recipient our faith in cup and its element. Jesus declared He would not eat or drink again of these elements again in this life-Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; and Luke 22:18. There was a reason for this declaration! By handling two implements He handled three things that were necessary to satisfy His Father.
The elements partaken were “to proclaim.” The Greek word is katagello which means to proclaim or teach. We are not only remembering—we are teaching others what occurred in the death of our Lord as we participate in this memorial. The elements are “teaching” symbols. To the child or the unlearned, they teach-nothing!!
Before a covenant can be established there has to be a sacrifice that involves blood. This offering must be someone or something that was totally innocent. Hebrews 10:4-5 states “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should (not could, God never intended them to be acceptable) should take away sins. Wherefore, when He came into the world, He said, ‘Sacrifice and offering thou would not allow (accept), but a body thou hast prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure (appeasement). So, said I, Lo, I come (in the volume (from the very beginning) of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, O God. (By this sacrifice of My body) He took away the first (covenant) and established the second (covenant). And by the second covenant we, the Church of Christ are sanctified through the offering of the body (the means) of Jesus Christ once and for all.” Hebrews 10:4-10
Christ could not die as God so God gave Him a body to inhabit. Every time we partake we are teaching, showing, and affirming our confidence in the results of His sacrifice!! We know it has taken our sins away!! When Moses gave the covenant of the Old Testament, it could not and was not ratified (declared legal and binding) until it was “sprinkled with blood.” A greater sacrifice was demanded by the Father to appease His spirit because man had so callously sinned against Him. Like the writing of the commandments on stone, blood sprinkled on the covenant gave the offering value and made it binding!! The blood is not the covenant and the covenant is not the blood but one is of not value without the other. The words of Moses were of no value unless they were written and engraved on stone—something that could not be destroyed. Christ died so His blood could establish a NEW covenant, which in turn made the new covenant as binding as though it was written on stone that can NOT be altered!!