During the Roman Catholic Sunday Eucharist (Breaking of Bread or Holy Communion), the worshipper is told that “as we drink his blood that was poured out for us, we are washed clean” (the blood here being the wine which through transubstantiation has become the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ). This encourages the worshipper to attend Eucharist in order to have sins forgiven. This is in complete contrast to what we read in scripture.

At the last supper, Jesus is emphatic when he says, “that with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer…this do in remembrance of me”; so that his disciples might remember and not forget him (Luke 22:15, 19). As we know there was good reason for this time of remembrance, as they would see their dearest and closest friend crucified in the next twenty-four hours. Following Jesus’s ascension, they continued with this meeting of remembrance “continuing steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Unfortunately, this meeting would become corrupted until Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 reprimands those in Corinth for “eating and drinking damnation to [themselves], not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:29). He encourages them to “examine themselves”. This can be interpreted in various ways. Was he suggesting they examine their behaviour in the last week; perhaps they should be asking themselves as to whether they were adhering to the Bible truths they had been taught; or were they merely attending just so they could over indulge themselves on food and drink? For whatever reason it was, Paul at no time says they should be attending in order to have their sins forgiven. In fact, he is quite clear when he says they should break bread so that they “do show (or proclaim) the Lord’s death till he come”.

So, as we begin a New Year, let us not be confused by what some might teach and so misinterpret the simple message that Jesus conveyed at the last supper. We are privileged to be able to ask for our sins to be forgiven anytime, day or night, for God’s ear is inclined to all who love and call upon His Name.

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