Daily Archives: February 27, 2019

February 27 A Call to Repentance

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 50:7–10

Key Verse: Isaiah 50:7

For the Lord God will help Me;

Therefore I will not be disgraced;

Therefore I have set My face like a flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

Genuine repentance of sin includes: agreeing with the Lord that our behavior or thought pattern is ungodly; establishing in our thinking that this sinful habit is displeasing to God; identifying—with the Spirit’s help—what would please Him; and taking steps under the Spirit’s power to turn from sin and walk in godliness. Whether we are nonbelievers starting to come to faith in Jesus or believers wrestling with sin, we all need to practice biblical repentance.

Three key words describe the process of repentance: recognition, agreement, and commitment. Unless we recognize that our behavior or thoughts are sin, we will not see any need to confess them to God. Recognition comes as we study God’s Word and learn what He identifies as sin. We must then agree that God’s pattern for life is correct and ours is wrong.

The epistles to the Ephesians and Galatians are both helpful in revealing what pleases and displeases God. Without agreement, our confession would be more of an “I am sorry about the consequences” statement. Commitment is also necessary. Isaiah proclaims, “For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7). We must commit ourselves to turning away from sin and choosing God’s way.

We who belong to Jesus can change permanently. Remember: Christ promises that those He sets free will be free indeed (John 8:36).

Lord, thank You for the freedom that comes through repentance. I recognize my sin, agree with what Your Word says about it, and commit my life to You. Forgive me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 60). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Twitter Legal Warns Michelle Malkin Her ‘Mohammed Cartoon Tweet’ Violates “Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws” – Which Are Punishable by Prison or Death — The Gateway Pundit

Twitter legal sent conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin a warning last week that her Mohammed cartoon tweet violated Pakistan’s “blasphemy laws.”

The specific blasphemy laws Michelle Malkin violated are punishable by life imprisonment or death and Twitter happily delivered the death threat to her.

“I’ve been #SiliconValleySharia -ed. Here’s the notice Twitter’s legal dept sent me last week, warning me to get legal counsel because anti-blasphemy Muslim zealots complained that my Mohammed Cartoons tweet violates Pakistan’s laws,” Malkin said in a tweet on Wednesday with a screenshot of the warning.

Below is the ‘offensive’ Mohammed cartoon tweet Michelle Malkin posted — she originally posted it January of 2015.

Michelle Malkin then stated that she responded to Twitter’s legal team seeking answers.

“I have written to Twitter’s legal & media relations departments seeking answers and comment on why American citizens who use their service are now subject to Pakistan’s oppressive anti-blasphemy laws. No response yet – hi @jack can you respond==> #SiliconValleySharia” Malkin said in a tweet.

In an email to Twitter, Michelle Malkin states she’s an “American citizen who rejects sharia law” and she “never agreed to any terms of service limiting tweets” on her “American law-abiding opinions of sharia and Islam” when she signed up for Twitter.

“I would like to know who or what government agency, private organization or individual complained about my tweet, when they did so, and what criteria you will use to decide whether to take any action on the reported content,” Michelle Malkin said in her email response to Twitter legal.

Pamela Geller received the same warning from Twitter after she criticized Sharia enforcer, Linda Sarsour.

This reporter received the same warning from Twitter legal over a tweet posted calling for burkas to be banned in the United States.

The Pakistani blasphemy laws Twitter is warning about is punishable by life imprisonment or death:

Section 295B criminalizes “defiling the Holy Quran,” and carries a penalty of life imprisonment. 295C mandates that those who “by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation innuendo, or insinuation, directly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable for fine.”

So we are looking at the punishment of death, imprisonment and/or a fine — and all not necessarily in that order.

Feel safer yet, America?

via Twitter Legal Warns Michelle Malkin Her ‘Mohammed Cartoon Tweet’ Violates “Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws” – Which Are Punishable by Prison or Death — The Gateway Pundit

Representative Jim Jordan Skewers Michael Cohen and Insufferable Hearing Scheme of Leading Democrats… — The Last Refuge

Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) outlines the fraudulent basis of the testimony from convicted liar Michael Cohen.

In his opening statement during the hearing Jim Jordan outlines how political operative Lanny Davis, a Clinton loyalist, worked with House Democrats and Chairman Elijah Cummings to politicize the use of Michael Cohen’s testimony with specific intention to target President Donald Trump.


In his opening statement Jim Jordan brilliantly outlines the democrat playbook, and exposes the entire purpose of the hearing. In his second round of questioning (below) Jordan goes deeper into the Michael Cohen and Lanny Davis fraud.


via Representative Jim Jordan Skewers Michael Cohen and Insufferable Hearing Scheme of Leading Democrats… — The Last Refuge

Wikileaks RIPS Michael Cohen: “Julian Assange Has Never Had a Telephone Call with Roger Stone”… Wikileaks Teased DNC Emails in March 2016 — The Gateway Pundit

Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels famously said, “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

Democrats stand by this tactic to this day.

On Wednesday former Trump attorney and criminal liar Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee.

Mr. Cohen told the committee that President Trump knew about the Hillary Clinton email dump in advance.

Michael Cohen: “Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the Wikileaks drop of emails.”

Of course, this was another lie by Michael Cohen.
Later today Wikileaks, once again, called out Cohen for lying under oath.

Wikileaks: Donald Trump’s estranged lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has been sentenced to three years in prison for lying to the FBI, will testify today before Congress that Trump knew about the Wikileaks release in July 2016 during a call with Roger Stone.

Wikileaks had already publicly announced its pending publications and has repeatedly denied speaking to Roger Stone.

This was just another Michael Cohen lie.
And Democrats keep repeating it hoping some day it will be true.

In fact the pending DNC email release was public knowledge.

Julian Assange announced the pending investigation in June.

via Wikileaks RIPS Michael Cohen: “Julian Assange Has Never Had a Telephone Call with Roger Stone”… Wikileaks Teased DNC Emails in March 2016 — The Gateway Pundit

February 27 Separated from Sin

Scripture Reading: Psalm 103

Key Verse: Psalm 103:13

As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.

We read in Psalm 103:8–13 (nasb):

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us; nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

Can you think of why it would be important to know that God has separated you from your sin? One answer is theologically based: since God can have nothing to do with sin, He must completely remove sin from you through the blood of Jesus Christ in order to have a relationship with you.

Another reason is more subtle. If you do not grasp the fact that your sins are truly gone, then psychologically your sins are still hanging around. What happens when sin remains? You feel guilty, convicted, and unrighteous.

Positionally in Christ, your sin is gone; but this truth must be absorbed by you emotionally to be experientially real. That is why God says your sins are removed from you “as far as the east is from the west.” How far is that? It is immeasurably and inexpressibly far.

Father, thank You for separating me from my sin. It is not hanging around. It is not hiding. It is gone—removed as far as the east is from the west. Thank You![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 60). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February 27, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


India and Pakistan both said they shot down each other’s fighter jets on Wednesday, with Pakistan capturing an Indian pilot a day after Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistan for the first time since a 1971 war, prompting world powers to urge restraint.

Several airlines, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, suspended flights to Pakistan after the South Asian nation closed its air space following heightened tensions with neighboring India.

India is building more than 14,000 bunkers suitable for families living along its border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir state, hoping to keep them safe near their homes instead of evacuating them as artillery shells scream over.

The U.S. State Department refused more than 37,000 visa applications in 2018 due to the Trump administration’s travel ban, up from less than 1,000 the previous year when the ban had not fully taken effect, according to agency data released on Tuesday.

Two black women will face off in an historic April runoff for Chicago mayor, one a former prosecutor and anti-establishment candidate and the other a career politician, as the third-largest U.S. city struggles with crime and racial divisions.

The U.S. government said on Wednesday it is issuing new rules barring airlines from carrying potentially hazardous lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft, and setting new requirements for transporting them on cargo planes.

The U.S. goods trade deficit widened sharply in December as slowing global demand and a strong dollar weighed on exports, another sign that economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the goods trade gap jumped 12.8 percent to $79.5 billion in December, also with a boost from an increase in imports. Exports declined 2.8 percent and imports rose 2.4 percent in December.

AP Top Stories

Thousands of accusations of sexual abuse and harassment of migrant children in government-funded shelters were made over the past four years, including scores directed against adult staff members, according to federal data released Tuesday.

The so-called Green New Deal may tally between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10-years, concludes American Action Forum.

American and Taliban officials looking to end a 17-year war in Afghanistan began their most detailed and high-level discussions yet on foreign troop withdrawals and counter-terrorism on Tuesday, officials close to the peace negotiations said.

Cameroonian and Nigerian authorities have ordered 40,000 refugees in Cameroon to return to northeast Nigeria, aid agency Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Wednesday.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Monday banned unauthorized rallies as he announced a slew of new measures to end demonstrations that have rocked his rule for weeks.

Military rounds dating back to the 1940’s have been discovered on beaches in Washington State.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un might agree at their summit this week in Hanoi, Vietnam, to declare an end to the Korean War. Since this conflict stopped 66 years ago, what would be the practical impact of such declaration? Militarily, probably little or none, but politically it could be significant.

Boeing Co on Wednesday unveiled an unmanned, fighter-like jet developed in Australia and designed to fly alongside crewed aircraft in combat for a fraction of the cost.

Southern Baptist officials have cleared seven churches accused of covering up sexual abuse just days after a top leader called for greater scrutiny following a joint newspaper investigation that revealed allegations of rampant sexual misconduct within the largest coalition of Baptist churches in the country.

The gust at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington was clocked at 144 mph during a windstorm that is raking the country from Michigan to New England down to Virginia. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses are without power.


US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un have begun their high-profile second summit in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. They shook hands for the media before holding talks and having dinner at the five-star Metropole hotel.

At least 25 people have been killed and 50 injured after a train crash sparked a large fire at Cairo’s main railway station, Egyptian state media said. The collision caused the train’s fuel tank to explode, setting the platform and nearby buildings alight.

A baby boy who weighed just 9.45oz at birth has been released from hospital in Japan, and is believed to be the smallest boy in the world to have been successfully treated. Born at 24 weeks, the tiny boy spent five months in hospital.

Foreign language learning is at its lowest level in UK secondary schools since the turn of the millennium, with German and French falling the most.


When a bill was before the Senate on Monday to instruct doctors to offer life-saving aid to children who survive abortions, Democrats voted it down. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., opposes requiring life-saving treatments for infants. So do Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The Daily Mail reported that home assistants could soon report their owners to the police for breaking the law based on a “Moral A.I.” system, if the ideas of academics in Europe are implemented. The newspaper reported that academics at the University of Bergen in Norway discussed the idea of a “moral A.I.” for smart home assistants, like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, during a conference.

More than 85 percent of the Muslim prison chaplains in Germany recently were terminated. It seems they were actually agents of the Turkish government.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 27, 2019

The Foundation

“States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those who pursue an opposite conduct.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)

Trump’s NoKo Nuke Negotiations Get No Love From Dems

Democrats offer only criticism of the president’s efforts to end the North Korean threat.

Cohen: Convicted Liar on Lies

Trump’s former lawyer is testifying before Congress to throw his old boss under the bus.

Democrats’ Vote-Buying Scheme: ‘Free Stuff’ for All

Free health care, housing, college, child care, jobs, and reparations. Just not free people.

Artificial Intelligence Creating Fake News

The promulgation of disinformation is a real and growing problem that needs to be addressed.

The Rat Race-Bait

Jussie Smollett was the boy who cried wolf, and he was trying to win a no-rules game.

Video: Sugar’s Sweetheart Deal

Sugar subsidies are welfare for the rich. They cost consumers billions a year.

Today’s Opinion

Ben Shapiro
Venezuela and the Myth of Kinder, Gentler Socialism
Tony Perkins
The Grave Consequences of Infanticide
Gary Bauer
The Left Hates Children
Star Parker
Protect Life Rule Is Good News for America
Hans von Spakovsky
New Study Confirms Voter ID Laws Don’t Hurt Election Turnout
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Top Headline Summary

Cohen testimony, House national-emergency vote, U.S.-NoKo summit, gun control, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and more.

Wednesday Short Cuts

“The only response to any Democrat argument from now on should be: ‘You support the murder of infants.'” —Matt Walsh

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 2/27/2019

Caroline Glick vs. Donald Trump – Glick vows to be the opposition to Trump’s peace plan

‘They’re establishing Palestine over our heads’

‘Trump won’t force Mideast peace plan on Israel’ – ‘Deal of the Century’ unwarranted

Kushner remarks get cool reception from Israel, Palestinians

Top Palestinian Official Erekat Slams Trump Peace Plan as Pro-settler

Netanyahu: ‘Won’t be another mosque on the Temple Mount’

Israel arrests ‘senior PA official’ days after Temple Mount crisis

Israel Arrests East Jerusalem Palestinians as Temple Mount Tensions Surge

Israel to dramatically shorten East Jerusalemites’ path to citizenship

Israel said to arrest PA Jerusalem governor, lawyer over PA action to counter land sales to Jews in the east of the city

Israel arrests former terrorist leader, citing ‘serious’ current activities

Mahmoud Abbas admits PA pays terrorists

PA said to nab Hamas-led cell that was readying to carry out attacks in Israel

Netanyahu in Russia for shortened trip as indictment announcement looms

Netanyahu lands in Moscow for meeting with Putin over Syria

Russia and Syria say US forces are on Syrian territory ‘illegally’

Netanyahu: ‘We will not give Iran a base near our border’

Israel ex-minister sentenced to 11 years for spying for Iran

Iran: Rouhani rejects top diplomat Zarif’s resignation

This ISIS Citizenship Case Could Set a Terrifying Precedent

British ISIS teen’s lawyer: ‘We don’t leave damaged children in war zones’

ISIS nightmare prompts some Muslims in the Middle East to convert to Christianity

Turkey says Russian S-400 defense system purchase done deal

US says air strike killed 20 militants in Somalia

Nigeria’s Buhari leads in election count as death toll mounts

US, Taliban talk troop withdrawal, counter-terrorism at peace talks

Ukraine president Poroshenko accused of ‘state treason’ as rival attempts impeachment process

India launches airstrike on Pakistan after deadly Kashmir attack

Pakistan says it shot down two Indian air force jets, captured pilot

Israeli-made Bombs Used in Pakistan Attack, Indian Media Outlets Say

EU urges ‘maximum restraint’ from India, Pakistan after air strike

Military spokesman: Pakistan does not want to go ‘towards war’ with India

Vietnam summit: From fire and fury to love letters, Trump to hold second meeting with North Korea’s Kim

In Vietnam, Kim Jong Un will see all the possibilities that will come if North Korea makes peace with the world

Trump predicts ‘awesome’ future for N. Korea if it gives up nukes

Cuba’s Reliance Upon Venezuela for Cheap Oil Looms as Potential Threat

House passes resolution to stop Trump’s emergency declaration; Senate next

Trump’s ex-fixer Cohen says he is keen to tell his story in public

Ex-Trump fixer to tell Congress the president is a ‘conman’ and ‘racist’

Cohen to accuse Trump of knowing about Roger Stone Wikileaks plot, but deny ‘direct evidence’ of Russia collusion

Political bias is destroying people’s faith in journalism

Brexit Britain features lots of political drama – and uncertainty

We Just Got an Insane Photo From Japan’s Spacecraft After Sampling an Asteroid

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ishinomaki, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Amahai, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Cyclone Pola to bring rain, gusty winds to Fiji and Tonga after flooding American Samoa

Bura Wreaks Havoc in Dalmatia, Split Records Strongest Winds Ever!

An incredible windstorm with gusts up to 275 km/h at the Mt. Washington observatory, New Hampshire

Atmospheric River to Pummel California’s Sierra With Up to 10 Feet of Snow, Topping February Records

Indonesia says at least one killed, 60 feared buried in illegal mine collapse

Israel bracing for possible locust swarm invasion

Schumer vows to defund Trump’s ‘fake climate panel’

Sen. Grassley says probe of ‘secretive’ drug industry pricing won’t stop with drugmakers

Her Dad Died a Decade Ago. She’s 3. Is preserving a Jewish bloodline worth creating a child who will never know her father?

Lawsuit seeks to close Nevada brothels

United Methodist Church upholds position against homosexuality, same-sex marriage

Incest and necrophilia ‘should be legal’ according to youth branch of Swedish Liberal People’s Party

Thousands of migrant children report they were sexually assaulted in U.S. custody

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Christians’ sin problem and its mortification part 3

Word Network aware of ‘Jesus’ prophet Joshua Holmes’ sex tape, won’t say if he’s now banned

2 North Texas churches cleared of wrongdoing after being singled out by Southern Baptist leader

United Methodist Church strengthens ban on same-sex marriage, LGBT clergy

Non-Christians want to talk faith, but don’t see Christians as good listeners, Barna finds

NHS child gender reassignment ‘too quick’

Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

February 27, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The First Communion

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. (22:19–20)

It is impossible to overstate the monumental change these few simple phrases introduce. Christ’s words signaled the end of the Old Covenant, with its social, ceremonial, dietary, and Sabbath laws, and installed the New Covenant. With these words, Jesus marked the end of all the rituals and sacrifices, the priesthood, the holy place, and the Holy of Holies, the curtain of which God would soon split from top to bottom, throwing it wide open (Mark 15:38). All that the Old Covenant symbolism pointed toward would be fulfilled in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ taking of the bread and giving thanks took place after the singing of the first part of the Hallel (Pss. 113, 114), followed by the second cup of wine, and the explanation of the meaning of Passover, while they were eating the main meal (Matt. 26:26).

Having taken the bread, Jesus then broke it and gave it to them. The bread was no longer the Passover “bread of affliction” (Deut. 16:3), nor was the breaking of the loaf a figure of Christ’s death, since none of His bones were broken (John 19:36; cf. Ex. 12:46). The disciples’ all partaking of the same loaf symbolized the unity of the body of Christ.

The Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation perverts the intent of Jesus’ reference to the bread as My body. According to that doctrine, during the mass the substance (though not the outward appearance) of the bread and wine are changed into the actual body and blood of Christ. The Lutheran notion of spiritual presence (known as consubstantiation) is also an errant view of our Lord’s words. According to that view

the molecules [of the bread and wine] are not changed into flesh and blood; they remain bread and wine. But the body and blood of Christ are present “in, with, and under” the bread and wine. It is not that the bread and wine have become Christ’s body and blood, but that we now have the body and blood in addition to the bread and wine. (Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985], 3:1117)

Christ’s statement is no more to be taken literally than are His references to Himself as a door (John 10:9), vine (John 15:1, 5), and bread (John 6:35, 48). Such language is figurative, symbolically conveying spiritual truth using everyday items. Bread pictures things that are earthly, fragile, and subject to decay, symbolizing the reality that the Son of God took on human form and became subject to death.

The phrase which is given for you introduces the most important truth in the Bible—substitutionary atonement. As noted above, Passover conveyed the twin truths that divine wrath and justice can only be satisfied by death, but that death can be the death of innocent substitutes for the guilty. The millions of lambs that were slain throughout the centuries were all innocent. Animals are incapable of sinning, since they are not persons, and have no morality or self-consciousness. Jesus, however, is both innocent and a person—fully man as well as God. Therefore His substitutionary atonement death was acceptable to God to satisfy His holy condemnation of sin. Isaiah wrote, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isa. 53:5; cf. v. 12). Jesus “bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds [we] were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Then in the same way (that is, with thanks; cf. v. 19) Jesus took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” The cup was the third cup, which came after the meal. That it was poured out for you “for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28) is another declaration of Christ’s death as a substitute for all who would believe. Sin can only be forgiven when satisfactory payment to God in the form of the death of the perfect sacrifice has been rendered. The Lord Jesus’ death was that payment. As the infinite God incarnate, He was actually able to bear the sins of and suffer God’s wrath for those sins on behalf of all who would ever believe, rescuing them from divine judgment by fully satisfying the demands of God’s justice.

His death inaugurated the new covenant which, like the Old Covenant, was ratified by the shedding of blood (Ex. 24:8; Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:18–20). The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31–34; cf. Ezek. 36:25–27) is a covenant of forgiveness (Jer. 31:34) and the only saving covenant. As noted above, it was ratified by the blood of Christ, whose death as an innocent substitute satisfied the demands of God’s justice. (For a detailed discussion of the New Covenant, see 2 Corinthians, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 2003], chaps. 7 and 8.)

Regular observance of the Lord’s Supper is to be a constant reminder to Christians of the Lamb of God, chosen by God, sacrificed for sinners, whose death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, and whose life was poured out on our behalf so that our sins can be fully and forever forgiven. Paul summarized the significance of the Lord’s Supper when he wrote to the Corinthian believers,

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (1 Cor. 11:23–26)[1]

The First Supper

Luke 22:14–20

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:14–15)

It is customary for a condemned man to be given one last request before he is put to death. That convention is observed in America by giving criminals on death row a feast before they are executed. Typically the menu is printed in the newspaper, presumably to satisfy the morbid interest of public curiosity. People want to know: What did the condemned man eat and drink before dying?

We could ask the same question about Jesus Christ, for he too was a condemned man, with one last meal to eat before dying. This was the night on which Jesus was betrayed. Soon he would be condemned and crucified for crimes he did not commit. In just a few short hours he would be arrested and accused, then beaten and abused. He would be dead before nightfall the following day, his lifeless body put in a tomb. This was the last night of our Savior’s life on earth, and he had one last meal to share with his disciples.

Christians usually call this farewell feast “the Last Supper.” This title makes sense because it was the last time that Jesus would celebrate Passover with his disciples, and the last time he would eat and drink anything with them before he died. But it was also the first time that Jesus celebrated communion with them, the sacred meal also known as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. So in a sense the Last Supper was also “the First Supper”—the first supper of the new salvation that Jesus gave his disciples by giving them himself. In the words of T. W. Manson, the Lord’s Supper “indicates and inaugurates a redemption effected by the death of Christ as a sacrifice.”

The Heart of the Host

The first thing to understand about this supper is how eagerly Jesus wanted to share it with his disciples. We have already seen the deliberate preparations he made for this meal (see Luke 22:7–13), and how careful he was to make sure that it took place before he was betrayed. But as he sat down to the meal, Jesus opened his heart to his disciples. Luke tells us that “when the hour came, he reclined at 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 tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God’ ” (Luke 22:14–16).

In God’s perfect timing, the hour had come for Jesus to sit with his beloved disciples, waiting on them at the meal that signified their salvation (cf. Luke 12:37). With a heart of love, their host told them how much he had been looking forward to being alone with them around the table that night. The words he used for “earnest desire” (epithymia epethymēsa) express intense longing. Jesus Christ was a man of perfect passions. We have seen these passions throughout Luke’s Gospel: his scornful contempt for religious hypocrisy, his merciful compassion for the lost and broken, his holy jealousy for the true worship of God. Here we see his ardent affection for his disciples. There is no one Jesus would rather have been with on this last night than his closest friends. As he looked into the faces of the men gathered around the table that night, his heart was full because his intense longing to share this meal with them was satisfied.

Why did Jesus have this deep desire? It may have been because Passover was such a blessed occasion for the people of God. Passover was a sacramental celebration of God’s deliverance—a commemoration of Israel’s exodus. Every year the people of God offered a lamb to remember the sacrificial blood that had saved their ancestors on the famous night in Egypt when the angel of death passed over their houses. They ate bitter herbs to remember the bitter years of their slavery to Pharaoh, but they ate them while reclining at table—a symbol of freedom to show that they were no longer slaves. They also ate unleavened bread to symbolize their hasty departure the night they made their exodus from Egypt. The people of God looked forward to doing all of this at Passover. For Jesus and his disciples, the feast brought back some of the happiest memories of childhood: making the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem, eating roast lamb with their families, and praising God for his salvation.

There is more, however. Jesus was not just longing for Passover, but also anticipating his death on the cross, and it is in this context that he earnestly desired to eat and drink with his disciples. Jesus was specific about this. He said, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15). For many months Jesus had been telling his disciples that he would “suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed” (see Luke 9:22). Now the conspiracy was under way that would culminate in his crucifixion. But there was something Jesus wanted to do first: before he suffered, he wanted to host the farewell feast for his disciples that would help them understand what he was about to do for their salvation.

Jesus also desired to have this of all Passovers with his disciples because the feast was about to find its fulfillment. Passover was a time to look back and remember how God had saved his people in the past. In the plan of God, however, Passover also looked forward to the full and final salvation that God would provide in the person and work of the Messiah. So Jesus said, “I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:16).

At first it may sound as if Jesus was telling his disciples that after an undetermined delay, he would sit down and share this meal with them again. If so, then Jesus must have been thinking in terms of his coming glory and referring to the last of all feasts—what the Bible calls “the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9). Yet Jesus may simply have meant that he would never share Passover with them again. In Hebrew usage, the word “until” does not necessarily imply that something will happen again. To cite just one example, when the Bible says that the prophet Samuel “did not see Saul again until the day of his death” (1 Sam. 15:35), this does not mean that Samuel bumped into Saul the day that he died, but that he never saw him again at all. Similarly, Jesus was telling his disciples that this was their last Passover. Soon that sacrament would find its true fulfillment in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they would never have occasion to celebrate it together again. Instead, the people of God would celebrate the new sacrament of the new covenant in Christ by eating the bread and drinking the wine of the Lord’s Supper.

These were some of the reasons why Jesus was so eager to celebrate this Passover with his disciples—the disciples who later that very night would abandon Jesus and deny ever knowing him as the Christ. Johnny Cash once wrote a simple gospel song that captures something of the warm intimacy that the Savior shared with his friends around the table that night. In the song Jesus says to his disciples:

I can tell by your faces

That you don’t understand

The awesome things you’ve felt and seen

At the touch of my hand.

But someday you’ll understand it,

When the Father means for you to

But for now drink the cup and break the bread

And I’ll eat my last supper here with you.

Then comes the refrain:

Have a little bread, Simon;

Pass the wine to James my brother.

Go ahead and eat, fellas, And love one another.

Have a good time, friends,

’Cause tomorrow I must die.

And I’m never going to eat with you again

Till we eat the marriage supper in the sky.

Needless to say, the words “go ahead and eat, fellas” do not appear in any reputable English translation of Luke’s Gospel. This phrase is not part of the words of the institution of the Lord’s Supper as a sacrament for the Christian church. But it does express the friendly affection Jesus had for his disciples, and the love he felt for them in his heart as they sat down to share their last Passover, which was also the first supper of the kingdom of God. Jesus gave this sacramental meal to his disciples because he loved them.

The Cup of Thanksgiving

The transition from Passover to the Lord’s Supper helps explain why Luke tells us about two cups in this passage, and not just one. Anyone who is familiar with the Christian sacrament of the Lord’s Supper knows that there is only one loaf of bread and one cup of communion. In Luke’s account of the Last Supper, however, Jesus offers his disciples both a cup of thanksgiving (Luke 22:17) and the cup of the new covenant (Luke 22:20).

Some scholars think that having two cups is a difficulty and have tried to get around it by claiming that the last half of verse 19 and all of verse 20 are not part of the original manuscripts for the Gospel of Luke. They point out that these verses (which are absent from some ancient manuscripts of the New Testament) sound almost exactly like 1 Corinthians 11:24–25, so they may have been “borrowed” from the apostle Paul. Yet the vast majority of the ancient biblical manuscripts include the full text of verses 19 and 20. The reason a few manuscripts differ is probably that some scribe or other tried to resolve the difficulty himself and decided that there should really be only one cup.

Not only do both cups belong here, but they both help us to understand what Jesus was teaching his disciples. In all likelihood, the first cup was not part of the Lord’s Supper, but part of the traditional celebration of Passover. Four cups of salvation were raised during the Passover meal—one for each promise of deliverance that God gave to his people through the prophet Moses. This seems to be the context for what Luke tells us in verses 17 and 18: “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’ ” (Luke 22:17–18). It is not entirely clear which cup this may have been, but whether it was the first cup of the feast or the last, it was part of “this Passover”—the one that Jesus said he wanted to celebrate with his disciples (Luke 22:15).

The first cup that Luke mentions was for thanksgiving. When Jesus raised it for his disciples, he first gave thanks to God. We do not know exactly what Jesus said when he prayed. Presumably, he praised the Father for his mighty works of saving power. But it is enough for us to know that he celebrated this feast with a glad and thankful heart, and that when he gave this thankful cup to his disciples, they drank it together. They were sharing a communal celebration of God’s saving power.

Once again, Jesus said that he would not share this cup with them again until kingdom come. Or, to take what he said more literally, he would not drink any wine of any kind. Again, it is hard to be entirely certain what Jesus meant by “until” and what he meant by “the kingdom of God.” Many of the early church fathers thought Jesus was talking about the resurrection of his body: his lips would touch no wine until he was raised from the dead. Possibly the word “until” means here what it seems to mean in verse 16, namely, that he will not share this Passover with them again. More likely, Jesus was looking forward to the banquet he has promised to share with us in the coming age. He would not keep a feast of the same kind again until he ate the last of all suppers, on the day when “the grand Consummation has arrived with the final victory over all the evil powers.”

What does seem clear is that Jesus connected the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to Passover. “Jesus is interpreting His death in a Passover context,” writes Leon Morris, “and making it clear that it has saving significance.” The Last Supper is both the last Passover and the first communion. By way of analogy, this meal is like a video sequence in which one image fades away while at the same time a superimposed image is coming into focus. The meal morphs from Passover into communion, from the Last Supper of the old administration to the first supper of the new covenant.

F. W. Krummacher used a different analogy to make the same point, comparing the meal in the upper room to a blossom on a tree that grows into fruit. “Christ has exalted the Mosaic festival of the Passover,” Krummacher said, “by changing it into His sacrament.” Jesus made this change because it was one of the best ways for his disciples to understand his saving work. Seeing the Lord’s Supper in the context of Passover teaches us what Jesus was doing for us on the cross. The apostle Paul made a similar connection when he said, “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival” (1 Cor. 5:7–8).

The Bread of Remembrance

This brings us to the two elements Jesus used to celebrate the First Supper: the bread of remembrance and the cup of the new covenant. We begin the way that Jesus did, with the bread: “And he took bread, and when he had 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’ ” (Luke 22:19).

The people of God always ate bread when they celebrated Passover. But here, by the words that instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus invested the breaking of the bread with new and surprising significance. It is not simply what Jesus did that is important here, but also what he said. The words “do this” indicate that Jesus intended the sacramental acts of breaking the bread (and pouring the cup) to be repeated in the worship of the church. But in order for us to know what it means to “do this” in remembrance of Jesus, the physical sign of breaking the bread must be interpreted by the sacramental words of our Savior. They are words it takes only a moment to understand but a lifetime to comprehend, for although they are simple in themselves, they reveal many deep mysteries of the gospel.

What are some of the things we learn from what Jesus said about the bread? We learn that the bread of this sacrament is to be received with thanksgiving, for Jesus gave thanks before he broke it (Luke 22:19). This is why some Christians call communion “the Eucharist,” which is simply the Greek word for giving thanks (eucharisteō). The Lord’s Supper is a gift of God’s grace, and therefore it is to be received with a grateful heart.

We learn further that the sacramental bread “is” the body of Jesus Christ. This immediately raises further questions, because our interpretation of what Jesus meant by saying this depends on what our definition of “is” is. Some Christians believe that Jesus is speaking literally here, and therefore that in some way the physical essence of the bread must be changed or transubstantiated into the very body of Christ. There are many reasons to think that this interpretation is incorrect, including some that are obvious from the immediate context. What sense does it make to say that the bread is identical with the body of Christ when Jesus is right there with his disciples already, in his physical body, breaking bread with them?

The disciples themselves would have been astonished that anyone would even think of taking Jesus literally here. The very idea would have been alien to their whole way of thinking about Jesus or the sacraments. By this time they were well used to their Lord speaking to them in figures of speech. When Jesus said, “I am the door” (John 10:9), they did not start looking for his hinges, and when he said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), they did not assume that his dough was made from scratch! The disciples instinctively recognized that Jesus was not speaking literally at all, but using metaphors to make a spiritual comparison.

Similarly, when Jesus said “This bread is my body,” he was not giving his disciples a philosophical theory of the sacraments, but drawing a simple comparison that would help them understand the meaning of his death. He was not describing a physical change, but making a sacramental identification. The union or association between Jesus and the bread is not physical, but spiritual. To say that the bread is his body is to say that it “represents” or “signifies” or “symbolizes” his body. In the words of John Calvin, “the bread is called body because it is symbol of the body.”

Undoubtedly one of the reasons Jesus chose bread to serve as this sacramental symbol is that bread is so basic to life itself. We cannot live without our daily bread. So when Jesus tells us to take and eat the bread that signifies his body, he is giving us something we cannot live without—something we need to nourish our souls.

Jesus gives us this life-giving nourishment in the bread of the Lord’s Supper. “Give” is just the word to use, because Jesus said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” In breaking the bread, Jesus is offering us himself. To be more specific, he is offering us himself in his bodily sacrifice for our sins.

There may be a reminder of this bodily sacrifice in the very fact that the sacramental bread is broken. This action echoes the famous prophecy in Isaiah 53, where it was promised that our Suffering Servant would be “wounded for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). Thus the breaking of the bread may serve as a sacramental signification of the bruised servant—a depiction, so to speak, of his sacrifice.

The atoning death of Jesus is even more obviously signified in the words “for you” (Luke 22:19). The New Testament uses this language to indicate that Jesus died on our behalf, that his sacrifice was substitutionary (e.g., Gal. 1:4; 3:13). When Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my body, which is given for you,” he was already looking ahead to what he would do for them and for all his disciples on the cross. Jesus was speaking of himself as a saving sacrifice. He would give himself for us, dying in our place to pay the death penalty that we deserve for our sins.

To say that Jesus died “for you” is to say something more than that he died for your benefit; it is to say that he died in your place, suffering the death that you deserved to die. This can be illustrated from something that happened not long after the end of the American Civil War, when a man in farm clothes was seen kneeling at a soldier’s grave in Nashville, Tennessee. A sympathetic bystander asked him, “Is that the grave of your son?” “No,” the farmer replied, “I have seven children, all of them young, and a wife on my poor farm in Illinois. I was drafted into the Union army, and despite the great hardship it would cause to my family, I was required to serve. But on the morning I was to depart, the man who now lies in this grave—my neighbor’s oldest son—came over and offered to take my place in the war.” When the farmer stepped away, the bystander could see the words he had written on the gravestone. They simply read, “He died for me.” This is the testimony of every believer in Jesus Christ: we have a Savior who offered himself in our place. Whenever we break bread at his table, we say, “He died for me.”

The old Scottish Presbyterian John Willison summarized everything we have been saying about the bread in his Sacramental Catechism. The catechism asks, “What is the meaning of the words, ‘This is My body, broken for you’?” Then it gives this answer: “The meaning is that this broken bread is Christ’s body spiritually and sacramentally, or that it signifies and represents His body, and is a visible sign and token of His body’s being broken, bruised and crucified; yes, crucified for you, even wounded for your transgressions, and bruised for your iniquities.”

We remember all this every time we celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). So we break the bread in remembrance of Jesus, calling to mind the body that he sacrificed for our sins. We do not sacrifice Jesus all over again, of course. The sacrament is to be celebrated the way that Jesus celebrated it: not on an altar, but at a table. We do not repeat or reenact the sacrifice of Jesus, but we do remember his once-and-for-all death for our sins (see Heb. 7:27). We remember Jesus himself, who even now is blessing us by his grace. We are called to remembrance because “our Savior knows that we have worldly hearts and treacherous memories, and that we stand in need of all these memorials to keep up the lively remembrance of His love.”

By faith and by the living presence of the Holy Spirit, we also do something more than remember: we have real spiritual participation in the life of Christ. The apostle Paul taught this by asking, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16). Yes, the Lord’s Supper is a spiritual participation in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The sacrament is more than a remembrance. But it is not less. As often as we do this sacrament, we remember what Jesus did for us in his death and gave to us when he offered his body for our sins.

The Cup of the New Covenant

It was not just his body that Jesus offered for us, but also his blood, which is signified in the cup of the new covenant: “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’ ” (Luke 22:20).

This is the second cup that Luke has mentioned in his account of the Last Supper. The first cup—the cup of thanksgiving—was probably part of Passover. The second cup—the cup of the new covenant in Christ’s blood—is certainly part of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

Like the bread, the cup is a symbol that signifies Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. Just as the bread signifies Christ’s body, so also the cup signifies his blood. These two words—the “body” and the “blood”—appear together several places in Scripture (e.g., Lev. 17:11–14; Deut. 12:23; Heb. 13:11). When they do, it is always in the context of sacrifice. “The body and the blood” is sacrificial terminology, which makes sense, because it is of the very nature of a sacrifice to separate the blood from the body. When a sacrifice is offered, blood is poured out, which Jesus signified by pouring out the cup for his disciples. Even before he shed his blood on the cross for our sins, he gave us the sacrament that shows this sacrifice.

Jesus said that in pouring out his blood he was establishing a new covenant, the new covenant that was brought into being by his death as a sacrifice. To understand what this means, we need to begin with the old covenant, and the sacrificial blood on which it was based. It is characteristic of the covenants that God has made with his people for salvation that they are made by sacrifice. A covenant is a bond in blood, a solemn commitment that God will keep his saving promise to the very death. This is always indicated by a blood sacrifice.

One of the best places to see this is Exodus 24, a passage in which God makes a covenant with his people through the prophet Moses and speaks specifically about “the blood of the covenant.” On the day that covenant was confirmed, Moses collected the blood of many sacrifices into large basins and threw half of it against the holy altar of sacrifice in the house of God (Exod. 24:6). He took the other half and threw it on the people, saying, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you” (Exod. 24:8). Making the covenant was a messy, bloody business. It was not signed like a contract, but sealed in blood. This was a sign of God’s mercy, for the blood on the altar showed that the people had forgiveness for their sins, while the blood on the people themselves showed that they were included in the covenant of salvation.

That was the old covenant, but now Jesus had come to establish a new covenant. This was the covenant that God promised through the prophet Jeremiah, when he said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.… I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.… For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:31–34). Even the old covenant was a covenant of grace, but it was always looking forward to the time when God would fulfill all the promises of salvation. God promised to write his law on our hearts. He promised that he would be our God, and we would be his people. He promised to forgive all our sins forever.

Jesus is the answer to all the old promises of the covenant. This is what Jesus was telling his disciples the night of the First Supper. The new covenant had come! Jesus said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant.” Then he added these staggering words—words that take our breath away, if we understand what they mean: “in my blood” (Luke 22:20). What is new about the new covenant is that it is established by the blood of God. Of all the things that we could say about the newness of the new covenant, this is the place where we must begin: with the fact that the Son of God shed his own blood for our sins—“my blood of the covenant” he calls it in the Gospels of Matthew (26:28) and Mark (14:24).

The old sacrifices were getting God’s people ready to understand this amazing reality. The Old Testament is full of blood sacrifices: the sacrifices of Adam, Noah, and all the patriarchs; the sacrifices that were offered at Passover; the sacrifices that Moses made to establish the covenant; the sacrifices at the tabernacle and later at the temple; the sacrifices on the day of atonement—on and on and on it goes, blood after blood after blood. These old covenant sacrifices were offered again and again because they were only animal sacrifices, and therefore in themselves they could not atone for human sin.

Then Jesus came to offer once-and-for-all atonement for sin through the sacrifice of his blood. On the eve of that sacrifice, he announced that he would establish the new covenant with his very own blood—the blood he would shed on the cross for our sins. Understand that God has never asked anyone else to shed any blood to establish the covenant of salvation; he offered the covenant blood himself. This is what Jesus was emphasizing when he instituted the Lord’s Supper. “It is my blood that will do this thing,” he was saying. “It is my blood that will establish the covenant. It is my blood that will atone for your sins. It is my blood that will gain your salvation. All that I ask of you is to believe in the cross where I will give my blood for you, and then by faith you will drink in all the benefits of the sacrifice I have made for you.”

A Sacrament for You

This was the legacy Jesus left for his disciples the night that he was condemned to die. Rather than thinking of what he wanted to have for himself—the way people usually do when they are led to their execution—he was thinking about what he wanted to give of himself. He would give his disciples a meal to remember before making the sacrifice they could never forget.

Do you understand what Jesus has done for your salvation in his death on the cross? Do you understand the bread of remembrance and the cup of the new covenant that Jesus gives in the Lord’s Supper? As J. C. Ryle explained, “The two elements of bread and wine were intended to preach Christ crucified as our substitute. They were to be a visible sermon, appealing to the believer’s senses, and teaching the old foundation-truth of the Gospel, that Christ’s death on the cross is the life of man’s soul.” This is also the foundation-truth of the Christian life: Christ’s death on the cross for the life of your soul.

If you understand this sacrament and the sacrifice that it signifies, then know this as well, and know it for sure: Jesus desires to share his supper with you every bit as eagerly as he wanted to share it with his disciples the night of the First Supper. Jesus died for you as much as he died for them, and he loves you as much as he loves them. It is to you that the bread is given and to you that the cup is poured, because it was for you that his body was broken and for you that his blood was shed.[2]

Luke 22:19. Which is given for you. The other two Evangelists leave out this clause, which, however, is far from being superfluous; for the reason why the flesh of Christ becomes bread to us is, that by it salvation was once procured for us. And as the crucified flesh itself is of no advantage but to those who eat it by faith, so, on the other hand, the eating of it would be unmeaning, and of hardly any value, were it not in reference to the sacrifice which was once offered. Whoever then desires that the flesh of Christ should afford nourishment to him, let him look at it as having been offered on the cross, that it might be the price of our reconciliation with God. But what Matthew and Mark leave out in reference to the symbol of bread, they express in reference to the cup, saying, that the blood was to be shed for the remission of sins; and this observation must be extended to both clauses. So then, in order that we may feed aright on the flesh of Christ, we must contemplate the sacrifice of it, because it was necessary that it should have been once given for our salvation, that it might every day be given to us.[3]

19–20 As stated above, these words of institution may come from a non-Markan source. Similar wording in 1 Corinthians 11:24–25, written before AD 60, shows that it was probably an early source used by both Luke and Paul. This supports the reliability of Luke’s research (1:1–4). The suffering motif is consistent with Jesus’ understanding of his mission as the Suffering Servant.

The “bread” (arton, GK 788, v. 19) was the thin, unleavened bread used in the Passover. “Gave thanks” translates the verb eucharisteō (GK 2373), the source of the beautiful word Eucharist often used to signify the Lord’s Supper. Luke alone has “given for you” (hyper hymōn didomenon [GK 1443]) in the saying over the bread, as well as “poured out for you” (to hyper hymōn ekchynnomenon [GK 1773]) in the cup saying (v. 20). The “pouring out” may be interpreted as a symbolic act that points to Jesus’ own death on the cross (see, however, L. C. Boughton, “ ‘Being Shed for You/Many’: Time-Sense and Consequences in the Synoptic Cup Citations,” TynBul 48 [1997]: 249–70, who points to the possibility of a future reference in this present passive participle).

“In remembrance of me” (v. 19) directs our attention primarily to the person of Christ and not merely to the benefits we receive (of whatever nature we may understand them to be) from partaking of the bread and cup. The final cup, following the sequence of several refillings during the Passover, signifies the “new covenant” (v. 20) in Jesus’ blood. The disciples would have been reminded of the “blood of the covenant” (Ex 24:8), i.e., the blood used ceremonially to confirm the covenant. The new covenant (cf. Jer 31:31–34) carried with it assurance of forgiveness through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross and the inner work of the Holy Spirit in motivating us and enabling us to fulfill our covenantal responsibility.[4]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 282–284). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, pp. 459–472). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 3, p. 212). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 313). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Church History Made Before Our Eyes: United Methodists Make History, Affirm Biblical Standards of Sexuality — Blog – AlbertMohler.com

Church history spans two millennia—2,000 years of recorded experience. The weight of that history is heavy and humbling. Seen in that light, it takes a really big event to rank as historical, even as it happens. Such an event happened within the last seven days.

In St. Louis Missouri, the United Methodist Church met for a special General Conference to answer unavoidable questions central to the sexual revolution and the LGBTQ agenda. The United Methodist Church stands as the last mainline Protestant denomination that has not yet fully surrendered to the sexual revolution. The church has long agonized over this issue, with many in the church advocating for capitulation while a slim conservative majority still held to an orthodox teaching of marriage and sexuality.

A standoff has engulfed the church since the 1970s, with liberals pushing for the full acceptance and normalization of homosexuality and the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ ethic—they demand the ordination of openly gay clergy, the affirmation of same-sex marriage, and even electing homosexual bishops. But the liberals within the United Methodist Church have been thwarted in this effort – and the reason is illuminating.

Despite its basic theological liberalism, the UMC made history this week by upholding a biblical ethic on sexual morality. The General Conference sustained its biblical standards on marriage as an exclusive union between one man and one woman and rejected the LGBTQ revolution. This has never happened before and thus history was made. A mainline Protestant denomination long characterized by theological liberalism defeated the LGBTQ juggernaut and affirmed the biblical vision for marriage and sexuality. This demands our attention.

Though Methodism stretches back to the 18thcentury with the teachings of John and Charles Wesley, the UMC, as a denomination, is only about 50 years old. In 1968, The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren merged, forming the United Methodist Church. Generally identified with liberal Protestantism, the UMC also included a large representation of classical Methodists committed to traditional Christianity—many of these Methodists could rightly be described as evangelical.

Those conservative members have long summoned the UMC back to its historic, evangelical roots. In the wake of liberalism within mainline denominations, the evangelicals in the UMC founded the Good News Movement, which promoted conservative and orthodox theology, encouraged evangelism, and opposed the abdication of biblical morality.

As the sexual revolution targeted and captured many mainline Protestant denominations, the UMC held its ground. The committed conservatives within the church did not leave; they pressed on with convictional leadership as they attempted to stem the tides of secularism and liberal theology. Moreover, conservative leaders in the UMC received encouragement when the denomination opened its membership to international churches in Africa and Asia—these churches maintained a deep fidelity to traditional, biblical sexuality. Indeed, over the last several decades, the majority of the UMC’s growth arises from those Methodist churches abroad. Thus, when the denomination gathers every four years for its General Conference, conservatives have enjoyed greater representation because more representatives hail from places like Africa and the Philippines.

Liberals saw the writing on the wall—they understood the general trend of the denomination towards a conservative theology and biblical ethic. As such, the liberals who fought for the UMC’s acceptance of the LGBTQ agenda understood that with every passing year, their chances of success dwindled. The liberal leaders within the UMC knew they needed to force a vote on these issues fast, hence the special General Conference of 2019.

The showdown in Missouri stems from a long line of debates held at every General Conference since 1972. For the last 47 years, liberals have already fought for the liberalization of the UMC’s official teaching, which is known as the Book of Discipline. The historic discipline of the denomination asserts that “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals cannot be ordained as ministers, even as it is to be recognized that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God.” It also promotes marriage as union of one man and one woman, and states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Despite the clarity of that language, the liberal faction in the UMC has repeatedly defied the denomination’s dogma. Dissident pastors have affirmed the LGBTQ agenda and celebrated homosexual marriages in their churches. Openly gay pastors serve in pulpits, and one conference of the UMC is led by an openly gay bishop – all in open defiance of the Book of Discipline.

A house divided against itself cannot stand. Church practice cannot be severed from official church doctrine. The separation between doctrine and practice will doom any denomination. Indeed, the UMC stood at a crossroads. It would have to go one way or the other—a decision that would assuredly lead to a massive division in the church and eventuate in a denominational split. After yesterday’s decision, the UMC will most likely endure a schism between conservatives and liberals, with the conservatives holding onto the UMC while the liberals start a new denomination made in the image of the sexual revolution.

When the delegates arrived at the General Conference, they faced three different proposals: the liberal option, the traditional option, and a middle option. The middle option, known as the “One Church Plan,” boasted the overwhelming support of the bishops in the church. It promoted a local option, where congregations and conferences (regional jurisdictions of the UMC) could decide for themselves which direction to take.

The middle option was illogical and unprincipled. The UMC’s bishops would willingly sacrifice doctrinal and moral clarity on the altar of denominational unity. The “One Church Plan” surrendered theological conviction for a loosely defined and weak ecclesiology.

Furthermore, 93 presidents of historically Methodist universities implored the General Conference to join the sexual revolution. These presidents represented universities like Duke, Boston University, Emory, and American University in Washington D.C. They demanded the liberal option.

Thus, the battle lines were drawn. Liberals and conservatives marshaled their forces, counted votes, wrote articles, preached sermons, and descended on St. Louis for a historic showdown over the future of America’s second largest Protestant denomination.

The final vote not only rejected the liberal option but the defeat of the  “One Church Plan” as well. The General Conference upheld the historic teaching of the church regarding sexuality and marriage. The vote, however, was remarkably close—438 to 384, or 53% to 47%. This marks a deep divide within the UMC.

There is no going back. This divide will not heal. The theological divergences that have plagued the UMC bubbled over this week in St. Louis and the results will undoubtedly lead to a massive split in this global denomination. The two sides of this debate essentially affirm different religions, not just different visions of Methodism.

Perhaps the most important decision taken by the General Conference centered on its rejection of the middle option. Even though an overwhelming number of UMC bishops called for the “One Church Plan,” the delegates decided that unity at the expense of doctrine is no unity at all—if the church does not present a unified and clear teaching on something as basic as sexual morality then it is no church at all. It cannot stand as one body, unified by its faith in Christ, if half the church upholds orthodox sexuality while the other half joins the sexual revolution. This decision by the General Conference took an enormous amount of conviction and fortitude. It sent a clear message that the UMC will not join the sexual revolution.

Even though the UMC remains a generally liberal denomination, that will likely change as the ripples of this decision spread. Eventually, a church must decide which road to take. The forces of modernity and the tides of secularism have swept many churches and denominations away. The UMC, however, drew a line in the sand and made no compromises on sexual ethics. As such, part of the history made yesterday is not only a mainline denominations refusal to join the sexual revolution, but a denomination that may, in the years to come, return to its evangelical heritage and theological roots that reach back to men like John and Charles Wesley.

The General Conference’s decision amounted to a surprising and stunning turn for this major denomination. It contradicted the wisdom of the world, which demands that all churches dance to the tune of the sexual revolution. Long ago, many denominations surrendered their theology in the service of cultural relevance. Those churches are now dying—the churches that are growing are those who have held fast to the clear teachings and admonitions of Scripture.

No church or congregation can move in two contradictory directions at once. Theological fidelity cannot mix with cultural capitulation. One must give way to the other. Yesterday, the UMC stood upon the authority of the Bible. History was made, and such a moment, rare as it it, should give hope to all biblically minded Christians.

Church History Made Before Our Eyes: United Methodists Make History, Affirm Biblical Standards of Sexuality — Blog – AlbertMohler.com