The Lord’s Supper
In Matt 26:26-29, Jesus was keeping the passover with his disciples. As they were eating, Jesus said of the bread, “this is my body,” and of the cup containing the fruit of the vine, “this is my blood of the new testament.” This was passover, wherein Jesus connected the memorial of the Passover in Ex 12:3-10 with his own impending death. 1 Cor 5:7 says that Jesus is our passover. And on the same day, in Matt 27, Jesus was crucified.
In 1 Cor 11:23-34, Paul told us that he received from the Lord the instructions on how we are to keep the Lord’s supper. In these he said, “as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do SHEW the Lord’s DEATH till he come.” We are reminded that, in Matt 26:29, Jesus told his disciples that he would “drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom.” These words point to his second coming. So, when we take the Lord’s supper, it is to SHEW the Lord’s DEATH till he come.
In Matt 28, Jesus arose from the dead. And, before his ascension, in Matt 28:19-20, Jesus said, “…teach all nations, baptizing them…” In 1 Pet 3:15-22 we read about water baptism in the context of the death of Jesus. In verses 21-22 water baptism is a figure of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is gone into heaven. So, baptism is a FIGURE of the RESURRECTION.
In Matt 26, Jesus gave us the Lord’s supper before his DEATH. In Matt 27, he died. And then in Matt 28, he commanded his disciples to baptize after his RESURRECTION. The Lord’s supper SHEWS his death and baptism is a FIGURE of his resurrection. So, neither one of them saves.
There is a picture of these two things in the Old Testament found in 1 Cor 10:2-4. When the Jews escaped Egypt and crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, the water was congealed on either side of them and the cloud was above them. Paul said, “they were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” Just before they left Egypt they had kept the Passover in Ex 12. They crossed the Red Sea in Ex 14. These two events are similar to our Lord’s supper and our water baptism.
Water baptism is a figure of our Spirit baptism. In 1 Cor 12:13 we are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. In Rom 6:3-5 we see what happens to us when we are saved and baptized by the Spirit. We are baptized by the Spirit into his death [v.3], we are buried with him [v.4], we are raised with him [v.4], and now we walk in newness of life [v.4]. We literally go through his death, his burial, and his resurrection [v.5].
Standing in the water, our body forms a cross with the surface of the water in the baptistery. This is a figure of our crucifixion with Christ. When we are lowered into the water, this is a figure of our death and burial with Christ. When we are raised back up in the water, this is a figure of our resurrection with Christ. When we walk out of the water in the baptistery, this is a figure of our walking in newness of life with Christ.
Conclusion: We are saved by believing in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ [1 Cor 15:1-4]. Because we are in him through baptism by the Holy Spirit, we are seated with him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6]. We are already there because we have been raised with him.
As you can see from these scriptures, the Lord’s supper SHEWS his DEATH. Water baptism is a FIGURE of his RESURRECTION. Like Paul asked, if the dead rise not, then why are we baptized for the dead? [1 Cor 15:29]. There is no reason for water baptism if there is no resurrection.