And He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you (Luke 22:19,20).
The sensitively written second verse of the song, According to Thy Gracious Word, speaks of the communion elements and their meaning to us.
Thy body, broken for my sake, My bread from heaven shall be; Thy testamental cup I take, And thus remember Thee.
In the book of Hebrews we read that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins (Hebrews 10:4), even though the covenant of God with the people of Israel included many such sacrifices. These were merely a shadow of good things to come (v.1), pointing toward the ultimate and fully sufficient sacrifice of the sinless and undeserving Son of God on the cross. He has said, for this purpose a body hast thou prepared me (v.5), and I come . . . to do thy will, O God (v.7).
This divinely prepared body was broken on the cross. He was battered and brutalized, scourged and spit upon, mocked and pierced for our sake, taking upon Himself the punishment due us. The bread partaken of on the communion table helps us never to forget.
The cup symbolizes His blood, shed for us, as His very life poured out in sacrifice. Our text speaks of the new testament, or new covenant, by which He has of His own will committed Himself to us and sealed the covenant with His blood. He has done all that was necessarythe only thing we can do is simply believe, partake of His testamental cupand remember. JDM