Answer 19: 27 proofs of “The First Church”
19. They had the Lord̓s Supper (Matt. 26:26-28).
While it is true that the Lord’s Supper is a unique ordinance of the New Testament church, the Lord’s Supper cited here is still prior to the Lord’s death on the cross, and thus the eleven are not yet a New Testament church, although in approximately 24 hours they will be as Christ will have died on the cross and the church will be purchased into existence (so to speak — it is an extremely expensive and unique purchase).
What needs to be understood at this point is that this Lord’s Supper is the implementation of the ordinance, which is why the two previous Passovers came and went without specific mention of any interaction between Christ and His apostles pertaining to the Passover.
Now, at this point it is essential to point out a particular teaching put forth by S. E. Anderson as it illustrates a fatal flaw in his pursuit of proof for the points he contends for. In the following case, he sought to prove that John the Baptist was a Baptist in the sense that we know Baptists today, instead of allowing the Scripture to describe John the Baptist and his particular place as an instrument in the Lord’s work.
“On what date was Jesus baptized? It may not matter; yet the day of His crucifixion coincided with the Old Testament Day of Atonement. Perhaps the date of Abraham’s offering Isaac is the same; if so, it would be fitting. Isaac asked his father, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” This question had no real answer for about two thousand years. The real answer, after many substitutes, came with John the Baptist as he pointed to Christ: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).” (S. E. Anderson, The First Baptist, chapter 5)
So we see here that S. E. Anderson holds that Christ died on the Day of Atonement, instead of the Passover. Now, the Scripture is express, and there can be no mistake as the Day of Atonement and the Passover are approximately six months apart. What then does the Scripture state?
And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. (Matthew 26:1-2)
Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. (Matthew 26:17-25)
There are other clear references to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed and crucified immediately prior to the Passover. In John, chapter 18, verses 28 through 40 is it very plain that Passover was the one time of the year when Pilate would release one Jewish prisoner, and that the Jews rejected the Lord Jesus and chose Barabbas. In addition, both Mark and Luke testify that the Lord’s Supper was initially taken at that last supper, which was the last Passover the Lord Jesus Christ held with the apostles.
The reason this is pointed out is that it is such an obvious error that is easily disprovable by the Scripture. If such a plain error was made simply because the individual strains to prove a point, without concern for the express statements of Scripture, then we are right to question all other points that he would raise in support of his contention. In fact, we would be accessories to the error if we do not raise the question and investigate the claim.