John Porterfield - Easter Sunday - Lewiston, Idaho - April 10, 1955

Luke 22:1-21. Today has been celebrated throughout the world as the day Christ arose. Many people in the world do not know why we meet to worship on the first day of the week. There is absolutely no connection between the old Sabbath and the first day of the week. There is a connection between the old Passover (Exodus 12) and breaking of bread.

The last night the children of Israel spent in Egypt was memorial. They were to take a lamb and keep it 4 days, then were to kill it and put the blood on the door posts. The lamb was to be roasted and eaten -- all of it. If it was too much for those in one house, they were to invite some one else. None was to be left and none carried out of the house. The Passover was always to be observed in the home. The death angel was to pass over where the blood was on the door Post. One had to be in the home to partake of the lamb. Jesus died in Calvary. He is our Passover, that the death angel might pass over us.

The Passover lamb was eaten with bitter herbs. We must eat the bitter with the sweet, but we must partake of all the lamb, with the head and the appurtenance. The reason why the N.T. Christian keeps the 1st day of the week is because Jesus instituted it. The disciples asked Jesus where shall we prepare the Passover? Jesus had no home of His own, but had already made preparation for the feast in a home.

In answer to their Question (Luke 22:9-14) Jesus said "When ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water, follow him into the house....and say to the good man of the house, where is the guest chamber..., and he shall show you a large upper room furnished. There make ready. And when the hour was come, He sat down with the 12." It was probably on a Wednesday when this took place. Someone has said that "the water in the pitcher" was the water Jesus used to wash the disciples' feet.

And He took the cup and gave thanks and said, "Take this a divide it among yourselves." And He took bread and gave thanks and brake it and gave unto them saying, "This is my body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of me." (Thus changing the lamb to bread and wine.)

Jesus was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. Late on the first day of the week, as 2 of His disciples were returning home to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to them and reasoned with them from the scriptures, and as they drew near the village where they were going, He made as thought He would have gone farther, but they constrained Him saying, "Abide with us for the day is far spent." And He went in to tarry with them. And as He sat at meat with them, He took bread and blessed it and brake and gave to them, thus instituting the breaking of bread. And their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they arose the same hour and returned to Jerusalem and found the 11 gathered together and told what things were done and how He was known in breaking of bread.

Christians gathered on the firstst day of the week to break bread, always in the home to remember Calvary. We are grateful He arose. Catholics did not change the day as some believe. It was not a written law. Preaching the gospel and breaking bread are two different things and true from the day the children of Israel left Egypt. Never was a Passover observed in the temple or synagogue. Jesus started the breaking of bread in the home and it has always been kept.

Romans 16:3, 5...."Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Jesus Christ. Likewise greet the church which is in their house." The word "church" is mentioned 112 times in the N.T. and never once does it mean a building. Buildings cannot greet or salute. See also 1 Corinthians 16:19 and Colossians 4:15 and Philemon 2.

"Because the church was in infancy" or "because they were too poor" to build churches are false reasons for meeting in homes. Acts 2:41 tells us there were 3,000 souls saved in one day and they broke bread from house to house. There will always be enough homes to meet in and there is no such thing found in the N.T. as hiring a man to preach and pray for them. All who named His name had a part in the fellowship meeting on the 1st day of the week. All were to partake of the body of Christ. All to have a part in searching the scriptures and praying, not to be left entirely to preachers.

There is no connection between the O.T. Sabbath and the N.T. first day of the week. There is a connection between the Passover and the breaking of bread. There is no mention of any scheme to erect buildings to worship in. The 3 buildings God is interested in were Noah's Ark, the tabernacle and the temple in O.T. days and since the resurrection = our bodies. Today our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Jews never had a synagogue until they returned from the Babylonian captivity. They copied from the Babylonians. Now there are preachers who will not preach without pay.