It’s Not Just Some Cute Thing We Do at Church: What the Lord’s Supper Means to Us as Christ Followers

Posted: July 12, 2015 in 46-1 Corinthians
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1 Corinthians 11:17-34 — We can go through the motions of many things in life without thinking. However, there is one thing that we cannot let become routine. What is it?

It is the central ritual of the church of Jesus Christ. It is the Lord’s Supper. But what does it mean when we participate in it? Jesus told us to do this in remembrance of Him. It is an important and symbolic gesture done to express appreciation, honor, and thanksgiving for what Jesus Christ has done for us and our renewed commitment to serve Him.

When we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we must remember that the first one occurred on Passover. The Passover celebration of the Jews was to celebrate their protection from the angel of death and their deliverance from Egypt. Jesus represents that same idea to us. When the Israelites sacrificed the young lamb and placed its blood over the door frame of their homes, the angel of death of the final plague on Egypt passed over them. They were spared. Jesus is the lamb whose blood was spilled and painted over the doorways of our lives. We deserve the death and separation from God, but we who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior have been spared through the sacrifice of the life of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Old Testament sacrificial system was instituted by God to allow for the repentance of sin and restoration of a right relationship with Him. Jesus on the cross dying for our sins is the completion of the OT sacrificial system. The perfect sinless sacrifice for sin from the perfect man who was of the one and same essence with the perfect God. No longer were sacrifices necessary. It was complete on the cross. Let us not forget that coming together of Passover and the Lord’s Supper. It connects us to our past in the Israelites and it points us to the future in Jesus Christ. It is symbolic of Jesus being the the Passover Lamb for us. Through the joining of Passover to the Lord’s Supper we see the continuity of the Bible and the completion of the Old Testament in the New Testament. In the joining we see that by believing in Jesus Christ, we have become part of God’s chosen people.

The bread represents the body of Jesus Christ. Bread represents life. Bread represents nourishment that sustains life. Jesus said in John 6:35 that He is the bread of life. It is a reminder to us that we should be focused on Jesus Christ, the eternal one. We should not be wasting our time on vain pursuits that mean nothing in eternity. It is a reminder of how far Jesus went to give us new life. He sacrificed His body for us. When we eat the bread of communion, it is a sobering reminder of our service to Jesus Christ. It is a reminder that we should be willing to sacrifice it all to serve Him. We must be willing to lay it all on the line to follow Him. We must take up our cross daily and follow Him no matter the cost. He did no less for us. When we casually serve Jesus Christ when it is convenient for us, when we never dare to go outside our comfort zone to serve Him, the Lord’s Supper reminds us of just how far Jesus was willing to go for us. He could have stayed in heaven but, no, He set aside His glory and came to earth as a man and then died on the cross that we might be set free. When you think of your service to our Savior and when I think of my service to our Savior, it kind of pales in comparison. Jesus gave His body in sacrifice for us. Beaten and crucified. He took it to the limit for us. Let us examine what we do for Him!

The wine represents the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ was spilled as the final sacrifice for sin. It began with the Passover lamb’s blood as the first sacrifice that saved and it is completed on the cross with the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood so that all can be saved. Why is Jesus’ blood and his death on the cross the sacrifice for sin and restores us to God? Because God said that is what it was for. God had established the system of sacrifices beginning in Egypt, formalized at Sinai, and completed in Jesus. Blood is important to life. Life force is in the blood. Without blood we all die. Blood is that which ensures our continued existence. Jesus spilled His blood and died so that we may have eternal life. So, the spilling of His blood that ended His earthly bodily life is the blood that gives us our eternal life. Jesus’ blood thus sustains us. It is life giving. Through Jesus’ blood, we live eternally. Without His sacrifice, without His blood, we die eternally. Just as the Passover Lamb’s blood protected the Israelites from certain death, we are protected from eternal separation from God which is death in hell by the spilled blood of Jesus Christ.

The Lord’s Supper is thus the most symbolic testament of our faith that there. The meal itself does not impart anything. It is a symbol. It is symbolic of what Jesus has done for us to make us right with God. It is to honor Jesus for what He has done. It is done in thanksgiving for what He has done. It is therefore not to be taken lightly. It’s not just something you do occasionally at church where you can get a quick snack and little something to drink during church. It is about honoring our Savior. Tomorrow, we will talk about how we should approach this meal.

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