1 Corinthians 11:1-34
The same night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot He instituted the Lord's Supper, which is observed by most churches, if not all. Some call it a church ordinance, while to others it is a sacrament. It certainly is a treasured ritual, which has been embraced by churches of various persuasions since the days of the apostles. But what does it mean?
The Lord's Supper is a reflection upon Jesus Christ. The bread and cup are symbols of His body, which was broken, and his blood, which was shed. Believers partake of these elements in remembrance of the Lord. He said, "This do in remembrance of Me." Forget everything else. Set your thoughts on Him.
The Lord's Supper is a proclamation. The body and blood of Christ "proclaim the Lord's death." Unbelievers come to church, and inquire, "What does this mean?" One misguided soul asked, "Is the bread and grape juice a Christian diet?" It's an occasion for evangelism, explaining and testifying of the Savior.
It's a time of expectation. Christians observe the Lord's Supper "till He comes." Believers look forward to that day when the Lord Jesus Christ will come again. Jesus said to His disciples, "I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." Matthew 26:29.
The Lord's Supper is a time of examination. Paul wrote, "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup." Those who eat the bread and drink the cup unworthily will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. As a consequence, some at Corinth were weak, sick, and many died. 1 Corinthians 11:27-30.
Unfortunately, some Christians spend more time examining the Lord's Supper than they do examining themselves. The debate at times rages about how often the Lord's Supper should be observed. Should the church serve grape juice instead of wine, or are wafers an acceptable substitute for one loaf of bread? Who should be permitted to eat the bread and drink the cup? The discussion goes on too frequently.
Finally, it's also a celebration of the new covenant in His blood. What is the new covenant? Read Jeremiah 31:31-34, and Hebrews 10:16, 17. Some assign the new covenant to Israel's future hope. The blood of the new covenant speaks of redemption and forgiveness. Paul and the church at Corinth recognized it as a reason to celebrate. The institution of the Lord's supper was concluded with the singing of a hymn. Matthew 26:30. Praise the Lord!
Precious Lord, thank You for dying for us. Help us to understand the great price that was paid for our redemption. Keep Calvary's scene before us. In Jesus' name. Amen!