What is the Lord’s Supper?

One of the blessings as well as an important responsibility for Christians is regularly assembling with other Christians. We have an example of Christians assembling in Acts 20:7 and we have an explicit command not to neglect our assembling together in Hebrews 10:25.

The purpose of our assembling is threefold: (1) to express praise and devotion to God and Christ; (2) to exhort and encourage our brethren to greater service; and, (3) to receive such encouragement ourselves.

Before His death, Jesus instituted what normally termed the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20). As recorded by Luke, Jesus wanted His disciples to do this in His memory (Luke 22:19).

The importance of correctly observing the Lord’s Supper should not be underestimated. The church at Corinth was guilty of abusing it (1 Corinthians 11:20-22) and those misuses had serious consequences (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

So for us to observe the Supper properly, to receive its blessings instead of condemnation, let’s see what the Lord’s Supper really is.

It is a Memorial

Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 was given by the Lord Himself. We eat the bread in memory of His body. We drink the cup or the fruit of the vine in memory of His blood. We therefore commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross (Matthew 26:28).

The death of Jesus makes the New Covenant possible (Hebrews 9:16). His blood was shed for the remission of sins (Ephesians 1:7).

The Passover was a memorial commemorating Israel’s deliverance from Egypt through the blood of the lambs on the door post. The Supper is a memorial of our Lord’s death who makes our deliverance from the bondage of sin possible.

It is a Proclamation

Partaking the Lord’s Supper lets us proclaim our faith in the effectiveness of the Lord’s death (1 Corinthians 11:26). We also proclaim our faith in the Lord’s return (1 Corinthians 11:26). If we don’t believe in the Lord’s death and return, why keep the Supper?

Thus the Lord’s Supper looks forward as well as backward, and will ever be observed by His disciples who trust in His redemption and anticipate His return!

It is a Communion

The Lord’s Supper is a fellowship or sharing in the blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16). When we partake, we commune or are partners in the blood of Christ.

When we break bread, in our minds, we reinforce the blessings we enjoy through the blood of Christ (1 John 1:7-9). We also reinforce our fellowship together in the body of Christ or the church.

The Lord’s Supper has great significance. Our spirituality depends on the value and benefits of the Lord’s death. It should never be taken lightly, for that would be taking it in an “unworthy manner” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).

Each Sunday is a time for serious reflection and concentration. The first Christians “continued steadfastly” in its observance just as they did in the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship and prayer (Acts 2:42).

You show your appreciation for Christ’s death by keeping yourself focused on His body and blood during the Supper. You also get the chance to examine yourself and your spiritual condition. This is a critical way to begin your week, so don’t neglect it.

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