Five Looks at the Lord’s Supper

This past Sunday we celebrated our Lord’s death by gathering around His table and feeding spiritually on His body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. I stated that as we come to the table, we need to look in five directions (a hat tip to Pastor Neil Stewart for this “tabletalk”):

1. Within – Paul commands us to examine ourselves, and in so doing to eat of the bread and drink of the cup (I Cor. 11:28). We need to look for sin to confess, for knowledge of Christ and of what the Lord’s Supper is all about, for faith to feed upon him, for repentance, love, and new obedience. If we aren’t Christians, or if we are harboring some secret, unrepented-of sin, we should not come to the table at the present time (cf. Matt. 5:23-24).

2. Back We eat and drink in remembrance of Christ (I Cor. 11:25-26), proclaiming His death. We look to Christ, who died to forgive our sins, who suffered that we might be reconciled to God, who drank the cup of God’s wrath that we might drink the cup of God’s blessing.

3. Up – The Host of this table is Jesus Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God in glory. As we eat and drink, we are not merely remembering, we are communing with our living Savior as well. There is a present aspect of fellowship with our Groom, as we feed upon His body and blood in a spiritual manner, applying unto ourselves Christ crucified and all the benefits of His death. “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (I Cor. 10:16).

4. Forward – We “proclaim His death until He comes” (I Cor. 11:26). We look forward to the second coming, when we will have no longer the symbolic meal, but the real deal – we will feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

5. Around – We must discern or judge the body rightly, says Paul in I Cor. 11:29. That is, we must realize that we are not only in union and communion with Christ, but with one another, and are called to love and serve one another and forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven us. “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (I Cor. 10:17).

As you come to the table, or as you discuss with your children their coming to the table, I pray that this will aid you in coming in a manner worthy of the Lord who died to save you from your sins (I Cor. 10:27).


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