THE LORD'S SUPPER
November 15, 2009
1 CORINTHIANS 11:23—34
Public worship reaches its climax at the Lord's Table, as we partake of the emblems on the table. We do so in remembrance of the Lord Jesus and because He requests it.
Exhorting one another in the things of God is not worship. Singing and special music do not in themselves constitute worship. Reciting specially chosen Scripture passages is not in itself worship. Following a carefully planned order of service does not guarantee worship. Listening to pulpit oratory is not worship. Praying for one another does not constitute worship. Being occupied with evangelism, soulwinning, missionary activity, and the like does not constitute worship. Of course, all these things may at times be elements of worship.
True worship is brought into true focus at the Lord's Table. There we are occupied with Jesus only. That is worship.
At the Lord's Table, we remember the Lord, in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). That, of course, excludes all those who do not know Him. You cannot remember someone you do not know and have never met. Occupation with the Lord Jesus reaches its climax in partaking of the bread and of the wine. This is pure worship. It should be spontaneous, not arranged. It should be guided in all its parts (a carefully chosen and appropriate hymn here; a relevant Scripture reading there, with or with-out comment; now a prayer of praise and adoration, in keeping with the occasion) by the Holy Spirit.
Three elements are prominent in such worship. Paul reminds us that we are to be taken up with the Lord's person. Jesus, in instituting this feast of remembrance, said, "This do in remembrance of me." That opens up a vast field of worship. We can be taken up with the Lord's deity, with His humanity, His attributes, and His wisdom, with His love and power. We can be occupied with His eternal preexistence as
God the Son, second person of the Godhead. We can worship Him as Creator of the universe, the One who is adored and served by all the angel throng.
We can remember He is truly man. We can meditate on His incarnation; His life; His words and works; His death, burial, and resurrection; His oneness with the Father, with the Spirit, and with His bride. All these and many other things may be involved in remembering His person.
Moreover, we are to be taken up with the Lord's passion: "As often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death." This, too, opens up a vast field of worship. Many Old Testament types remind us of His death. The various offerings, for instance, the feasts, and truths connected with the tabernacle and its furniture. Such monumental passages as Psalm 22, Psalm 69, and Isaiah 53 all come to mind. So do the frequent references to the Lord's death in the Gospels and Epistles. We focus in worship on the events that surrounded the Lord's death, burial, and resurrection. We think of His sufferings, the events of His last crowded week on earth. We stand with Moses and Elijah on the holy mount as they talk with Him about His departure. We stand in Pilate's judgment hall. We journey from Gethsemane to Gabbatha to Golgotha and the grave. We remember His passion. Besides our open Bibles, a hundred hymns help us to remember.
But there is one thing more. We are to be taken up with the Lord's position. We remember Him thus "till He come." The Lord is no longer on the cross or in the tomb. He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He is our Advocate with the Father. He is our Great High Priest. He is coming again. All these things provide us with themes for worship.
Worship, after all, is the ascription of "worthship" to Him.
Communion is open to all believers; you don’t need to be a member of this church. The only qualification is that Jesus is your Savior and Lord and that you are in right relationship with other believers and with God. So, if your obedient in this and faithful in your tithing you are welcome to participate in communion with us. First, we’ll take a moment for silent prayer. Ask God to reveal to you if there is any need for repentance and/or reconciliation before you partake. If there is, then abstain from communion until these issues have been dealt with. As you come silently before our LORD and God, ask Him to also reveal to you the deep and wide trail of blood leading to the cross for our sake.
Starting on my left, please come forward to be served the elements, please hold on to your serving until all have been served so we may partake together.
(When all are ready to partake) “The Lord Jesus on the night He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me” Let’s partake.
(When all are ready to partake of the cup) “In the same way, after supper He took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
O Father, like the watermark in paper which 1 see only when I hold it up to the light, so is the stain of Your shed blood on Calvary written into the very texture of the Old Testament. I can but stand in awe at the wonder of Your developing revelation.
And Father, I am so thankful that, because Your death brought me my salvation, Calvary is not a tragedy but a glorious victory. Others may see it in gloom but I see it in glory. I am so thankful. Amen.