The Bible tells us that this was the last time Jesus shared a meal with his disciples. We also know that Jesus assigned meaning to the elements of the meal. The bread was to represent His body and the cup, His blood. And in those symbols, we see the real meaning of the Lord’s Supper.
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are proclaiming the death of Jesus. So, if I may, let’s talk about the death of Jesus for a moment. You should say that His death was excruciating because the word “excruciating” is Latin for “from the cross.” In other words, even our language recognizes the horrible suffering that Jesus endured on the cross. It would be one thing to simply talk about how painful His death was, but even more importantly is why He died in the first place.
Whenever we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are proclaiming the death of Jesus.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
He died because we had a debt that we could not pay. Jesus died to pay that debt for us. That may seem harsh, but it is the law of our Creator, God. Listen, we ordered new quartz counter-tops for our kitchen. They have not been installed yet, but I can guarantee you that I expect flawless stone when it comes. Those counter-tops had better not have one ding in them when they are installed. If they do, I will tell the contractor to take them back and bring me a set that is flawless. I don’t have any desire to have imperfect counter tops. And that is a silly example. God created us. But we have introduced flaws in that creation by rebelling against our creator. We have sinned. And that sin demands only one price, namely death. But Jesus paid that price once for all when He died on that cross. So when we take of the supper, we are proclaiming the Lord’s death. We are remembering the price He paid for us. This should not be taken lightly.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
1 Cor 11:27-
When we come to the observe the Lord’s Supper, we should pause and examine ourselves. I think we should pray the prayer of
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
What is there in my life that is displeasing to the Lord? Ask Him to show you. And when He does, confess of your sin and repent before your God. Don’t cling to that bitter thought for one moment more. Don’t harbor that grudge for even another millisecond. Don‘t hold on to sin and come to remember the Lord’s death. Paul even tells us that doing so makes us physically ill. And could even lead to physical death. You see, if sin is so serious that Jesus died to pay the price, we must not make light of the sin in our lives. So, before we go any further, take this opportunity to ask God to search your heart and reveal anything there that is displeasing to Him. I’ll give you a few moments of silence to do this.
1 Cor 11:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when 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.”
As we take of the bread, let it remind us of his bruised and battered body. The body that had clubs and whips beating on it. The body that carried his own cross, his own instrument of death, to the place of execution. Those bruises and whelps and scrapes and lacerations were for you. To pay the just penalty for your sin. That is the body we remember as we take of this bread. Let’s pray.
1 Cor 11:25
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
The grape juice is dark purple. When blood flows from deep within the body, it is not a bright red. It is a dark red, almost purple. So, as we take of this cup, let us remember the blood that was spilled. Let us Remember the blood that flowed mingled with sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember a few hours later when the blood poured from the gashes in His forehead from the crown of thorns. Let us remember the blood that flowed from his back as the whips tore into his flesh. Let us remember the blood that flowed from his hands and feet as nails were driven into them. And let us remember the blood that flowed mingled iwth water when the Roman guard thrust a spear in his side to ensure he was dead. This is the blood of the sacrifice that covers our sin. Let us remember the blood. Let’s pray.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
As we have observed the Lord’s Supper, we have remembered the death of our Lord. In fact, we have proclaimed the death of our Lord. He died so that we might live. But He didn’t die so that we might live however we please. He died so that we might live our lives for Him. He purchased our pardon. He bought our forgiveness. Do we not owe him our unfailing, unashamed allegiance?In light of what Jesus has done for you, it is time for you to commit fully to Him. Don’t deny Him. Don’t hide from His call. Don’t pretend you can meet Jesus and keep living for yourself. The call of Jesus is the call to deny yourself. The call of Jesus is the call to sacrifice yourself. The call of Jesus is the call to live every moment, every breath in service to Him.