The Lords Supper
1 Corinthians 11:23-28
Meals are special. And I’m sure all of us have a favorite meal that we like and get served our birthdays and such. But there is no other meal more special than the one in which we are getting ready to partake in the Lord’s Supper.
Some call it the Lord’s Supper; others call it Communion or Holy Communion. But no matter what you call it; it is a very special time that we have with our Lord.
This is Memorial Day Weekend and for some it is a time of picnics and cookouts and an extra day off work. But it is a time where we remember those who have passed on. It is marked by parades; speeches; flags and flowers are placed on the graves of many servicemen. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, for the purpose of decorating the graves of the Civil War Dead. Now, it remembers all of those who died in the wars our nation have fought. I think as well, we would be wise to remember someone who fought the greatest battle there ever has been. Jesus Christ defeated sin and it’s punishment when He willingly gave His life on the Cross.
So this morning let me give you a few things in which this Holiday weekend and everyday that we should reflect on. But before we begin let me give you a little background. The first time we hear about the Lord’s Supper was when Jesus and His disciples were in the Upper room celebrating the Passover.
Remember the Passover had happened about 1000 years before Jesus instituted this supper. He took a reluctant man in Moses to fulfill a promise that He had made to Abraham that the children of Israel would have what is known as the Promised Land. But after the promise, the children of Israel sinned against God and became the captives of the Egyptians.
So God then prepares and sends Moses to the leader of the Egyptians, Pharaoh, and tells him to let the Israelites go free. Time after time, plague after plague, Pharaoh says no and when he did say yes then he would go back on his word. So God tell Moses I have one more plague that will cause Pharaoh to let My people go. He says at Midnight the firstborn of all the Egyptians shall die, but none of the Children of Israel’s children will die.
So then He instructed the Children of Israel on what is know as the Passover. He tells them that they are to take a lamb, a male without blemish. And they were to kill that lamb and take some of the blood and put it on the doorpost and on the lintel of the house where they would eat. And they where to take the meat of the lamb they sacrificed and cook it and then eat it. And that night it says in…
Exodus 12:13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
So then He goes on to tell them this was not a one-time thing.
Exodus 12:14 So this day shall be a memorial and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.
So now we pick back up with our story with Jesus in the Upper Room getting ready to celebrate this Passover. But this time Jesus shocked them. He tells them I am now to be the Passover. I will pour out My blood and not just for the Jews but also for everyone. Because when God sees My blood He will Passover the sin and the judgment that goes with that.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So with that in mind, let me give you some things to remember about the Lord’s Supper.
A time of Commemoration (Vs. 23-25)
It is a time to remember. Did you ever think that Jesus never tells us to remember His birth? But yet that is probably for many the most popular of religious Holidays due to the gifts received or all of the football that is being played.
He does not tell us to remember His life, although what an example He set while He walked upon this earth. Now there is nothing wrong with remembering His birth and His life but His commandment, not His request was for us to remember His death.
When I see people who profess that they are a Christian but they just don’t see the need to attend church then I ask them this question. When was the last time that you took communion? You see like church attendance it was not a request; it was a commandment. The Bible does not say, when you feel like it or when you get the time; it says, “DO THIS in remembrance of Me”.
Not only is it a time of remembrance it is also …
A time of Appreciation
It is a time that we take the time to THANK HIM for what He did for us. He left heaven and all His glory to come to this world born in a stinky smelly stable to be persecuted then prosecuted and eventually bleeds and dies for you.
When I watched the movie “The Passion” it broke my heart and gave me the realization to see what they did to my Savior. But it had to be done because not only did it break my heart but it also saved my soul.
I think about that song that we sing.
How can I say thank for the things You have dome for me. Things so undeserved, yet You give to prove Your love for me? The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To God be the Glory
A time of commemoration and a time of appreciation, and …
A time of Proclamation (Vs.26)
Did you ever think that you would be a preacher? Now you don’t have to stand behind a pulpit to preach and you don’t have to be talking to your kids or your spouse. But when you take the Lord’s Supper you are proclaiming to others that you believe in His death, burial and resurrection and what it does for you.
It goes hand in hand with Baptism. Baptism does not save you it just proclaims to others that you have decided to make Him Lord of your life by giving Him rule and rein over your life. And when you get baptized you are representing the death- to your old life; the burial-by saying that we are going to strive to keep old things past away and keep everything new in our relationship with Him; and the resurrection- by being raised into that new life.
Romans 6:3-4 Or do you not know that as many of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
And I don’t know about you, but when I am buried I want to be covered. I don’t want a little dirt sprinkled over the casket. But that is another sermon. Also the Lord’s Supper is to be…
A time of Anticipation (Vs.26)
The Lord’s Supper is not just a time to look back but to also look forward. The Lords Supper links the 1st coming to the 2nd coming. Every time we take the Lord’s Supper we are to be reminded that He is coming back so we that are saved can sit at the Lord’s Table in Heaven in His presence.
And that needs me to the last thing that I want us to remember. Not only is it a time of commemoration and appreciation. Not just a time to proclaim and anticipate, but also…
A time of Examination (Vs.27-28)
This Greek word examines means to qualify. A lot of times when we get ready to purchase a home or a car we will go get pre-qualified. There are a couple of things that you need to pre-qualify before taking part in the Lord’s Supper.
First you need to make sure that you are saved. Notice I did not say religious or have your name on some church membership. And if you cannot say that you have ever asked Jesus to come into your heart; then if a few minutes we are going to give you a chance to do so.
Now for those of you who say well I’m saved so I am qualified to take the Lord’s Supper. There is another pre-qualification. You need to be right with God. How do you know if you are right with God?
1. Identify; do you have any sin in your life. Ask God to reveal anything that causes separation between Him and you.
2. Rectify; confess it. Tell God that you acknowledge your sins and you are sorry for it.
3. Purify; that is to totally clean up. Not only confess it but also get rid of anything that would lead you back into that sin. Get rid of any grudges or any bitterness.
You see the purpose of the Lord’s Supper is not just to remember what He has done for you but also to get you RIGHT with Him.
So as we give your invitation let me invite you to take this time to examine yourself and if you don’t have that relationship with Jesus or if you don’t have the right relation with Jesus then you can come forward and make things right today. Because He is coming again and whether you go to meet Him or He comes to take you; you need to make sure that you are ready.