Summary: The sermon deals with what the Lord’s Supper should mean.
Perhaps some of you can remember meals you have had that stick in your mind. Some of you have related to me how you remember the meals you once ate at Mrs. Vernie’s home. You can remember the good food she cooked. Others of you remember meals at someone’s house. These meals stick in your mind. I can remember some of the meals I used to eat at my grandmother’s house. She lived in the country and cooked some good country meals. I can remember many a good meal that I ate at my mother’s house. Even now, when we visit it is wonderful to wake in the morning and smell the bacon or country ham frying. She will have grits and red eye gravy to go along with it. There will also be jelly toast and scrambled eggs with a little juice left in them and cheese. These meals conjure up memories and emotions for us. Thinking of these meals brings back memories of people who may not be here anymore. Along with the memories often comes emotions of love.
The passage we read speaks of a memorable meal; specifically a supper. Now we call our evening meal supper. I have often said, though I do not know it to be always true, that the common people refer to the evening meal as supper while the higher class folks call it dinner. That puts me in touch with Jesus because the meal he observed with his disciples was a supper. He must have been a common person. Scripture gives us reason to believe that he came from an ordinary family that was common and not fancy.
The meal that we come to observe today should do for us what the memory of other memorable meals does for us. It should stir emotions in us and cause us to remember some things. Jesus told his disciples to partake of this supper in remembrance of him and what he would do for them. They certainly had no idea at this time that this meal would later mean so much to them. It was not until after Jesus was crucified and resurrected that they would know the full impact of this meal they observed with Jesus before his betrayal and crucifixion.
The meal still has meaning for Christians today. It is a meal that only Christians are to partake of. Anyone who has not accepted Christ as their Savior has no business taking the elements of this meal. They mean nothing to you because they represent Christ and you have not accepted him. I think this is something that needs saying from time to time. Now it does not matter what denomination you belong to or even if you are a member of this church, it just matters whether or not you have accepted Jesus as you Savior. The meal reminds us that Jesus died for the sins of all people. It reminds us of his broken body as it hung on the cross and the blood that flowed from his body as he lay dying for our sins.
In our passage, we find Jesus and his disciples observing the final Passover together. At this Passover, he instituted the Lord’s Supper. The Passover was and is a Jewish feast that reminds them of how God delivered them from Egyptian slavery. It was a feast wherein many lambs were slain, perhaps as many as 250,000 in Jesus’ time. The blood of these lambs, however, could never pay for people’s sins. It took a greater sacrifice to do that, and it came in Jesus’ giving of himself on the cross. It was this that the meal that Jesus instituted would commemorate.
There are some things that the Lord’s Supper should remind us of.
I. WE ARE TO BE PURE AND SEPARATE
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he writes; ’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? Since there is one bread, we who are many are on e body; for we all partake of the one bread... You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.’
Paul is stating a fact that Jesus also stated. We cannot serve two masters. We will either hate the one and love the other or love that one and hate the other. We must be holy and pure as his people, but we must also be separated from that which is wicked and evil. We cannot dabble in the things that God tells us not to and serve him at the same time. We cannot fellowship with him and with what is evil at the same time. While we cannot separate ourselves from the world literally, we must separate ourselves from the things that are displeasing to God.