Summary: This sermon deals with our personal preparation for communion
COMMUNION AND THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST
1 Cor. 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In 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." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
INTRODUCTION: In just a few moments we will be remembering the Lord in the communion meal. It is often referred to as the Lord’s Supper. It was that special change Jesus, as a rabbi and teacher made to the Passover Supper. It was a change instituted after Judas had left the group and was on his way to betray Jesus, and before Christ Himself would face the agony of the cross.
Sometimes in our hurry with communion we do not prepare ourselves for the message, kind of like this couple.
A man and his wife own a poodle. They loved this little dog. It was the object of their affection. The wife was set to take a trip abroad. On the first day she made it to New York. She called home and asked her husband, “How are things?” He said (without tact), “The dog’s dead!” She was devastated
After collecting her thoughts, she asked, “Why do you do that? Why can’t you be more tactful?” “Well, what do you want me to say? The dog died.” She said, “Well, you could give it to me in stages. For example, you could say when I called you from New York, “The dog is on the roof.” And then when I travel to London the next day and call, you could tell me, “Honey, the dog fell off the roof.” And when I call you from Paris, you could add, “The dog had to be taken to the vet. In fact, he’s in the hospital, not doing well.” And finally when I call you from Rome, “Honey, brae yourself. Our dog died.” I could handle that.
The husband paused and said, “Oh, I see.” Then she asked, “By the way, how’s mother?” And he said, ”She’s on the roof.”
I. COMMUNION COMMEMORATES THE PAST.
A. “This do in remembrance of me”
1. Mentioned twice in two verses.
2. Obviously something God thought was important
B. The communion meal was meant to reflect our thinking back some two thousand years to the cross
1. Not just recall the death of Christ
2. To “stir up” one’s mind
3. Meditate on the person of Christ – an active meditation
The Hebrews were often commanded to place some sort of marker at the site of a significant event in their lives, so that it would be a teachable moment when their children would ask why the altar was there.
4. Part of the reason we celebrate communion is to remember the work Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
II. COMMUNION COMMUNION”ATES” THE PRESENT – My living with Christ
A. At times we call this the “communion” meal or service
B. We are told that as often as we participate we “show/proclaim” the Lord’s death till He comes.
C. Communion declares that there is a living risen Savior
I serve a risen Savior
He’s in the world today!
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say
D. We cannot miss the significance of the meal to the world
1. Only Judas was not there. He had left after taking the bread of the meal, and before the institution of communion. Communion is meant for those who have trusted Christ as Savior.
2. Communion was shared by all who were there in the upper room, and Paul states that all believers should participate.
1 Cor. 11:28
A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
a. Examination occurs before you ever get to the meal.
b. Examination at the meal was never considered.
c. God expects that when we come to communion, we come to partake, not fight with God over any sort of problem.
d. WE ARE TO EXAMINE SO WE CAN PARTICIPATE, or we destroy the unity of the church, so beautifully pictured in the meal itself.
III. COMMUNION COMMITMENT”ATES” THE FUTURE – Christ is coming again
1 Cor. 11:26
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
A. Communion looks to the future – there is a time when Jesus IS coming back!
1. You and I have a responsibility to proclaim Christ to this world!