Summary: A Lord’s Supper service that focuses on the relationship of the cup to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
One of the things I love most about celebrating the Lord’s Supper together is that it presents so many different aspects of Jesus – past, present, and future. It is certainly appropriate that we use the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. The bread and cup are a powerful object lesson that remind us of the price God paid in order for us to have a relationship with Him.
There is also the present aspect of the Lord’s Supper that causes us to reflect on our own relationship with God and to make sure that we have dealt with the sin in our lives so that we would not take the elements in an unworthy manner. I hope that you have developed a habit in your life of constantly bringing your life before God, not just to prepare for the Lord’s Supper, but to maintain your fellowship with Him on a consistent basis.
Perhaps the most neglected aspect of the Lord’s Supper is the future element of the observance. And so that’s where I want us to focus our time together this morning.
We’ll begin this morning by reading Matthew’s account of the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his followers shortly before His crucifixion:
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Matthew 26:26-29 (ESV)
Before we begin to pass the bread in just a moment let me share a word of instruction and warning. The Bible is quite clear that only those who have committed their lives to Jesus as Lord and Savior are to partake of the Lord’s Supper. So if you’ve made that decision, regardless of whether or not you are a member of this church, we invite you to join us in taking the bread and the cup.
However, if you have not yet made that commitment in your life, we ask that you refrain from taking the bread and the cup. We certainly encourage you to participate otherwise. In fact, it is our prayer that God will use this time to draw your heart to Him.
Matthew records that on that night, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, and then divided it among His followers.
Pass the bread (recorded music in background)
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”
We’re going to take a little more time to focus this morning on verse 29 where Jesus told His disciples that He would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the day when He would drink it with them in His Father’s kingdom. What exactly did Jesus mean by that and how should that impact the way that we live our lives right here and now? And most importantly for us this morning, how should this impact the way we observe the Lord’s Supper?
As I think I’ll be able to demonstrate quite clearly this morning, there is little doubt in my mind that Jesus is referring in that verse to what is known as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which is described for us in Revelation 19:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Revelation 19:6-9 (ESV)
It would be real easy for us to get caught up today in a number of issues related to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Things like when exactly it will occur and other similar details. But that would only serve to distract from our worship. We’ll deal with those issues at the appropriate time in our study of the Book of Revelation. But this morning I want us to merely focus on the connection between the Lord’s Supper and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.