Have you ever found yourself doing something and for the life of you you don’t know why?
Story of the little girl asking why do you cut the ends off the roast?
A lot of times in life we end up doing things for the wrong reasons
• And the reason is because no one has ever stopped and asked why.
• We develop habits / traditions based on nothing more than false information.
• Now every Sunday here at Franklin Christian Church
• We have a time of communion where we partake of the bread and the wine
• And these symbols remind us of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.
• So this week as I was thinking about our church and the new members worshipping with us,
• I thought it would be a good time to refresh our memories
• On why we take communion every week
Acts 20:7 says, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread.”
• Early historians recorded that the early church observed communion every week.
• Smaller groups (House churches) possibly took communion every day,
• But the church as a whole took communion every Sunday.
• Following that example we also provide communion every week.
• We simply want to practice the example that we learned from the early church
But one of the complaints that I hear about taking communion every week
• Is that it becomes too common. (Losses it’s meaning)
• If you take communion every week it isn’t as special.
• With that in mind, I want us to look at why
• Other than the fact that the early church did it
• That we take communion.
First of all, we take communion because…
JESUS STARTED IT
• I don’t mean for that to sound like a little kid saying “he started it!”
• What I mean is that the origins of communion come from Jesus Himself.
In fact, communion is also called “The Lord’s Supper” because of the fact that Jesus started it.
Paul writes in
1Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
1Co 11:24 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.”
1Co 11:25 In 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.”
God, knows that we don’t have the greatest memories.
• Throughout the entire Bible we see that God was always setting up memorials / Ways for His people to remember things
• Whenever a significant event would happen, the patriarchs would build an altar.
• When the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River they set 12 stones by the river bank to serve as a memorial to that event.
• Whenever their children walked by and saw the stones the parents would tell them about God’s miraculous entrance for them into the Promise Land.
A significant memorial for the Israelites was Passover.
• Passover was a meal that celebrated the people’s escape from Egypt.
• During the meal they would eat bitter herbs to remind them of their years in slavery.
• They would eat sweet honey to remind them of how good the Lord is.
• It was during this celebration that Jesus met with His disciples and started the Lord’s Supper.
Every family would set an additional place setting for the Messiah.
• This was a reminder that they were looking forward to the One who was coming.
• It is from this place that scholars believe that Jesus took the bread and the cup.
• Strong significance.
The primary purpose of communion is…
A SYMBOLIC REMINDER OF CHRIST’S DEATH
• Two times in these verses Jesus said to do this, “In remembrance of Me.”
• We have all been frustrated / embarrassed at times about forgetting something.
• Isnt it embarrassing when you know someone
• But you can’t remember their name.
Sometimes it’s a good thing that we don’t remember everything
• If the memory of a bad accident stayed in our minds perfectly,
• we would never get back in a car.
• If the memory of failure didn’t fade,
• We might not be willing to try again.
Think about how terrible it would be if the memory of a loved one that died
• Didn’t fade a with time?
• Now We never forget them,
• But if some of that immediate pain didn’t leave us
• The grief would be unbearable.
The Lord’s Supper is the most meaningful memorial that has ever been established.
• You can see the wisdom of God written all over it.
• It is so simple. And any culture can participate.
It is vividly symbolic.
• The bread reminds us of Christ’s sinless body.
• The juice is the same color as the bllod that He shed for our sins.
• It is portable. You don’t have to go to a special place to participate.
• It can be observed anywhere.
• It is interactive. It’s not just something we look at. It’s something we do.
Communion is more than a religious tradition.
• It is more than a snack in the middle of service.
• It is a memorial. / a picture of remembrance.
• It allows us to focus our hearts and / minds on Jesus.
• 1Co 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Every time we participate in the Lord’s Supper,
• It’s a sermon without words about the cross.
• Jesus left us with a picture so we would never forget.
Another reason we take communion is because it…
DEMONSTRATES UNITY IN THE CHURCH
Here at Franklin, we have many people in our church family With a wide variety of life expierience
• There are people who are experts with technology, experts in construction, experts in music, and experts in production.
• We have people with mechanical, athletic, and artistic expertise.
Now It’s not always easy to be around someone who is better at something than you are.
• And isn’t it even worse when it seems like a person is better at being a Christian than you?
The Lord’s Supper erases all of that.
Let’s go back to our text
1Co 11:20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat,
1Co 11:21 for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
1Co 11:22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!
In the Corinthian culture,
• it was common practice to show favoritism at mealtimes.
• The priviledged got to eat first,
• And Sometimes there wouldn’t be anything left for the common people.
• The Christians at Corinth had allowed this practice to creep into the church.
• The haves were jumping ahead of the have-nots.
So Paul encourages them in verse 33,
1Co 11:33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.
He instructed them to wait for each other
• Because, when it comes to the Lord’s Supper, we’re all on the same level.
• Social and economic distinctions disappear. (Elab)
• Our spiritual inferiority complexes disappear as well.
• Jesus died for each of us because we are all sinners
• We are all hopelessly lost except for the grace of God.
That’s what we remember at the Lord’s Supper.
• A brand new Christian and a believer of 50 years are on the same level
• It’s all level ground at the foot of the cross.
In fact, listen to verse 27-29
1Co 11:27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.
1Co 11:29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. Communion requires serious self-examination.
Another thing that Communion does is it forces us to be real with God.
• It’s through our self-examination that we realize
• That none of us are worthy to take communion.
• None of us are perfect.
• We are all sinners.
• But we are sinners that are saved by God’s grace.
• And because of that grace we are part of Christ’s body, (the church.)
When Paul was talking about recognizing the body of the Lord,
• He is referring to it in two ways.
• First of all, remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
• This is why we have the emblems. (Bread and the Juice)
• But secondly, we are to remember our fellow church members.
Remember what was going on in Corinth at the time?
• They were not considering the needs of others.
• There were divisions in the church.
• If you have a problem with someone in the church,
• We need to work those problems out before we take communion.
• Otherwise, you are not recognizing the body of the Lord.
Jesus said in Matthew 5,
Mt 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Mt 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Let me try and sum it up this way
There are the times you should not take communion.
• First you shouldn’t take communion if you are not a Christian.
• If you haven’t made Jesus your Lord and Savior,
• Then this is a completely meaningless meal.
• Secondly, you shouldn’t take communion if there is someone in your life you haven’t forgiven.
• If you are not truly trying to forgive someone who has wronged you
• Then you need to take care of that first.
• Third, you shouldn’t take communion if you are totally distracted or irritated.
• If you’re thinking more about what you have to do this afternoon,
• Or if you’re worried about beating the crowd to the restaurant,
• Let the trays pass by.
Communion is a time when…WE REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO CHRIST
• Communion reminds us that He is God, and We’re not.
• There is an attitude about God among people today.
• The overall thought among people is that God is my good buddy.
• There was a t-shirt that said, “Jesus is my homeboy.”
Don’t get me wrong: there is the friendship aspect of our relationship with Jesus.
• He is our friend.
• In fact, Jesus called His disciples “friends.” (John 15)
• But first and foremost, He is God.
• There are times when we worship when we just want to jump up and down and shout for joy.
• But there is also a times when we need to be still,
• So quiet that you can hear a pin drop…
• And just sit there and know He is God.
There was a man named Robert Tinsky.
• He was raised in Judaism.
• Dissatisfied spiritually, he visited a Christian Church for the first time, seeking some religious truth.
• He was amazed by the observance of the Lord’s Supper.
• But He didn’t understand it.
• So He asked some young people seated near him what it meant.
• They faithfully told him the gospel story as portrayed in the loaf and cup.
• He was amazed that there was a God who loved humankind enough to give His Son to die for us
• And at the wisdom that originated such a living memorial.
• He became a Christian and a faithful preacher of the gospel.
When we share in Communion
• We are celebrating a relationship with the risen Lord Jesus Christ,
• When we take communion we take Jesus’s words seriously that He spoke on the night before he died,
• “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Each weekThe Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the horrible death that Jesus died on a cross.
• He died for your sins and for mine.
• His body was broken and his blood was shed,
• not because of His sins, but because of ours.
• On the cross, Jesus took all of our mistakes, shortcomings, and sins.
• He took the blackest and darkest things we have ever done.
• And in return, we are clothed with His perfection and holiness.
• And this offer is made to everyone.
• We simply need to choose to accept it.
• If you’ve never accepted this trade that God offers, we invite you to today.