Summary: A communion message.
SYMBOL OF HIS BLOOD
INTRO: The New Testament writers placed great importance on the symbol of the blood of Christ. His blood represented his life given freely for us.
Some people relate almost superstitiously to the idea of the blood of Christ (and the cup which symbolizes it). They may believe that a miracle occurs when the cup is consecrated, so that the wine becomes the actual blood of Christ. Or they may make the words “the blood of Christ” an essential catch word or code of orthodoxy.
Others are repelled at the idea and mention of the blood of Christ. They consider the term offensive and may say, “I’ll have no part in such a gory religion.” But how can we ignore such a central theme in both the Old and New Testaments?
Remember that in biblical theology the life is in the blood. In OT sacrifice an animal was killed. Parts of it were burned and the flesh was cooked and eaten by the worshipers and priests. But the blood of the animal, which represented its life, was offered on the altar to God. Even so, on the cross Christ’s blood was poured out as the perfect offering to God for our sins. To speak of Christ’s blood is to speak of his life given. The observance of the Lord’s Supper brings us to the central support of our faith.
I. THE LORD’S SUPPER IS HISTORICAL--IT POINTS TO THE CROSS.
It symbolizes and brings vividly to mind Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. It brings us back to remembering our need as sinners and God’s gracious provision for our forgiveness. Man’s greatest need is not material things. Someone has said that a rich man and a poor man have one thing in common--neither knows how much it would take to make him happy! Our greatest need is not more knowledge. To be reminded of how dangerous an educated pagan and criminal can be we only have to remember the Nazis. Our great need is spiritual--to be rightly related to God. We cannot be right with our fellowmen until we are first right with God.
II. THE LORD’S SUPPER IS MYSTERIOUS--IT POINTS TO THE RISEN CHRIST.
Obviously, the Supper has a significance greater than itself, just as the nation’s flag is more than cloth, and the wedding band is more than gold. Here at the Lord’s table we enter into relationship, “have communion” in the deepest sense. We fellowship with the risen Lord who is spiritually present in our hearts and in our worship. As we take the bread and cup in faith, we enter into the divine presence.
We also have fellowship with other born-again believers who sit about the Lord’s table with us. The observance is a vertical communion with God and a horizontal fellowship with our fellow Christians. In a third sense, we can say we have fellowship with the church triumphant, the saints in heaven. The epistle to the Hebrews reminds us of God’s grandstand in glory.
III. THE LORD’S SUPPER IS ESCHATOLOGICAL--IT POINTS TO THE END TIME.
Eschatology has to do with the end of history and the return of Christ. It is the doctrine of last things. Interestingly, the Lord’s Supper has this important future stance. We are told that we are to observe it “till he comes” (see Matt. 26:28-29). At the table we not only look back to the historical Christ-event we also look forward to Christ’s return at the close of history. Then the church triumphant, the redeemed of all time will worship in the very presence of the Lord at the banquet in heaven.