Summary: Jesus said these elements before us today are SYMBOLIC of His body and blood. There’s no saving power in these elements, and none will be saved today by partaking. This is a time of remembrance. But first, there are several things we need to bring to th
16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.
At our Thanksgiving dinner, we all had one thing in common: we couldn’t wait to be told: “Come to the table!” This morning, Jesus has set the table and is inviting us, “Come to My Table.”
John 6:27 Jesus is speaking to a group which followed Him because He just fed them. He points out the fact that there are better reasons to follow Him than just for a temporary fill.
27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.
33 “For the bread of God is that which acomes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.”
47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48 “I am the bread of life.
49 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.
51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
54 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
56 “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me.
58 “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
They didn’t get it in Jesus day, but we do now! It’s not about really eating that flesh and drinking that blood. Jesus said these elements before us today are SYMBOLIC of His body and blood. There’s no saving power in these elements, and none will be saved today by partaking. This is a time of remembrance.
But first, there are several things we need to bring to the table:
1. Before we sit down to a meal, we need clean hands. You don’t sit down, and eat dinner without washing. This is why the Bible tells us to examine our lives before receiving Communion. Turn to I Cor. 11:28
We may see something that needs to be confessed and cleaned up. When we come to Jesus with remorse and repentance, we find forgiveness, restoration, and an invitation to His table. Some people get so burdened by their sins, that instead of asking forgiveness, they figure they’re too unworthy to participate, and they pass the tray without partaking. None of us are worthy, but if we’ve trusted Christ, we are eligible. He invites and authorizes us to come to the table.
2. Also before dining, we need a good appetite. What would happen if you were invited to someone’s house for dinner and an hour before the meal you ate a bag of chips, a Coke, and a package of Twinkies? After all this junk food, you’d have little appetite for the good stuff! Paul tells us, “you can’t drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you can’t have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons”