Summary: The Lord’s Supper is not just one meal, but four meals in one. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal, a covenantal meal, a communal meal, and a sacrificial meal.
We come to what I plan on being the final lesson in this series on our worship to God. I hope these lessons have been helpful reminders about why we do what we do in our worship as the royal priesthood of our King. Today we are going to look at some things that we need to think about as we partake of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is indeed a special meal that we are commanded by Christ to partake of, and we need to make sure that as we partake, we are pleasing the Lord in what we do. And to be pleasing to the Lord, we need to make sure that not only we use the correct emblems (the bread and the fruit of the vine), but that we are doing so from a heart that is devoted to Him and focused on what we are doing as we partake. I will be focusing in this lesson on some of the things that we need to be thinking about as we partake of the Lord’s Supper, which I believe, is not just one meal, but four meals in one. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial meal, a covenantal meal, a communal meal, and a sacrificial meal.
A. A Memorial Meal “…do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
1. Usually one of the first things that we think of when we think of the Lord’s Supper is Jesus’ instructions to partake of it in remembrance of Him.
2. The concept of a memorial feast/meal is not new in the New Testament. This idea is all throughout the Old Testament. The Feasts of the Old Testament system had the purpose of reminding those under the covenant of the great works that God has done for His people:
a) The Passover. Probably the feast we are most familiar with is the Passover, where the Jews remembered how God delivered His people from Egypt.
(1) God says in Exodus that He wanted this feast to be a day of memorial:
(a) Exodus 12:14 - 'Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
(2) God also wanted this memorial to be a teaching event:
(a) Exodus 13:8-9 - "You shall tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' "And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.
(b) God desired that parents would take the observance of this memorial feast as an opportunity to teach their children about the Lord and what He has done for His people
b) Feast of Tabernacles – God’s care for them in the wilderness.
c) Day of Atonement – God providing yearly atonement through the scapegoat and the blood of the goat which was taken into the Holiest Place.
d) Feast of Firstfruits – God’s providing them with their yearly crops.
3. Jesus and His Supper, I believe, is the culmination of all of the Old Testament memorial feasts. Usually we think of the Lord’s Supper as only a fulfillment of the Passover Feast because of when Jesus inaugurated it and because Jesus is called our Passover. We miss at times that Jesus is also called our firstfruits and our Atonement sacrifice also. Because of His sacrifice, he sustains us spiritually in our earthly tabernacles as we sojourn as pilgrims on earth (fulfillment of feast of tabernacles). I believe it is actually the fulfillment of all these memorial feasts. We remember how Jesus’ sacrifice
4. The Lord’s Supper is a weekly reminder of us of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We need to make sure, if we want to be pleasing to God in our partaking of it, that we do so by remembering what He has done for us; the deliverance from the bondage of sin that He has provided.
a) And while we partake, we need to think of it as an opportunity to teach and to proclaim the Lord’s death. When Paul says that we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes in 1 Corinthians 11, I believe He means much more than someone giving a talk before the Lord’s Supper. It gives us an opportunity in our actions to make a proclamation about our faith in what the Lord has done, but it also gives parents an opportunity to speak to their children about why we do what we do. They are watching you partake. And they need reminded also about who it is that we are remembering.