Summary: This is a sermon that I preached several years ago - but I have expanded it. The Lord's Supper: 1, It is a simple act 2, It is a reminder 3. It is a symbol 4. It is a statement of faith
The Lord’s Supper – What Is It?
Our text for today is from First Corinthians chapter eleven. Please follow along as I read:
"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes." 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NKJV)
"On the 19th of November 1967, in Viet Nam, Chaplain Charlie Waters was moving with one of the companies of his Battalion when it became engaged with heavily enemy fire. As the battle raged and the casualties mounted, Chaplain Waters rushed forward to the line of contact. Unarmed and completely exposed, with complete disregard for his safety, he moved among the wounded giving aid, assisting in their evacuation, giving words of encouragement, and administering the last rites to the dying. When a wounded paratrooper was standing in shock in front of the oncoming enemy forces, Chaplain Waters ran forward, picked the man up on his shoulders and carried him to safety. At least 6 more times Chaplain Waters went outside the perimeter to rescue wounded soldiers, exposing himself to both friendly and enemy fire. Chaplain Waters was giving aid to the wounded when he himself was mortally wounded."
Wounded! We are the wounded – wounded by our own sin. Our scares run deep. The Bible says:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." Romans 3:10-12 (NKJV)
The Bible goes on to say:
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
But the one who rescues us was wounded Himself. Isaiah 53:5 says this of our rescuer – Jesus:
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)
Jesus has come to rescue us. "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." That’s what we remember as we come to the communion table – our rescuer crossed enemy lines – coming to earth, being mortally wounded so that we can be completely healed from our wounds.
Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth. But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection. The Lord’s Supper is an object lesson that represents great spiritual truth for believers.
What is the Lord’s Supper?
1. It is a SIMPLE ACT
"The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;" 1 Corinthians 11:23 (NKJV)
Isn't that a simple act? Jesus - "took bread". He is there with his disciples and on this evening he picks up bread. I wonder how many times he had picked up bread before. I am sure there were perhaps hundreds of times maybe even thousands. But something was different this night and the Bible tells that this night was different when it says:
"On the same night in which He was betrayed he took bread...."
On this special night - on this important night - on the night in which he was betrayed. Jesus preformed a simple act. He picked up some bread.
I can't tell you how many times I have pickup up bread and I do not even dare to estimate it. Dozen to times - hundreds of times - perhaps thousands of times too. It is a common act isn't it? I can't even tell you how many types of bread I have picked up. White bread, wheat bread, sourdough bread, flat bread, pita bread, lots of different types of bread. Even though it is a simple act - a common act - today we will pick up bread and it will be different. Because:
2. It is a REMINDER
The scripture tells us:
“...and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; eat it in remembrance of me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:24
We are here this morning to remember. To remember what Jesus has done for us. To remember how He prayed in the garden - "Father if there is any way that You can take this cup from me please do it - but not my will but Yours be done." We remember that as these words were leaving His lips they arrived to arrest Him. We remember that He was bounced around that evening from on court room to another. We remember that beaten. We remember that He was crucified. We remember that He died.