Summary: This sermon is a short devotion giving four statements of what The Lord’s Supper is. 1. It is a SIMPLE ACT. 2. It is a REMINDER. 3. It is a SYMBOL. 4. It is a STATEMENT OF FAITH. We take part in it after SELF-EXAMINATION.
The Lord’s Supper – What Is It?
"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 on coming 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 night He was betrayed, took bread...” 1 Corinthians 11:23
2. It is a REMINDER.
“...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
3. It is a SYMBOL.
“In the same way, He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; drink it to remember me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:25
4. It is a STATEMENT OF FAITH.
“For whenever you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes back.” 1 Corinthians 11:26
How do I prepare? By – SELF-EXAMINATION.
“A person ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28
State employment officials in Tucson, Arizona, posted an interesting sign over a full-length mirror. Directed to all job hunters, it read, “Would you hire this person?”
Self-evaluation was what the apostle Paul called for in 1 Corinthians 11.
Believers in Christ need to examine themselves. Paul teaches that the Lord’s Supper should not be taken in an unworthy manner. We should not just “go through the motions.” We should not take it lightly. Christ gave His live for our salvation. We should take the Lord’s Supper seriously. The Lord’s Supper is a time to examine our own spiritual life. It is a time to look deep into our own soul and see what our daily walk with God consists of.
MAX LUCADO, in his book, Six Hours One Friday, tells the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging the population. People were dying daily.
A hospital was not too terribly far away. It was just across the river. But the Indians would not cross it because they believed it was inhabited by evil spirits. To enter the water would mean certain death. The missionary explained how he had crossed the river and was unharmed. They were unimpressed. He then took them to the bank and placed his hand in the water. They still wouldn’t go in. He walked into the water up to his waist and splashed water on his face. It didn’t matter. They were still afraid to enter the river. Finally, he dove into the river, swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side. He punched a triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water and escaped. It was then that the Indians broke out into a cheer and followed him across.