Summary: The observance of the Lord’s supper testifies to three important truths.
The Three-Fold Testimony of the Lord’s Supper
I heard a story about a little girl who attended “big church” for the first time on a Sunday morning when the congregation was observing the Lord’s Supper. When the elements were served, she was overheard saying to her mother in a loud whisper, “The snack we get in the nursery is much better. And we get a lot more juice.”
Clearly, that little girl didn’t understand the significance of the observance; and, of course, we cannot blame her - she needed to be taught to appreciate the Lord’s Supper. In fact, each of us, as followers of Christ needs to be taught how to better appreciate this observance that we participate in so regularly.
The fact is, that as we consider this passage, where we read of our Savior instituting this ordinance, we see that the observance of Communion testifies to three significant truths.
1. It testifies to the necessity of Christ’s death - v. 28
The cup reminds us of the blood of Christ, which was shed so that we might have forgiveness of sin.
“[In fact] under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt and the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.” - Hebrews 9:22 (Amplified)
Suppose I were to rob a bank of $55,000. A hidden camera takes movies of me doing it and the teller and the other eye witnesses identify me as the culprit. When I am brought before the judge he asks, "How do you plead?" I am guilty and the evidence is undeniable and so I respond, "I am guilty, your Honor." He then sentences me to five years in prison for armed bank robbery.
Suppose I were to say to him, "Judge, I am sorry that I robbed the bank. You have the money back and no one was hurt. I promise you I will never rob another bank if you will just let me go."
Would the judge be just if he let me go? No. He has a standard of justice that must be satisfied. If judges let bank robbers off simply because they said they were sorry and promised not to rob any more banks, then there is not a bank in the land that would be safe.
God is much more just than any human judge. And he cannot simply excuse our sin. No, a penalty must be paid to satisfy the demands of the Law, and that is what God did for us through the person of Jesus Christ.
“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” - Romans 3:25 (NLT)
Because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we can experience forgiveness of our sin and enter into a personal relationship with God which will one day lead us to be with Him forever in heaven.
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.” - 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT)
You can take the human predicament and make an equation out of it. Man’s sinfulness plus God’s justice can equal only one thing: eternal Hell for man (Man’s Sinfulness + God’s Justice = Eternal Hell).
That is what we deserve. However, there is another factor in the equation. If we add to man’s sinfulness and God’s justice the factor of God’s love, again one answer is possible: the cross of Christ (Man’s Sinfulness + God’s Justice + God’s Love = The Cross of Christ). Because God loved his people with an everlasting love, it was necessary that Christ provide redemption through the blood of his cross (1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given!).
GOSPEL = God’s Only Son Provided Eternal Life
2. It testifies to the importance of personal faith - vs. 26-27
Just as everyone receives nourishment through eating and drinking, everyone receives forgiveness of sin and eternal life through faith in Christ. Jesus used eating and drinking as an illustration of faith.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” - John 6:54 (NIV)
You see, faith, like eating and drinking, is something that no one deserves any credit for. Just like everyone eats and drinks, the Bible tells us that we all have faith.
“God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” - Romans 12:3 (NKJV)
Eating, in and of itself, does not guarantee proper nourishment. What guarantees proper nourishment is WHAT I EAT. Likewise, faith, in and of itself, does not guarantee I have a right relationship with God. What guarantees I have a right relationship with God is WHO I PLACE MY FAITH IN.