The Lord Jesus established the Sacrament known as the Lord’s Supper, or Communion on the night He was betrayed. It is a Sacrament rich in meaning.
For most Christians, the meaning of the Supper has been limited to the idea of remembrance. We remember what Jesus has accomplished through His death on the cross and an empty tomb. And while this understanding is accurate, as far as it goes, it doesn’t go very far. The importance of the Lord’s Supper goes far beyond a brief remembering.
Scripture links the Lord’s Supper with a central Old Testament Feast – The Passover. From Exodus 12, we learn that it was the Lords Passover, it was a celebration of God’s power to deliver the Hebrew Children and punish the Egyptians. It was a feast before the Lord and involved the Killing and eating of a Lamb. It was a Family meal – everybody in the house ate it. Blood was put on the door posts of the houses of those who ate it, so that, when God passed over their house, seeing the blood, He would hold back His judgement upon that house. It was a feast that Israel was to celebrate as a memorial to the Lord.
In Luke 22, Jesus says that the meal He is eating with the Disciples is a Passover meal, thus connecting the Lord’s Supper to the Old Testament Feast. In order to fully appreciate the Supper, therefore, we must appreciate that the Passover forms the back drop.
The Supper is the gospel made visible, and it is an eternal gospel (Rev 14:6) at that.
The Supper looks back, and, as a memorial to the Lord, it calls upon God to remember His Covenant with us. We look back at the finished work of Christ knowing that every sin we have committed is washed away by this eternal Covenant.
The Supper speaks to the present also. In the Supper, we call upon God to renew His Covenant promises to us. Christ is present at the Supper to provide strength and nourishment to our faith. At the Lord’s table we are brought into the heavenlies to commune with Jesus and with one another.
Thirdly, the Supper as God’s display of the eternal gospel, looks ahead to the Great Marriage Supper of the Lamb that we will one day enjoy in full. It promises that on the day when God visits this world in terrible judgement, His wrath will pass us by and we will remain, safe and secure for all time.
We enjoy all of these things only as we come to the table. So, let us come this morning with hearts assured.
Lessons for Little Saints…
What Old Testament meal does the Lord’s Supper replace?
What does the Supper, “remind God” of?
What happens when we eat the Lord’s Supper faithfully?
- What is the ‘future promise’ made by God at the Lord’s Supper?