This Sunday and every Sunday will be a time when Christians remember the one who died for them so long ago on Calvary: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Ac.20:7. This verse reveals the pattern of when the Lord’s supper is to be done, upon the first day of the week. How often does the first day of the week come? Every week of course. In Luke 22:19, Jesus said “This do in remembrance of me” when he instituted the Lord’s supper and demonstrated that his people should follow this example. The 2 emblems in the Lord’s supper should bring to mind the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. As we eat the bread, we remember the body of Christ, which was given for us. And as we drink the cup, we remember the blood of the covenant, which was shed for the remission of our sins.
There are 4 views in partaking of the Lord’s supper:
Backward – As we partake of the Lord’s supper, we look back to the death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. All the suffering and pain he endured is brought to remembrance as we ponder the 2 emblems in the Lord’s supper. Our minds should flood with the images that the gospel accounts describes of the arrest, the trials, the beatings, the vicious words and Jesus being nailed to the cross.
Inward – We are to look into our own hearts as we partake, so that we do it in a worthy manner. 1Cor.11:28, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” If we fail to look inwardly and partake in a worthy manner we are warned, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.” 1Cor.11:27.
Outward – We also look outwardly in partaking of the Lord’s supper. 1Cor.11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” The flavor of this word “proclaim” is seen in the definition: “to announce, declare, promulgate, make known, to proclaim publicly, publish.” Each Sunday when Christians partake of the Lord’s supper, we are proclaiming to the world that a Savior has died for humanity.
Forward – We also look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1Cor.11:26, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” Christians will faithfully continue this memorial until the 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether the Lord’s return is this month or 100 years from now, the faithful saints will continue to look for the coming of the Savior back to this world. The Lord’s supper affirms our faith in this promise.
What a privilege it is to share in the body and blood of the Lord every first day of the week, in this wonderful memorial called the Lord’s supper. Let us contemplate these 4 views that Paul speaks about in 1Cor.11 on his discussion of the proper observance of the Lord’s supper.
–Dan McKibben; whatsaiththescriptures.com