Eating to Remember, Not to Forget
“For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.“ – Vs 36 NLT
I have no idea how many times I have taken the Lord’s Supper over the years, but it’s been a lot. I became a Christ-follower at the age of seven and have faithfully taken part in this ordinance of the church since then. But I have not always taken it with a right attitude or with a proper understanding of its significance for my life. I confess that, too often, it has just been another one of those things that you do in church that has little or no meaning at the moment. You just do it. It’s like singing the words to a hymn and not really meaning what you’re saying. The words just come out without your brain even processing what you are saying. The same can be true when taking communion. It can just become rote and repetitive, lacking in meaning and significance. But Paul says that it should be just the opposite. When we do it, we are proclaiming the Lord’s death. We are declaring the reality of the Lord’s substitionary death every time we take the bread and the cup. These elements represent His body and blood, given for us, so that we might have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Our celebration of the Lord’s Supper is a public declaration of our belief in Christ’s death on our behalf. We are telling everyone around us that our hope of new life is based on His death. But there is another element that Paul stresses: Jesus’ future return. Paul says we are to celebrate communion until He comes again! His death was followed by a resurrection. His resurrection was followed by His glorification. His glorification will culminate with His second coming. The Lord’s Supper is not just about His death. It is about His resurrection and His ultimate return. He is coming back! And we are counting on it.
So when we take part in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, we are to do so with our eyes on the past, the present, and the future. We are to remember what He has done, what He is doing, and what He is going to do. He is going to finish what He started. He is going to complete the task He began. The redemption of man and the recreation of the world, restoring order to God’s creation. So the Lord’s Supper is less a memorial than it is a celebration. It is to be hope-filled and future-oriented. His death leads to life.
Father, thank You for reminding me that Your Son is returning and that every time I take the elements I am to remember that fact. Without Your Son’s sacrificial death, there would be no hope for the future. There would be no salvation. But because He came and died, rose again, and is going to return again, we have hope for the future. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men