THE SACRED SUPPER By Pastor Scott Henry

• June 23, 2017

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.” —1 Corinthians 11:26

In giving us the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, the Lord Jesus, who knows we are sinful, weak, and in need of continual assurance, comes to our aid by giving us signs and seals that we may be able to see and taste.  As often as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is administered it is as if we hear God say to us, “Come and see” because the truth of what He tells us in His Word is visibly presented to the believer in the sacrament.  The sacraments are a sign of what Christ has done to save believers from their sins — how He broke His body and shed His blood that our sins might be washed away.

They are also a seal or a pledge that the forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life, which Christ has earned for every believer, is truly theirs, and in this way the believer’s faith is strengthened.  Our text deals with the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and the Apostle Paul says that when we partake of the Lord’s Supper we “show” the Lord’s death till He comes, and to “show” means to declare or proclaim.  When the bread and wine are on the table and we gather as God’s people to partake of the elements we declare our belief that Jesus, the Son of God, came into this world and died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of His people.

Something we see throughout Scripture is that people tend to forget things over time and so if an event is to be kept in mind for future generations there must be a memorial lest it be forgotten.  Sometimes in the Old Testament a stone or an altar was set up as a monument, but when God wanted the children of Israel to remember that He brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, He didn’t tell them to set up a stone, but He ordained a ceremony to be practiced on a certain day each year.  It was called “The Passover”, and the killing and eating of a lamb became a yearly declaration by the people of Israel that they believed God brought their fathers up out of the house of bondage.  This method is so effective that men often do the same thing.  For instance, we read in the Book of Esther that when the Jewish people escaped the plot of Haman they ordained the keeping of the feast of Purim that they might have a continual remembrance of the goodness of God toward His people.  We use the same method in our day when we set aside certain days on the calendar: Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Christmas Day, Labor Day, etc.

But to “show” means more than just declare — it also means to represent.  In the Lord’s Supper, there is a representation of the death of Christ.  Throughout the ages men have come up with all kinds of ways to try and represent the death of Christ, but there are only two ways that God has ordained of representing the death of Christ: the preaching of the Word and the sacraments.  And so, in the Lord’s Supper, in the breaking of the bread and pouring forth of wine, we have God’s appointed method of representing the death of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, when Paul says in our text “ye do show” he means we declare and testify, but he also means we make manifest and call attention to the death of Christ.  The Christian Faith declares that Christ died and rose again, and we cannot come to the Lord’s Table without showing it.  The moment we gather around the table and break bread and pour out wine, we declare, testify, and manifest to all that Jesus died to redeem sinners.   Are you trusting Christ’s sacrifice, which is represented in the Lord’s Supper, as the only atonement for your sins?  This is what you declare every time you come to the Table of the Lord.  Is your declaration true?  Trust Jesus — He is our ONLY hope of redemption from sin!

Category: Scott Henry

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