In Luke 22:17-20, Jesus institutes the Lord’s Supper so that his disciples can remember the sacrifice he will make on their behalf. He takes the bread and offers it saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (22:19, NKJV). He gives them the fruit of the vine saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (22:20).
The Lord’s Supper is a tender, poignant reminder of the love and sacrifice of the Savior. John Flavel said, “The Lord’s Supper comes to us like a ring plucked off from Christ’s finger, or a bracelet from His arm; or rather like His picture from His breast, delivered to us with such words as these, ‘As oft as you look on this, remember me.'” /1
Worship is never associated with passiveness. “We participate actively in worship rather than sitting back and absorbing worship. We engage in tangible worship emotionally, spiritually, and physically. All aspects of worship involve sharing, whether we are communing in prayer, around the table, in song, or in the Word.” /2
During the Lord’s Supper we respond to Christ with deep reverence. We remember the pain on his face, the bleeding brow, the bruised, beaten body, the palpable love swelling his heart.
The New Testament words of the crucifixion become tangible as we honor the sacrifice Christ made. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:6,9).
Paul writes that each person partaking of the Lord’s Supper must “examine himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of that cup” (1 Corinthians 11:28). The word “examine” means to “test, try, to find by experience.” /3 Tom Moore writes, “People use microscopes and telescopes to bring into view something otherwise invisible. We look through them to discern these objects. So, the Lord’s Supper is intended by God to bring before us in clear spiritual vision our Savior and His sacrifice.” /4
The Lord’s Supper is an act of sharing and communication with God and our brethren. The intimacy of the moment touches our heart. Communion solidifies the separation we have from Satan and his forces (1 Corinthians 10:21). The bond of brethren in the communion enriches our perseverance in the faith. Feeling refueled, we continue the daily battles of sin with renewed optimism, knowing we have a shared purpose with brothers in arms (Ephesians 6:10ff).
The communion allows us to join hearts as brethren and unite around a common cause. “As we partake of the Lord’s Supper we bear witness to the unity of the body of Christ. There are no ‘superiors’ or ‘inferiors’ at the Lord’s Table. ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross.’ The Supper is a call to unity.” /5
Memorials are sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. The patriarchs honored the blessings of God with altars and mounds of rocks to mark the places of divine assistance.
The Lord’s Supper was instituted during the Feast of the Passover, which honored the passing of the death angel over Israel just before they were released from bondage in Egypt. The blood of the lamb on the doorpost released the firstborn from death (Exodus 12).
The Lord’s Supper reminds us we are spared certain death because of the blood of Christ (Romans 3:23; 5:9). Therefore, to allow this memorial to fall into disrepair is to disdain his sacrifice and erase it as if it never occurred. There would be no greater tragedy (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29).
We Express Our Reverence for God during the Lord’s Supper