Pastor Russ Benson
‘Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you. For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.’ – I Corinthians 11:17-32
Some call it the Eucharist, some call it Communion, the Lord’s Table, the Cup of Blessing, the Breaking of Bread, and even the Lord’s Supper.
It’s called many things but this is the sacrament of the church. Essentially, a sacrament is a spiritual ceremony in which grace is imparted to those that participated. It is a visible sign of an invisible grace that is present.
The Lord’s supper is taken in order for us to remember and reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus demonstrated on the cross. He made that sacrifice for you personally, so when you come to the table of the Lord, it’s a time to reflect. 1 Corinthians 11:29 says, “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” The word discern is not used very often but it means to have proper respect for what you’re about to do. Paul wants you to come to the Lord’s table and discern what you’re about to do. Discern the Lord’s body broken for you, discern the cup that represents the blood of God Himself, discern the table of the Lord.
This is such a symbolic life that has lost all relevance because we did not discern the weight of what we’re about to partake in. This is much more than the physical act of eating bread or drinking wine and then going on with your life. Through the Lord’s supper, you need to have a deep contemplation of what Christ has done through the cross and His resurrection.
You need to face the reality of the redemption that Jesus paid with His own body and blood. You are called to be aware of the reality of the price paid for you. Such a wonderous love that God should love a sinner such as you.
How wonderful is a love like this. Reflect on the sacrifice of your Savior.
The Lord’s supper is taken in order that the believer examines their own condition in the faith. 1 Corinthians 11:28 says, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” In the Lord’s supper, you are not only confronted with the cross but you are confronted with your skin.
The Lord’s table compels us to stop and examine and to receive forgiveness and grace. It is not a table with judgment–it is a table filled with overflowing grace. The cup of the Lord is a cup that never runs empty in Jesus’ name. It keeps flowing and flowing. There is grace and mercy for you at the table of the Lord.
Through the Lord’s supper, we commune with others and we commune with the Lord Himself. The Lord sits at His table and when we come to that table He is not absent. He doesn’t miss the appointment; He shows up, and He is not late.
The Lord’s supper is not merely a means of grace, it’s a means of communion with Him. We commune at the table with the Lord by His spirit. The Lord is present in, around, and through these elements that you partake of when you come to His table.
At the Lord’s table, there is grace, healing, and strength, but most importantly, the Lord is there. When you come to the table, you are not mourning, or grieving, or sad, but you should take joy in what the Lord has done for you.
How are you going to respond to the invitation to the Lord’s supper? Are you going to accept or deny it? You are welcome to the Lord’s table if you are a believer in Christ.
When you look at the bread and the wine, do you see the price that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross two thousand years ago?