The following is a guide on preparing our hearts to partake of the LORD’s supper.
1) We Look BACKWARD to the Cross.
When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are remembering the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Gospel.
The Lord’s Supper consists of two elements, the bread and the cup. These elements are heavy with symbolism in the Gospels.
Jesus taught His disciples that the broken bread signified His own broken body on the cross. Jesus had said previously, “I am the bread of life.” We look back in thankfulness to the time when the Bread of Life was broken for us.
He taught them that the cup signified His shed blood on the Calvary. Earlier He had taught His disciples, “I am the true vine.” When we take the cup and meditate upon it, we are looking back to the shed blood of Christ for our sins.
When we take the Lord’s Supper, we should take a few moments to meditate and look back in gratitude to the cross.
We are looking backward to what Jesus did for sinners on the cross. When we do this, we are fulfilling His command to “do this in remembrance of me.”
2) An Example in Our Lives
We look OUTWARD to the lost.
In Mark (16:15) Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. As believers, we know that the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Jesus taught His disciples to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him. (Luke 22:19)
In I Corinthians (11:26), the apostle Paul taught that partaking of the Lord’s Supper demonstrates the Gospel. It is a way to witness to the world of the truth that God’s Son came to earth to die on the cross in our place. This is how we are to demonstrate the Lord’s death until He returns.
When we take the bread and bless it as Jesus did, we are bearing witness that His body was broken for everyone.
When we take the cup and give thanks like Jesus, we are showing the lost that Jesus shed His blood for them too.
In considering these Scriptures we see that partaking of the Lord’s Supper is a way for the believer to obey two commands of God: to observe the Lord’s Supper, and to preach the Gospel to the lost.
3) A Link Between us and Heaven.
We look FORWARD to eternity.
Paul said that the Lord’s Supper is how we exhibit Jesus’ death until He returns (I Corinthians 11:26).
When Jesus took the cup, blessed it and passed it to His disciples, He told them that He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God came (Luke 22:18).
When we celebrate the holy ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, we are looking forward to the day when Jesus returns in glory to this earth.
The Lord’s Supper is full of hope and promise for the believer.
Just as Jesus rose from the dead, those who believe in Him will be raised as well. He ascended to Heaven, those who believe in Him will rise to Heaven too.
Jesus promised us in the Gospel of John (14:3) that He was going to prepare a place for us, and that He would return for us.
Not only does the Lord’s Supper remind us of what He did for us, it also reminds us of what He will do in the future.
4) A Focus for Self-Examination
We look INWARD to our soul.
In I Corinthians 11:28 admonishes us to examine ourselves before we partake of the Lord’s Supper. We are warned that those who eat and drink the Lord’s Supper unworthily bring judgement upon themselves. The judgement is against those who eat and drink unworthily.
In verse 31 of the same chapter we learn that if we judge ourselves we would not be judged.
The apostle Paul exhorts us a couple of chapters later (13:5) to examine ourselves and be certain that we are in the faith. We are to make sure that Jesus Christ is in us, in our souls.
Before we partake of the Lord’s Supper and witness to others of the death and suffering of Jesus, we are to make certain that we are in the faith ourselves.
Jesus Christ’s death is the only way we could ever partake of the sacred supper in a worthy manner. The only way that we can be worthy is if we are indeed in the faith.
So, before you partake, take a moment and examine yourself and be sure that you are a believer in Jesus.
5) A Way We Give Recognition to Christ.
We look UPWARD to the Glorious Christ.
When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are showing the world the necessity that everyone has for Christ. As believers, we need Him in our lives.
We witness to the lost and the saved that worthiness and sufficiency can only come from the person of Jesus Christ, it cannot be earned by our own power or good works.
The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). All of our works and goodness do not merit the favor of God. Only the broken body and shed blood of God’s Son merit His favor. Even after we are saved, we need the Gospel to remind us of what God has done for us.
When we take the Lord’s Supper, we are acknowledging our ongoing need for Him before God and the world.
When we take the bread and the cup, we are saying with the Apostle Paul “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes.” (Romans 1:16)
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