Esther 2:5-3:15; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; Psalms 36:6-9; Proverbs 12:18
NT: “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26 CSB)
Over time, the Corinthian church had begun to treat the Lord’s Supper very casually and inappropriately, so Paul reminded them of the purpose of partaking the Lord’s Supper together. By reminding the Corinthian church, he taught us. Firstly, Jesus directed us to partake of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him. What are we supposed to remember? We are to remember that His body was bruised, whipped and broken for us. “He was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by his wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished him for the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6). Jesus took the punishment that we deserved and died the death that we should have died. When we take and eat the bread of the Lord’s Supper, we remember what Jesus did for us and symbolically receive its benefit. We are also to remember that Jesus’ blood was shed for us. His blood was the price of redemption for our souls. With His blood, He bought us back from sin and death that held us in bondage, and sealed a new covenant of freedom and eternal life in His name. When we drink the cup of the Lord’s supper, we remember what Christ’s shed blood did for us and symbolically receive His life that He gave for us.
Secondly, Paul taught that we also proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again. What does that mean to proclaim the Lord’s death? We don’t proclaim that the Lord is dead, for He is no longer dead – but alive. By proclaiming the Lord’s death, we proclaim all that the Lord’s death provided. We proclaim the victory that Jesus claimed and secured on the cross. We proclaim that we are forever free from the bondages to sin and death through our faith in Christ. We proclaim that we no longer belong to the kingdom of darkness and now are citizens in the Kingdom of God. We proclaim that because Christ bore our condemnation, as we are in Him, we are no longer under condemnation. We proclaim that our sinful selves were nailed to the cross with Christ, and that we are now dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. The Lord’s Supper is not meant to be a memorial service, but a time of thanksgiving, dedication and praise for all that Christ accomplished for us on the cross.
Psalms: “Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your judgments like the deepest sea. Lord, you preserve people and animals. How priceless your faithful love is, God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They are filled from the abundance of your house. You let them drink from your refreshing stream. For the wellspring of life is with you. By means of your light we see light.” (Psalms 36:6-9 CSB)
The Lord’s righteousness (justice and right-ness) is as steadfast and immovable as the highest mountains, and His judgements (decrees and decisions) are as inexhaustible and full of life as the deepest oceans. Yet, as awesome and wonderful as the Lord is, He still preserves His lowly creation and saves His people. In fact, God so loved the world that He gave His Son that the world, through Him, could be saved. When contemplating the wickedness of humanity, David remembered the goodness and faithfulness of God… and when we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we do the same. After remembering the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord, David proclaimed the benefits that he and the people of God shared as they placed their trust in Him. When we fully honor and place our faith in the Lord, He protects us under His wings, He fills us with the never-ending abundance of His house, He refreshes us with the living water that flows from His throne, He causes rivers of living water to bubble up from within us by the Holy Spirit, and He guides us through the darkness with His light. If that was true of David’s life before the cross – how much more is that true of us who are now partakers of God’s new covenant sealed in Christ’s blood? We remember the love of Christ and proclaim the benefits we now have in Him.
Prayer: Lord, Your faithful love, steadfastness, righteousness and decrees are altogether wonderful and amazing. What You accomplished for me, and all of humanity, through Your death and resurrection is humbling and astounding. I don’t want to ever treat what You have done for me with casual disregard and ungratefulness. I thank You for the opportunity You provided to both remember what You have done and proclaim what You have accomplished through the communion of the Lord’s Supper. As I partake, help me to remember and fully live in all that You have won for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.