Looking Four Ways in the Lord’s Supper

Introduction. Before Jesus’ death He instituted a practice that He instructed His disciples to participate in in faith and obedience to Him (I Corinthians 11:23-25). New Testament Christians observed this practice on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). It is referred to as “The Lord’s Supper” (I Corinthians 11:20); “Communion” (I Corinthians 10:16); “The Cup of Blessing” and “The Cup of the Lord” and “The Lord’s Table” (I Corinthians 10:21); “Breaking of Bread” (Acts 2:42) [or as Vulgate: “Fellowship of the Breaking of Bread”]. In response to some actions on the part of the church in Corinth which led to an improper observance of the Lord’s Supper, Paul in I Corinthians 11 gives some instructions (through the Holy Spirit) which suggest to us four ways that Christians should direct their focus as they observe this memorial of Christ’s death (I Corinthians 11:26-29).

I. Looking Without - “You Proclaim the Lord’s Death” (vs. 26).

  1. In teaching the gospel we proclaim Christ’s death and its significance (I Corinthians 1:23). Note: Formulaic expression among early Christians “crucified under Pontius Pilate.”
  2. The Christian Life is absorbed in Christ’s death (Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 2:20).
  3. In worship of the Lord we declare the impact of Christ’s death upon our lives (I Corinthians 14:25).

II. Looking Forward - “Till He Comes” (vs. 26).

  1. The Christian looks forward to the coming of Christ (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  2. The unprepared dread His coming (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
  3. The Time of His coming is uncertain (II Peter 3:10).
  4. Christians must remain watchful (Matthew 25:13).

III. Looking Within - “Let a Man Examine Himself” (vs. 28).

  1. The Lord’s Supper is an individual act of worship to God (John 4:23,24).
  2. It is a communion with Christ (I Corinthians 10:16; Mark 14:24,25).

IV. Looking Backward - “Discerning the Lord’s body” (vs. 29).

  1. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death on the cross.
  2. In our minds we picture Christ’s dying body (Isaiah 53:3-5).
  3. In our minds we hear His words (Matthew 27:46; Luke 23:34).
    Consider the song: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross