The Lord's Supper
A short reflection on Communion
“This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:20, NASB)
With it being Good Friday, many of us will be taking the Lord's Supper with our churches. So, this is a good time for a reminder of the depth of what we will be doing.
If you are like me, you spent a fair amount of your Christian life confused during the Supper. I remember closing my eyes during many communion services, trying to picture scenes of the crucifixion, and just repeating, “Thank you for dying on the cross.” I thought that was all it was about, the crucifixion event itself.
But Jesus says something here that goes way beyond the crucifixion event. He says the cup represents the blood-bought new covenant. In other words, when you drink the cup, you are proclaiming your participation in the new covenant as well as all its benefits.
Your mind ought to be drawn, not only to the crucifixion, but also to Christ's sustaining grace in your life today. He is the bread of life, our daily manna from heaven. We eat the bread and drink the cup because we are united with Him. He is our life and sustenance.
That is why Jesus says, “do this in remembrance of Me,” instead of, “Do this in remembrance of My crucifixion.” In the Supper, we are remembering a Person more than an event. And since Jesus did not stay dead, but currently lives and reigns, the remembrance is more of a present “calling to mind” than a reflection on the past.
Of course, we remember Christ’s death for us, and we call to mind the present reality of our union with Him and our union with one another in Him. But there is also a future, eschatological force to the Supper.
It is significant that Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper during Passover with covenantal language. The Passover was that Old Covenant meal which pointed Israel back to their deliverance out of Egypt, currently to God's abiding faithfulness, and forward to the promised redeemer.
The Lord’s Supper introduces a change. It is a new covenant with a new meal which points us back to the crucifixion, currently to our union with Christ and His people, and forward to the final climax. And what is that climax? It is the marriage supper of the Lamb. Every time we eat of the Lord’s Supper, our thoughts ought to be drawn to the hope of that heavenly feast.
Do you see it? The Lord’s Supper is a covenantal sign of God's faithfulness to us in Christ. It's not just a historical reminder. It testifies to us that we are one with Christ, we are one in Christ, He has purchased us with His blood, and He will bring us all the way home.
If you are a weak soul like me, then you need that reminder. And you need it as often as you can get it. So eat of the Bread of Life. Drink of the cup that never runs dry. And rejoice in your Savior's faithfulness.
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