20 Things to Consider When Taking the Lord's Supper
"Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (1 Cor. 11:28 ESV)
Few things are more important and central to the Christian life than the Lord’s Supper. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to partake at the Lord’s table.
1. The supper is taken in view of Jesus’ return (1 Cor. 11:26).
2. If we partake of the Lord’s supper in an unworthy manner we bring judgment on ourselves (1 Cor. 11:27)—No one is “worthy” to take the Lord’s supper but we can take it in a worthy manner (i.e., with the right focus and intent).
3. The Lord’s supper is designed to be taken in a congregational setting with other Christians and not in isolation (1 Cor. 11:17, 20, 30-34– notice the “when you come together” statements).
4. The Lord’s Supper was only taken on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
5. The early church took the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week (Acts 2:42; 20:7).
6. The bread represents Jesus’ body which he gave for us (Matt. 26:26).
7. The cup (i.e., its contents ) represents the blood Jesus shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Matt. 26:28).
8. Jesus promised to partake of the supper with us in God’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29)— He’s present when we take it today.
9. We should be thinking of Jesus and remembering His sacrifice as we partake of the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19).
10. We should examine ourselves as we eat and drink (1 Cor. 11:28). We are examining ourselves not to see if we’re perfect, but to be sure our hearts and minds are in the right place as we take it (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27-32).
SEE ALSO: Why People Fall Asleep in Worship
11. We should wait for each other and be considerate of one another during the partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:33).
12. The Lord’s Supper is not a meal to satisfy our hunger. The focus is Jesus’ sacrifice for our souls (1 Cor. 11:34).
13. The background of the Lord’s Supper is Israel’s Passover meal to commemorate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Mk. 14:12-16, 22-25; Lk. 22:15; see Exod. 12:14-26).
14. Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for us (John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7).
15. The bread is unleavened because no leaven was allowed in the homes of the Jews during the Passover, so the bread would have been unleavened when Jesus instituted the meal (Exod. 12:14-20).
16. Remember Jesus died for us while we were still sinners and unworthy of His love (Romans 5:6-8).
17. Communion means to share or have fellowship (joint participation). The Lord’s Supper is referred to as communion because as we do it we share in the body and blood of Jesus (1 Cor. 10:16-17).
18. Jesus instituted the meal on the night He was betrayed but He remained faithful to us in dying for our sins (1 Cor. 11:23).
19. The Lord’s Supper foreshadows the meal we will eat together in the heavenly kingdom of God (Isa. 25:6-12; Matt. 8:11; Lk. 13:29; Rev. 19:9).
20. We proclaim or announce the death of Jesus and our faith in what it accomplished every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:26).
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