It Never Grows Old
It's Sunday morning and the church is gathered for worship. The entire congregation joins together in fervent prayer, harmonious song, sacrificial giving and diligent study of the Word of God. In the midst of this spiritual banquet comes an act of worship that brings a rush of diverse thoughts and emotions unlike any other. It is the Lord's Supper. This is the time for the Christian to commune with the Lord in remembering the body and blood that Jesus freely gave to purchase salvation (I Corinthians 10:16).
The Lord's Supper brings with it a recognition of the value of our souls. Lest any one of us feel that we are of little worth, may we through the eye of faith see the Savior struggling in the Garden of Gethsemane as He contemplated the agony to which He would soon be subjected (Luke 22:39-44). May we watch as one of His apostles betrayed Him (Luke 22:47ff), all the others ran away from Him (Mark 14:50) and yet another denied with cursing that he ever even knew Him (Matthew 26:74). May we witness the sinless Son of God being mocked, spit upon, slapped and beaten by those He came to save. May we hear the merciless cries of "Crucify him! Crucify him!" (Luke 23:21). May we look upon Calvary's hill and see Jesus writhing in pain, at one point calling out to the Father, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34) and at another point pleading with Him on behalf of murderous mankind, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34). Then, with the impression of these ancient scenes burned upon our hearts, may we remember that Jesus suffered all of this so that we can be saved in eternity. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (I Peter 1:18-19). Each one of us is worth more than any earthly price. We are worth the blood of Jesus.
As we consider how valuable our souls are, we, at one and the same time during our partaking of the Lord's Supper, are afforded the opportunity for reflection upon our sins. Who among us cannot read the previous paragraph and understand that our sins brought Jesus to earth in the flesh, led Him through the shadows of the cross and ultimately nailed Him to Calvary’s tree? Who among us cannot read Inspiration's description of the sacrifice of Jesus and echo these words of Paul: "O wretched man that I am"? (Romans 7:24). Who among us cannot feel the hopelessness of a sin-stained life without Jesus Christ? As we eat the unleavened bread and drink the fruit of the vine, we can pause to contemplate the stark contrast between the undeserved suffering of Jesus and the punishment that we deserve and realize that because of Jesus' death and ultimate resurrection, we can live in heaven.
Just as the Lord's Supper is a time for recognition and reflection, it is also a time for renewal. Paul wrote, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." (I Corinthians 11:26). The Lord’s Supper allows us to renew in our minds the fact that the Lord is coming again. Think for a moment about all of the other memorials in the world; the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Taj Mahal, and untold numbers of statues and plaques like these situated in villages throughout our country and the world. They each have one characteristic in common. They honor people who are dead. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial to the LIVING Christ. Each time we gather around the table we show to ourselves and to others our faith in the living Christ and our faith that He is going to come again to receive the faithful unto Himself (John 14:3).
The impact of a proper observation of the Lord’s Supper is so great that Paul said those who had not been partaking properly had become weak and sickly (I Corinthians 11:30). Just the thoughts in this article alone are enough to occupy our minds while we are gathered around the table; but there is so much more to consider. The deeper we dig into the Bible the more we appreciate what Jesus did for us and the more we appreciate that, the more we are strengthened when we feast at His table. My friends, we could observe the Lord’s Supper every Sunday for ten thousand years and, with hearts humbled and focused as they should be, we would always benefit and draw closer to God. Thanks be unto God for instituting this marvelous memorial. It just never grows old.