God knows our needs! He created us with a need for REST. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2, NIV84)
Scientists affirm what God designed. Our minds work best when we practice periods of REST. In the OLD TESTAMENT, God gave Israel periods of REST.
– The SABBATH (weekly rest)
– The FEASTS (seasonal rest)
In the CHURCH AGE, God gives BELIEVERS periods of REST.
– Jesus’ model of solitude….. prayer ALONE
– The LORD’S DAY (weekly rest)
– COMMUNION (regular reflection)
The celebration of the bread and cup of communion is in part, a time for believers to regularly reflect on their lives and to remember all that the Lord did for us on Calvary. Here are three specific reasons why this is important.
I. We Celebrate Communion to REMEMBER Christ’s Death.
Luke 22:19 “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Jesus gives new significance to the Jewish Passover – he is the LAMB that was sacrificed.
“Take, eat this is my body” Mt. 26:26 What did Jesus mean?
He meant communion as a memorial. “How do we know?
Jesus’ own words could not have meant he was holding His own physical body
The confusion of the Pharisees in John 6:34-35 and 6:52
Jesus says “do this in remembrance of me” Luke 22:19. Paul repeats this in 1 Cor. 11:24
Jesus never presents the Bread and Cup as a MEANS of GRACE
FAITH is the only means by which we receive God’s grace. Eph 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
V. 27 THE CUP. “Drink from it, all of you” KJV “Drink ye all of it” (all of YOU, not all of the cup)
This was the third of four cups, each one tied to one line of EXODUS 6:6-7. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.”
“I will redeem you” emphasized here.
“This is my blood of the covenant.” Exodus 24:1-8
Not the MOSAIC Covenant
Jesus establishes a NEW covenant. Jeremiah 31:31-33. No more sacrifice!
II. We Celebrate Communion to REFLECT on Our Spiritual life.
“A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:28–29, NIV84)
To emphasize this point, let us think about a mirror.
The first mirrors were made from highly polished metals such as copper or brass. Since the 1600s, mirrors have been made from plate glass with a backing of silver covered by coatings of copper, lacquer, and paint. Mirrors do not transmit light, but reflect it.
(Turning Point Daily Devotional, 6-6-05)
“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25, NIV84)
The mirror of the Word is like a glass mirror in one respect: It only works if you spend time looking in it.
1 Cor. 11:27- “Whoever eats in an unworthy manner shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
“Unworthy manner” picture of two items in a scales.
What constitutes an unworthy manner?
Making light of the memorial (11:34)
Known sin (11:28-29)
“Therefore let a man examine himself”
Have I trusted in Jesus for salvation? Abandoned self effort
Am I walking in obedience.
IS there any Known sin in my life?
Is there the potential of hidden sin 1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
Psalm 19:12-13 “who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back they servant from presumptuous sins.
III. Looking Forward. Anticipating His Return
1 Cor 11:26 “for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”
(Matthew 26:28–29, NIV84) “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.””
Matthew 26:29 MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB.
This is after the 7 year tribulation. The Bride is clothed in her righteous acts. Judgement Seat complete. The Marriage of the Lamb has come. The marriage ceremony takes place in heaven while the tribulation takes place on earth. Marriage Supper includes Church saints and tribulation saints. Matt. 25:10; 22:13 Jesus will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until it is with us in the Kingdom!
During the time of the passing of the bread: REMEMBER Christ’s sacrifice
During the time of the passing of the cup: REFLECT on your walk with him.
During our final song, Consider his RETURN.