I need to be extremely clear on something before we get into this. In 1 Corinthians 11:33 Paul says, “ So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat the Lord’s Supper, wait for one another.” The Lord’s Supper is meant to be done corporately as a church body. It is not necessarily meant to be done alone or with just your immediate blood family. Now that I have made that clear, there is a very practical, everyday way to use the Lord’s Supper.
Eating is a natural rhythm of life, we all do it everyday and most of us eat 3 meals a day. Now, have you ever considered how normal the elements of the Lord’s Supper are? Jesus was sitting at the table eating with his disciples when He “took the bread.” Is there a food that is a part of more meals than bread? We eat bread with everything! Bread is at almost every table and on every menu. How many restaurants give you bread when you sit down to eat; “would you like some more big fat yeast rolls?” I think that Jesus chose bread specifically because it is so normal.
Jesus chose bread and a cup because they are so normal to our everyday lives.
And then there is the cup. Don’t get too focused on what is or what isn’t in the cup, remember it is a symbol. Not too many times do we eat without having something to drink, it is just as everyday as bread. Jesus is using these elements of the Lord’s Supper for a teaching moment, and then, as recorded in Luke 22, He says, “do this in remembrance of Me.”
The symbolism of the Lord’s Supper is easy to understand, but deep in it’s meaning. The bread is Christ’s body, broken for us to give us life. The cup is the wrath of God, God’s anger burns against sin. The drink inside is Jesus’s blood, that is poured out for the forgiveness of our sin and makes us righteous in Christ. These symbols are what we are to remember every time we take the Lord’s Supper. But these elements don’t seem to be all that special, and like we said, we see them almost everyday. These things, as normal as they are to every day life and as simple as they tell us the gospel, need to be an everyday reminder to us of Christ’s work on the cross, the gospel.
Let’s put this all together – What would our lives be like if we remembered Jesus and His work on the cross before every meal? We have all the elements and symbols in front of us, why wouldn’t we remember? And Jesus did say every time you do this… Seems to me that I need to be personally thinking about Christ on a daily basis and why not let the elements that Jesus used spur me to think about the gospel – 3 TIMES A DAY!!!
Every time you see bread and a cup, remember Jesus and His gospel.
When we remember Christ’s work on the cross during the Lord’s Supper I divide it into 2 simple sections for our congregation:1) Jesus died to forgive our sins so we need to allow Him to search our heart for repented sin and 2) Our sins are forgiven because of Jesus so we need to thank Him. Just think how much closer our relationship with Christ would be if we thought about the gospel and dealt with the 2 issues every time we sat down to eat. How much more would Christ be on our mind? How much more would we notice the things of God? How much more would we seek His Kingdom? How much more would we be in-tune with what God is doing around us and how we can be used?
Jonathan Haley Uhrig © 2014