Q.75. How does the Lord’s Supper remind you and assure you that you share in Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross and in all his gifts?
A. In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup. With this command he gave this promise: First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup given to me, so surely his body was offered and broken for me and his blood poured out for me on the cross. Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the one who serves, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood, so surely he nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life with his crucified body and poured-out blood.
Read Matthew 26:26-28. The Lord’s Supper assures us that the forgiveness of sins is a gift given to all who believe that Christ died for their sin. In the meal, Christ portrayal of that forgiveness and his life giving food go hand in hand. Without participating in him, there is no life, just as without eating real food, one cannot live.
In the Old Testament sacrifices blood was always poured out beside the altar, or upon the altar as part of the process of obtaining forgiveness. Christ reminds his disciples of this imagery when he speaks of his blood being poured out. But what is more significant than just the allusion to the sacrifices is Christ’s statement that a new covenant has come because of his sacrifice. This new covenant is different than the previous covenant in that only one sacrifice is needed and no others will ever be required to secure the forgiveness of sins. Read Luke 22:19-20.
Communion is a time of remembrance. Think back upon some wonderful experience in your life? For some this is a great birthday, for others it is their anniversary, still others remember their first car, date or kiss. Each of these are events that deeply affect a person. When Paul is told by Jesus to remember the cross, a wonderful statement about its deep effect on the person is being conveyed. In the cross, humans were saved from sin and death and suddenly life and holiness opened up before them. What a thing to remember. Read 1Corinthians 11:23-25.
As reformed believers, we are very quick to guard God’s sovereignty and to make much of his action in salvation and I do not apologize for this tendency at all. However, Jesus makes an interesting statement in all of the gospel narratives dealing with the Supper. He tells those gathered around him to take. Take the image of salvation into yourself. Get involved and actively participate in this process of salvation. Relive it! Rehearse it! Reveal it! I love that command, for Jesus wants us to be active in enjoying the sacrifice of his gift and to bask in its grandeur. Read Mark 14:22-24.
Read John 6:55-56. To participate in the meal of the Lord is to gain real spiritual nourishment, for in participating our minds are renewed as we recall all the futility of our own effort to appease the wrath of God and instead accept and believe that Christ’s sacrifice was once for all.
When Jesus died he made a wonderful statement? Read John 19:30. What was finished? Certainly his life was finished, but more than that was conveyed. The sacrificial system was finished. Read Hebrews 10:10-14. But also the wrath of God towards our sin was finished. Never again would God’s wrath be poured out upon a believer. Read Romans 3:25. His life fulfilled the demand for a perfect sacrifice and in his death he bore the wrath of God. When we remember this, certainly we are nourished and refreshed.