23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11
Jesus gathered his disciples in observance of the Passover meal. The Passover commemorated the last plague on Egypt when all of the firstborn of the Egyptians died and God spared the firstborn of the Israelites because of the blood of a lamb sprinkled on their doorposts. They would prepare the lamb for a meal and eat with unleavened bread. The celebration was to take place throughout the generations as a reminder (Exodus 12). The Passover also foreshadowed the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was on his way to the cross to give his life for sinners.
Scripture passages on the Lord’s Supper are found in Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:7-22; and John 13:21-30. Then Paul wrote about it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. As disciples of Jesus we should prepare ourselves for the Lord’s Supper and understand the significance of what our Lord has done for us.
The Lord’s Supper is a time of remembrance. The bread represents the body of Jesus. The cup represents the blood of Jesus. Jesus indicated as often as we do this, we do it in remembrance of him. The remembrance is of what Jesus has done through His life, death, and resurrection. We have no forgiveness, salvation, or eternal life apart from what Jesus has done.
The Lord’s Supper is a time of proclamation. When the people of God gather and celebrate the Lord’s Supper we proclaim the Lord’s death. We proclaim that God sent His only son into the world to seek and save the lost, and he accomplished his purpose through his finished work on the cross. The Lord’s supper is a proclamation of the Gospel. We should come to the table with clean hands and pure hearts, making sure there is no unconfessed sin in our lives that is hindering our fellowship with God.
The Lord’s Supper is a time of anticipation. We anticipate that Jesus is coming again. We celebrate the blessed hope knowing that our king is going to return. There is a crown of reward reserved for those who anticipate his return. 2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
The Lord’s Supper is a look back, it is a look at the present, and it is a look to the future.
Jesus invites us to come to the table!