1 Corinthians 11:23-29 New King James Version (NKJV)
Institution of the Lord’s Supper
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
Here is a supper, of the Lord, to remember!
--The disciples - followers of Jesus - remember well.
--So vital, recorded in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13, and I Corinthians 11.
--An unforgettable supper, all believers are invited.
--Today, world-wide communion, we celebrate it in joy.
As we gather globally at His Table, Jesus is with us!
--Our Savior said, "This do in remembrance of Me."
---It is sacred. It sanctifies. Satisfies. Cleanses.
--Jesus, "The Bread of life," "when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat, this is My body, which is broken for you, do in remembrance of Me ."
Then, "in the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, `this cup is the new covenant in My blood" (v 25). A new covenant of God's grace, His blood.
--"The cup" speaks of His shed blood, for our sins.
--Is called "the cup" or "fruit of the vine," but never is it called wine. It is unfermented grape juice.
--Friend, this is Passover, of unleavened bread!
--Wine was not used for the Supper. We can be sure.
--For the scriptures are very clear. We follow them.
So Jesus gave us a supper to remember Him.
--Paul "received it from the Lord, delivered it to us."
--Jesus made a simple meal into a lasting memorial.
--"As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (v 26).
Remember when all the family was home, at suppertime?
--You gathered around the table in prayer, and love.
--Shared the food. Fun. And family events of the day.
--What precious memories, those. We well remember.
--Suppertime is to be remembered. A meal of joy.
--So it is with the Lord. And, the Lord's Supper.
As families, please take time to savor suppertimes.
--Don't be so busy, and scattered, you miss memories.
Let's look back, when it was - night before Jesus died. Recall where it was - "in an upper room", holy.
We see why it was - to provide a simple remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice of Himself, for our salvation.
--A simple meal, ever so common, but the bread and cup embody Who Jesus is. What He died. On a cross.
Some may remember Pearl Harbor, and those hard times.
--I shall never forget that day, for soon after, I enlisted in the Navy - my brother had already joined.
--I remember the sad times when prayers and goodbyes.. with not a few tears .. when my parents gave me their picture - and a Bible.
--They wanted me to remember them and remember the Lord.
--Photo was not them. Reminders, to remember!
That is Jesus gave us this Lord's Supper.
Then we see who was there - Jesus, 11 of the Twelve.
--Those who were followers and servants of Jesus.
--These were the ones.who loved Him. Whom He loved.
Since that holy night, Jesus invites all to come.
--"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden..."
--We come .. those "born again," who love the Lord.
We need not be perfect! But penitent, and humble.
--In contrition and confession. Remembering Him.
--Seeking forgiveness. His fellowship and strength.
--He says, "As often as you do .. remember Me."
What is it we are to remember? Jesus, of course.
--But what about Jesus to remember?
--"To remember the Lord's death, till He comes..."
Jesus didn't ask we remember His life - but death.
--Nor remember his birth, but we do. He is different.
--He was "born of a virgin," without human father.
--He lived a life sinless, glowing with God's glory.
--He went about "doing only good." Serving others.
--In fact, "laid down His life to save sinners."
He didn't ask we remember His messages - "No man ever spoke like this" - with authority, simplicity, power.
--He could preach to one, as Nicodemus, or thousands!
--With one message mainly - "You must be born again."
Jesus didn't tell us to remember His miracles - though He worked many, of all kinds, to multitudes.
He didn't tell us to remember His teaching, but we do.
--His teaching shares the wisdom of heaven ... of God.
--He is "all-wise." Yet He personifies humility.
Strange isn't it, we are to "proclaim His death."
--Why Jesus' death on a cross? Why not His life?
--Life is important, but Jesus' death all-important!
--It and the resurrection purchased man's forgiveness!
--Bought the ticket to heaven for all who believe!
Sure, it is more pleasant to speak of life than death!
--My friend, what value is all the pleasantries, if we miss eternal life and heaven?
Our sin and forgiveness cost God His suffering.
If we think about it, most good things in life for us is by someone's suffering. Sacrifice. Or death.
--Every baby born is by a mother's painful birth.
--Every bridge built comes often at a cost of life.
--Every tall building, constructed with much suffering.
Every cancer surgery - that cuts out diseases from our bodies - carries a painful cost.
--Sometimes the ultimate cost, is death.
--But for one "born again" it takes us to be with God.
You see, Jesus' death was not in vain! He arose.
--In dying at Calvary, He can save anyone who believes.
--In rising, assures us, "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19).
--In our living for Him, we "proclaim the Lord's death, till He comes" - for Jesus is coming again.
I love to look at monuments, and memorials.
--Where past heroes, events, are commemorated.
--Our nation's capital, and most cities, have them.
Jesus chose not a monument, but a simple meal - as His - way He wanted to be remembered - showing what He gave.
Dear friends, let's remember others - parents, spouse, our children, families and friends - and Jesus.
--Let's not forget our troops who defend us in harm's way, and all veterans, and their families.
--And all those who serve us, in any way, day to day.
--I count it all joy to worship, communing with Jesus.
Remembering others helps each one. I share a story.
--An elderly widow, few family and friends, lived alone and received little mail, in a humble home.
--Her flower garden was her work., and witness.
--She had a colorful array of beautiful blooms.
This garden was a delight to the neighborhood, for confined to a wheel-chair, across the street, was a handicap teenager, unable to get out and play, as others.--He had infantile paralysis. Her flowers, his joy. --He watched the lady. Appreciated the colors. --Admired her labors, and tireless efforts.
--He wrote a note, "Thank you for the beautiful flowers you have had all summer. The sight of them cheers me very much. You are a blessing ..."
--Her flowers blessed him. His letter blessed her.
--Both remembered. The lady never forget his letter.
Who knows what good you can do! To cheer one another.
--Your prsence. Participation. Witness. Kindness.
Peter says, Jesus left us "an example, that you should follow His steps" (I Peter 2:21).
--Let's do that as we make sure we are saved, and living a life of righteousness unto God.
Can you hear the call? It's Supper-time!
--Time to come, break bread together. God calls us.
All things are ready. Jesus says, "Come and dine."
--Come, with your troubles .. needs .. and sins.
--A place is set for you, at the Lord's Table.
To have a fulfilling, godly life, let God fulfill it.
--Make the decision today.
--Then the Lord and His Supper will be remembered.
--As He remembers us.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 794