What Jesus did for us is of monumental importance. This importance spans from the past, to the present, and into the future. Tonight we will look at the Lord's Supper from these three perspectives.
Communion in the Past. The past is always behind us. We cannot change it, but it can guide us in the future. We can learn from our successes as well as our failures. Do not let the past paralyze. The words of Scripture are just as applicable to us today as they were to the group addressed by Paul in tonight's text.
Just like many believers in the early church came to the Lord's Supper merely to be part of a church ritual, many of us come to communion today for the same reason. Communion is so much more than this. It must be a time to look back at what Christ did for us. Every time we celebrate the Lord's Supper we need to see how important it is. Do not loose sight of what Christ accomplished. Hebrews 9:12-16 serves as a powerful reminder of what historically Christ did for us and the significance of the time that we have together in taking these elements in communion.
Jesus' blood signifies that Christ gave Himself in the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Our deeds led to His death, not His deeds. He mediated a new covenant between God and man based God's love. Jesus did this so that all who are invited can receive the eternal inheritance God promised them and so we can worship the Living God.
Unfortunately, many of us get complacent, attending a communion service and merely going through the motions. Do not let complacency diminish the significance of what Jesus has saved us from, which was eternal damnation in Hell. Let us remember what Christ has done for us. Proclaim the Lord's death until He comes back for us.
Communion in the Present. God expects believers to obey the command that He gave us to gather together to share the Lord's Supper. Luke 22:19-20 describes the elements that make up this meal. There are several reasons we partake of the Lord's Supper today, including the following:
As we gather at the communion table tonight, we assert the fact that Jesus Christ died for our sins, we affirm our belief in this fact, we represent this fact symbolically by showing that a real man died to satisfy our deepest needs and our deepest longings, and we publicly bring this fact to the attention of all men. Gathering together to partake of the Lord's Supper indicates to us the future glory we will share with the Lord
Communion in the Future. When we look at the past, we see forgiveness. This means all sins being wiped away forever, past, present and future, making us the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We read in the book of Hebrews that God punishes us for our sins because He loves us and wants to bring us back in line. Sin does not change our standing in salvation, but it does change our relationship in fellowship.
When we look at the present, we see sanctification. As often as believers partake of the Lord's Supper, we are in fellowship with each other and we are sanctified, or set apart, for the service of God. We serve God as we worship Him, edify one another, and evangelize the lost.
When we look to the future, we look forward to glorification when, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ rise first followed by those who are alive, as they are caught up to be with the Lord. Our mortal bodies will put on immortality, our bodies of sin will put on a glorified body, and there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, and no more sickness.
Sometimes this world is ugly and sometimes it hurts, but there is coming a day when all wrongs will be made right and all tears will be wiped away. Justice is found at the Bema Seat for the believer and the Great White Throne for the unbeliever.
There is coming a day when we will see Him in His glory. The Song of Solomon tells us that Solomon, the most prosperous king the world, posed as a shepherd for a time and fell in love with a woman who worked in the fields. Solomon had to return to the life he was called to, but he promised her he would return for her in the future. A while later this woman heard that Solomon was coming, but she was not interested because she loved the shepherd. When she learned that the shepherd was really the king, she allowed him to take her away with him. This is a foreshadowing of what it will be like when Jesus returns for us.
There is a warning in tonight's text. None of us in and of ourselves are worthy to partake of the Lord's Supper because all of us have sinned. The only way we are made worthy is if we come to Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. Sin separates us from God and Jesus is the only solution as He paid the price for the sins of the world on the cross. He became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him. This is the only way that we are made worthy to partake.