Do you look forward to the observance of the Lord’s Supper with your church family? I recall walking into church with my family as a boy and seeing that long table covered in the front of the church and I was not very excited about it. To me, at an early age, I somehow connected the fact that the long table with a white cloth covering it meant we would have a much longer service that day. As an unconverted boy, I was not aware of the blessings of the Lord’s Supper.
Following my salvation, I’ve grown to acknowledge the true blessings of the Lord’s Supper. Attending conferences with other pastors and fellow Christians is a profitable thing for ministry and for the soul, but conferences are unable to provide the level of blessings that a Lord’s Supper service provides with my church family. Have you stopped to consider the blessings of the Lord’s Supper?
Blessing of Reconciliation
The Lord’s Supper brings the church to a time of self examination. It’s extremely important to examine ourselves and allow the spotlight of the gospel to penetrate our deep and private places within our soul. How many men have been delivered from pornography addiction through a proper self examination and repentance leading up to the Lord’s Supper? How many divorces have been avoided? How many lying tongues have been stopped? How many materialistic hearts have been exposed during a time of prayer leading up to the Lord’s Supper? The observance of the Lord’s Supper should be joyful, but not before it gently and, at times, painfully exposes sin. There is a sin crushing element to the Lord’s Supper. Repentance precedes joy! When reconciliation comes between us and our God – it’s a sweet time of joyful worship.
Blessing of Unity in the Church
As we read Paul’s words to the church at Corinth (1 Cor. 11:18), it’s quite obvious that they were a divided church. Paul exposes their sin and points out the problem. After a vertical approach to the Lord’s Supper, there must likewise be a horizontal approach. No church should allow disunity to fester among the body. Division in the church is like a cancer in the body. It must be dealt with. This is something that the elders of the church should be on guard against. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another he delights in. He attaches far more importance to godly intercourse than we do. Since union is strength, he does his best to promote separation.” As unity comes among a divided church, true joy permeates the entire church family.
Blessing of Remembrance
In Deuteronomy 6, God provides a clear command for the Israelites to disciple their children with the Word of God. They were commanded to teach in such a way that their children and the subsequent generations to follow would not be able to forget the great work of God in saving them from Egypt. As we look back into that scene, we see how God was setting a foundation for the importance of His Word. We also see the gospel on display – marching forward toward the cross where the greater Exodus would take place and the greater Moses would save His people from their sin (Matt. 1:21). As Jesus commanded His disciples at the last supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26), it’s imperative that we likewise remember the body and blood of Jesus Christ in such a way that our children and the generations to follow will never forget the great work of God in saving His people through the blood of Christ (1 Peter 2:24).
Blessing of Proclamation
As Paul corrected the church at Corinth regarding their observance of the Lord’s Supper, he pointed out the necessity to proclaim the Lord’s death through the Lord’s Supper. This is an interesting statement and one that many people haven’t stopped to consider. The entire world looks at the death of Jesus as a shameful thing. In the wake of Jesus’ crucifixion, the Jews considered Him a blasphemer. The Greeks looked at His death as utter defeat and shameful. Yet, the followers of Jesus took great pride in the death of Jesus following His resurrection. They were willing to take up their cross and follow Him. Most of the inner circle of Jesus and many others since then have given their lives for the sake of the gospel. Every time we gather and eat the Lord’s Supper together, we are proclaiming aloud that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also the Greek (Rom. 1:16).
Blessing of Anticipation
From the very beginning, the early church has been anticipating the return of Jesus. The early disciples in Acts watched Him ascend and stood there almost as if they were longing for Him to return in a few moments (Acts 1:11). All through the New Testament, we see the consistent mention of Jesus’ return. Throughout church history, we have gathered and joined voices together in song to anticipate the return of Jesus. One of the purest ways to anticipate the return of Jesus is to observe the Lord’s Supper. His body was crushed, He blood was spilt, and He died for our sins. However, that wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus was raised from the dead, ascended to the Father, and He has given us a promise – He will come again (John 14:3)!
The next time you gather as a church to observe the Lord’s Supper, don’t think about the length of the service that day. Consider the blessing it will be to your soul. Don’t skip the Lord’s Supper, if you do, you will harm your soul. Don’t abuse the Lord’s Supper, if you do, God will judge you. The Lord’s Supper has both a humiliating and an exhilarating effect upon us spiritually. All of this is for God’s glory and our good.