The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion
God means to have the great sin-bearing, wrath-averting, life-giving death of His Son remembered and cherished and proclaimed (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).
The bread and the juice of the Lord's Supper are weighty and sacred because of what God has designated them to represent—"Take, this is my body . . . . This is my blood" (Mark 14:22-24).
We make much of observing the Lord's Supper together in obedience to Christ because of all that it points to—of all that the cross represents.
What is the significance of eating and drinking?
The bread and the juice direct our attention to the broken body and spilled blood of Jesus who died in place of sinners. "Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6). "He himself bore our sins in his body" (1 Peter 2:24).
When we take up the bread and cup we affirm the sufficiency of Jesus' death to bear the penalty for sin and reconcile sinners to God.
In eating the bread and drinking the juice we also affirm that we personally participate in the benefits of Christ's death (1 Corinthians 10:16). By this we demonstrate our ongoing dependence on Christ for forgiveness and new life in reconciliation to God (John 6:54-56).
Why do we partake of the Lord's Table all together?
We observe the Lord's Table corporately in recognition that all who draw on the benefits of Christ's death are also united to one another as the extended "body of Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:17).
We have entered a communion (fellowship) not only with God but also with all the redeemed people of God through the cross (Ephesians 2:15-19; 4:4-6).
What does observing the Lord's Table Anticipate about the future?
We observe the Lord's Table in anticipation that Jesus will soon come again. We "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). And come He will, in glory and power to inaugurate the great banquet feast for his people (Revelation 19:6-9).
Who should participate in communion?
God takes sharing in the Lord’s Table very seriously, and so do we. We do not dishonor Christ's work by offering the bread and juice to those not trusting Christ. Instead we ask unbelievers to refrain from participating.
As believers, we examine if our conduct is in line with what we affirm about Christ's death when we eat and drink at the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:28-29).
We come to the Lord's Table with both serious reflection on why Christ suffered in our place and an overwhelming sense of joy that in Christ our new life is secured.