Preparation for the Lord’s Supper
Things to consider while breaking bread:
- It is one of the moments one is nearest to heaven
- The presence of God is beyond all measure
- The love of Christ melts our hearts
- Visualize the Man of Calvary
- Stoop to kiss the Conqueror’s feet
- Consider His wounds [“My Lord and My God”]
- Preparation for the Supper: One must examine “himself” for the love feast (See Acts 2:46)
- Meaning: The breaking of bread formed an integral part
- Participation in the Supper: “So let us eat’
- Praise and Worship at the Supper: Song of Solomon 2:14
1. Consider the inauguration (Matthew 26, Mark 14, and Luke 22). Trace the origin from Scripture.
2. It was an early Christian practice (Acts 2).
3. When should we/did they break bread? (Acts 20).
4. Where should we/did they break bread? (1 Corinthians 11:18) - In the church.
5. The purpose of meeting, as seen in 1 Corinthians 11, is to remember Him, to show His death, and to pronounce His coming.
6. The procedure at the meeting (Acts 20) - Ministry, praise, thanksgiving, worship, and partaking of the elements.
1 Corinthians 11 is where the Lord’s Supper is closely linked with such a gathering; the original idea had been forgotten and a meal, meant to encourage fellowship, developed into an occasion of gross intemperance. Such was the condition of the participants that they really did not eat the supper (1 Corinthians 11:20) and did not discern the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:29). Eating and drinking unworthily brought divine judgment.
There was an absence of any rules and a vagueness of details. [Give a description of the Passover Feast: roast lamb, bitter herbs, unleavened bread, wine] He took bread from the table. Note the complete absence of any details as to the composition of the elements. Note also it is always “the cup.” Wine is never mentioned. [Quote “Fruit of the Vine.”]
Things were wrong at Corinth and there was no attempt made to write instructions. 1 Corinthians 11:34 says, “And the rest will I set in order when I come.” God is a Spirit (See John 4:24). If we fall from this, we begin to make rules and bring in human expedients. If this meeting is to function at its highest, it means self-examination and being in the Spirit – there is nothing in the feast for the flesh. These truths represented are profound and majestic, baffling the intelligence of man.
Here of our Lord we see Thee face to face;
Here would we teach and handle things unseen;
Have group with former hand the eternal grace,
And all our weariness upon thee lean.
A Remembrance…it is an Act of Worship.
The Lord’s Supper is an anticipation of His coming. “For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” The feast is a signpost pointing towards heaven, forward to His coming again. The feast, which began when He went to the cross, will continue till He comes to receive His own to Himself. When we look backward from the Lord’s Table, we are reminded that we have been redeemed with precious blood. When we look forward from the Lord’s Table, we are reminded that He has promised to come quickly.
The Lord’s Supper
See 1 Corinthians 10:16-21 and 1 Corinthians 11:20-34. Like baptism, the other ordinance given to the Christian church, the Lord’s Supper was instituted in the Gospels, practiced in the Acts, and explained in the Epistles.
The Lord’s Supper is an Expression of Fellowship
“The cup which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”
The word communion is the same as fellowship. The Lord’s Supper is an expression of fellowship. This fellowship is established through the shedding of the blood of Christ, through the giving of our Lord’s body as an atoning sacrifice. This fellowship embraces all who compose the one bread, one body - the partakers of Christ. “For we, being many, are one bread, one body; for we are partakers of that one body.” The fellowship of the body of Christ is expressed by partaking of the Lord’s Supper. See Matthew 5 and Hebrews 10. “Prepare to meet God.”
The Lord’s Supper is a Feast of Remembrance
“For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He comes.”
How thrilling it is to sit down with gathered saints, and be assured of the Lord’s presence in our midst and review the cross of Christ. See Matthew 18:20.
What memories flood our soul? Memories…
- Of the suffering
- Of the infamy heaped upon Him
- Of His patient endurance of it all
- Of the love that constrains Him thus to die
- Of the atoning and redemptive value of the sacrifice He made
Surely this is a feast of remembrance, a feast of soul stirring, blessed memories. Our hearts are thrilled. Our soul is filled with amazement, with gratitude, and with worship, as we partake.
The Lord’s Supper is a Declaration of His Death
Consider the same verse: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do share forth the Lord’s death till He comes.”
The eating of the bread and the drinking of the cup constitute an act of testimony to the world that we are saved through the death of Christ. By partaking of the feast we declare this glorious fact, but the eating of this bread and the drinking of the cup is more than that.
One of the distinguishing marks of a Christian Assembly is prayer. As it is with an assembly, so it is with the individual. When Saul was converted, Ananias was sent to minister to him. God said to Ananias, you will know him for “Behold, he prayeth.” Prayer should be one of the characteristics of the believer. Also, when believers come together collectively, prayer becomes the mark of a healthy, spiritual assembly. “They continued in the apostolic doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
Prayer gives a believer an audience in heaven. He may approach God, in the name of Jesus, with holy boldness, not with fear and trembling, as when Esther came in bidden into the presence of the King (See Esther 4:11 and Esther 5:1-3). Praise God His scepter is ever extended towards us (See Hebrews 4:16).
It is in the holy exercise of prayer that the believer renews his strength after the toil of the battle. It is here he mounts with wings from the sordid atmosphere of earth, till he breathes the very air of heaven. It is here he obtains the grace to run the race without wearying, to walk in paths of righteousness without fainting. See Isaiah 40:31. It is the neglect of this holy exercise that causes fainting by the wayside…wearying in the race…weakness when we need strength. The prayer meeting is the thermometer that shows the temperature of the assembly.