One of my co-workers goes to church with his girlfriend occasionally, this Sunday they are having communion, he says that he doesn’t participate because he does really understand what its for, and I told him, it’s for our remembrance of Jesus, who died for our sins. But can you give me Scripture, so he can read and understand the concept.
As to this, there are several things to be pointed out concerning what is called the Lord’s Supper. But first, let me say that the Lord’s Supper is for Christians, those who have obeyed the gospel. Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:36-47, 8:34-39, 22:16, Gal. 3:26-29. Therefore, all who would gain the benefits and blessings from the Lord’s Supper must be Christians.
Now, what is the significance of the Supper and when are we to partake of it?
1. It is basically a memorial in which we remember the death of Jesus for our sins. Jesus Himself, the night before He died, instituted it with His disciples. Matt. 26:26-29.
The unleavened bread and grape juice each represent something related to His death. The bread represents (not actually is) His body. The grape juice represents (not actually is) His blood. As we eat the bread and drink the juice, we should remember His death for us.
2. The Supper is a sharing together in the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice. We are not only united with Him, but also with each other as we observe it together. 1 Cor. 10:14-22. We must partake of the Supper with fellow Christians, not in isolation.
3. It is also a proclamation of our belief that Jesus died, rose again and is coming to reward His saints and destroy those who are disobedient. 1 Cor. 11:17-26. So, not only do we look backward but we also look forward anticipating His coming. Although we are not given the exact time of His coming, we are reminded to be prepared for it by serving Him.
4. The Supper is a time for self examination where we focus on our lives and seek to more faithfully dedicate ourselves to His service. 1 Cor. 11:27-33. Just as the Old Covenant given to Israel was dedicated by blood so also the New Covenant that we partake of has been dedicated by the blood of Jesus. Exodus 24:1-8.
When did Christians partake of the Supper? The only clear indication in the Bible is that they partook of it on every first day of the week, Sunday. We see the example of the church at Troas. Acts 20:1-12, especially verse 7. To partake of it only every month, quarter, year or some other interval besides weekly is to set our traditions above the example that we have in Scriptures.
By Gary Hunt