by Dr. Gregory C. Magruder | June 4, 2017
Gregory C. Magruder Parkview Baptist Church, Gainesville, FL 06/04/17
1 Corinthians 10:14-17
INTRODUCTION: Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper and said “do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). It is a time to remember what Jesus has done for us through his life, death, resurrection and ascension. The Lord’s Supper signifies his death. The Lord’s Supper has come to be known by several names, each of which has some biblical basis. The Lord’s Supper is also known as Eucharist, Holy Communion, Communion, the Last Supper, the breaking of bread, and the Lord’s Table. One common term is Communion. It is taken from the Greek word koinonia which means sharing, fellowship, and participation. We come together around the Lord’s Table to participate in the mystery of the Lord’s life, death, resurrection, and living presence. God’s people remember Jesus and what he has done for us.
WE CELEBRATE A COMMUNION OF PARTICIPATION.
*The Lord’s Supper provides a time to gather, remember, and proclaim what Jesus Christ has done for us. “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes’”(1 Cor. 11:23-26).
*Communion is sharing the reality of salvation in the presence of Christ and other believers. We participate in the drinking from the cup and the breaking of the bread to remind us of the death of Jesus and its benefits. “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (10:16).
Communion is not a reenactment but rather an act of fellowship.
WE CELEBRATE A COMMUNION OF FORGIVENESS.
*The drinking from the cup together reminds us that Jesus poured out
his life blood so we could be cleansed from our sins. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
*The breaking of the bread signifies the punishment Jesus took for our sins and the healing he brought through his broken body. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed”
(1 Peter 2:24).
Communion is a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. We have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
WE CELEBRATE A COMMUNION OF UNITY.
*Jesus sustains us through his life and presence spiritually just like bread nourishes us physically. Jesus told his disciples one day “I am the bread of life… I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:35, 51).
*The bread of communion represents the body of Christ given as a sacrifice on the cross. “And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (10:16).
*The one loaf of bread reveals that together we are the body of Christ. We are united as one family, one people, and one body in Christ. We are individual parts of a larger whole. “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body…and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
Communion is the time to share a family meal with Jesus and each other. We participate in a community of oneness. “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (10:17).