There are many reasons that we meet together as Christians. We do so to offer our praise and worship to God, to encourage each other, to sing (for both of those first two purposes!), to pray for one another, to train in the word and in our faith, to warn one another of dangers, to share joy and, uniquely to Christians, to commune together in the Lord’s Supper.
In Acts 20 (verses 6 and following), Paul delayed leaving Troas specifically to gather with the saints to “break bread” on the first day of the week. In 1 Corinthians 11:17ff, Paul dealt with the division that took place in Corinth when they should have been coming together and been united in the Lord’s Supper.
Communion, the Lord’s Supper is meant by Jesus to be the unique symbol for Christians united with Him. Just as we are born again into Christ by baptism, so too, in the Supper we unite in memory together of His awful and awesome death and sacrifice for us, the very thing that makes this family reunion possible!
The world has many ways of remembering special loved ones. The Great Pyramid of Giza remembers a great Pharaoh, Khufu. But time has worn it surface away and its treasures have been looted. The Taj Mahal was a monument to a lost love. But it is nearing disaster as it crumbles away and, at best, it contains only two dead bodies.
Uniquely, the memorial Jesus instituted for His death, is not located in a far-off place that most will never see; it is always near. Instead of requiring tons of stone susceptible to erosion, it simply requires some unleavened bread & the fruit of the vine. Instead of 1000s of men laboring years to build, it is commemorated by millions of Christians the world over each Lord’s Day. They devote their hearts & minds to the Man on the cross. They contemplate His love, His sacrifice, & His forgiveness. They commune, not only with Him, but with all those who are His.
In Christ, we share a Savior who suffered & died for each one of us. We are reminded of what is truly important. For this time disagreements, distractions, egos and enticements are set aside. There is no recognition of rich or poor, black or white, male or female. Every eye is on Him. For as often as you eat this bread & drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Above all, in this Supper we communion with Jesus Himself! He is both present and participating (cf. Matthew 18:20 and 26:29) with us.
As we meet in sweet communion this Lord’s Day, go back in your mind’s eye to that day on Golgotha (Matthew 27). No humble & honest heart that visits the cross can remain haughty & hateful. Remember the One who loved you and gave Himself for you. Remember the One who shed His blood for the cleansing of your sin. Remember the crown on His head, the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side. Remember the jeers He suffered from the crowd and the separation He suffered from His Father. Truly remember Him and see if you can look at life and people in the same way as before.
It is sweet, it is simple & it will change your life forever. While we feast, Christ gently whispers, ‘Do this in My memory’.
— Lester P. Bagley