[Papercut Press Publishing] 1999-07-13 - S4: The Supper of the Lord

The Holy Alphabet Series

1 Corinthians 10:16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?

"The Supper of the Lord, is a Sacrament, wherein by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christs appointment, his death is shewed forth, and the worthy receivers are (not after of a corporal and carnal manner, but) by faith, made partakers of his body and blood with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace, 1 Cor. 11:23-27, 10:16."-- Robert Port

The second sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ is to commemorate His death. (Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24,25) It represents our seal and union with Christ and our participation in His benefits. It gives us assurance of the remission of our sins and of our participation in the salvation obtained for us by the death of Christ as our propitiation.

The analogy between our earthly life in taking the sacraments and our heavenly participation in them is caught well by Benedict Pictet:

"as the bread and wine support and preserve natural life, so Christ's body and blood are the means of nourishing and maintaining spiritual life: as bread and wine are separated in the holy supper, so the body and blood of Christ were separated on the cross - as the one is broken, and the other poured out, so the body of Christ was mangled, and his blood poured out - as the former do not nourish, except received in the mouth, so the latter do not nourish the soul, unless received and applied by faith - as the communicants are "all partakers of one bread," so the faithful are partakers of one Christ, and are united with each other in one body. (1 Cor. 10:17) Now the connection of the bread with the body of Christ is merely relative, as that between a king and his image, between a ring and the dignity expressed by it, between a document or title-deed, and the possession."

There is a promise which Christ gave when he took the Supper with the apostles, "I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God," (Luke 22:16) and, "I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom," (Matthew 26:29). That day will come for us. It may be close for us or it may be many years away, but one day all those who are saved by the blood of Christ will commune with Him in a new way in the heavenly kingdom.

"The Lord's supper is memorative, and so it has the nature and use of a pledge or token of love, left by a dying to a dear surviving friend. It is like a ring plucked off from Christ's finger, or a bracelet from His arm, or rather His picture from His breast, delivered to us with such words as these: "As oft as you look on this, remember Me; let this help to keep Me alive in your remembrance when I am gone, and out of sight." --John Flavel

Soli Deo Gloria,


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