We take the Lord’s Supper, often called Communion, during our Weekend Services and with our Life Groups for several reasons.
As a symbol of rememberance of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection
Jesus, as he was in the upper room sharing the Passover meal with his twelve closest amigos, took bread, broke it and said this:
Jesus used bread and wine as a symbol or an illustration of what His death on the cross would mean for anyone who would respond to Him by faith. The bread and the cup, according to Luke’s account, were to be taken as a way of remembering.
All throughout the Bible, God gave His people ways to remember Him. In the Old Testament, He instructed His people to build monuments when they experienced God. Why would God command His people to do certain activities as a way of remembering? It’s because we’re prone to memory lapses. We’re prone to forget Jesus and just how amazing His death, burial, and resurrection was for our lives. The Apostle Paul wrote this short verse to his friend Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:8
Look at the church in Galatia. They struggled to remember what the gospel was all about. They were turning to a false gospel – one that had to do with doing something to make them acceptable with God. Just like the Galatians, we’re prone to forgetting too.
That’s why Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper – to regularly refresh our memory about the truth of the gospel.
To celebrate our unity in Christ
When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we’re proclaiming Jesus’ death for ourselves and other Christians. We’re reminded that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is core to the faith. We may disagree about minor issues, but if we agree on the gospel, we agree on the most important of matters. As a church, we talk about open-handed and close-handed issues. Open-handed issues are issues where there’s freedom to disagree or have a different perspective. These would be things like color of carpeting in the church, style of worship music. Close-handed issues are matters that relate to the gospel and salvation (Questions like: Who is Jesus? Was His death enough to pay for all my sin? Is there any other way to God besides Jesus?). Those close-handed issues are the ones that we’re reminded that we agree on as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
To anticipate His return in victory
Often during the Lord’s Supper, 1 Corinthians is shared:
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Paul ends this passage with the phrase “you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is returning for His church. His first appearance provided salvation for all who believe. Through the Lord’s Supper we proclaim His death until he returns. In this proclaiming, we remind those who have put their faith in Christ that our hope is to one day be with Christ. We remind Christians that He is returning and that His return will be the end to sin, suffering, and death – a day that Christians wait for in anticipation.