“Take and eat. Take and drink. These are the true body and blood of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” I say these words to my flock as I administer the Lord’s Supper and dismiss the table saying, “And now may these the true body and blood of your Lord and Savior strengthen and preserve you until you see him face to face in glory. Go in peace, your sins are forgiven.” There is nothing magical about these words. They are gospel proclamation, to be sure. But when a sinner comes to the Lord’s Supper the Holy Spirit powerfully strengthens the faith of believing hearts. There are volumes of information on the Lord’s Supper, but in our Bible class we tried to look at its simple meaning.
The Lord’s Supper has a number of different names. It is known as the Sacrament of the Altar, the Eucharist (meal of thanksgiving), Holy Communion (bread and wine come together with body and blood), and even the Mass (this tends to be used of Catholic order of worship, but can be used to describe the Lord’s Supper in a Lutheran church).
Before I leave you to watch the Bible study, I want you to consider who may approach and what you will receive. If you are breathing and taking nourishment, you are a sinner. I’m trying to be critical, but the word of God says there is no one good. The Lord’s Supper is not the first place for a sinner to go. The reason is because a person can take the Lord’s Supper to their spiritual harm. The key phrase in the 1 Corinthians 11 is that a person needs to “examine himself”. First of all, not everyone can do this. The very young, the very old, and the mentally impaired may not be able to examine themselves. This is a judgement call of course, but we try to be careful and faithful to God’s word. How you examine yourself, you’ll see in detail in the slides and Bible class.
What you receive is important too. Everyone who comes to the Lord’s Supper receives the body and blood of Jesus. Only believing hearts receive the forgiveness of sins. I know there are some Christians who deny this saying that the bread and wine (too often crackers and Kool-aid) represent the body and blood. It’s just a symbol. The trouble with this is twofold. First, it ignores God’s word which says “is“. Second, how can you “sin against the body and blood of the Lord” if it’s not there?
There are plenty of areas of our faith that we can’t explain: the six-day creation, the virgin birth, the resurrection. The Lord’s Supper is on that list. In this powerful Sacrament God comforts sinners. To learn more, watch this week’s Bible study on the Lord’s Supper.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.