November 09, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
I Cor 10:17 “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share one loaf.”
What is the Lord’s Table (Communion) all about?
Last week’s sermon (The Lord’s Table Part I) showed us what the Lord’s Table is NOT. Communion still has a lot of mystery, yet I Cor. 11:17-36 shows us four defining qualities of what it IS:
A The Lord’s Table is a communion with Christ.
1. I Cor 10:16 in the KJV of Bible, speaks of “communion” with the cup and bread, as participation in the blood and body of Christ.
2. At the Table, we also have Christian fellowship[ (“Koinonia” in Greek) with others.
3. As part of the mystery of communion, Jesus is spiritually present at the Table in a very special way, communing with us in the midst of our life struggles.
B. The Lord’s Table is a proclamation/announcement of the death of Jesus Christ.
I Cor 11:26 “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Communion focuses our attention on Jesus’ death, the center of what Christianity is all about. It reminds us that we are sinners, fallen short, deserving God’s wrath; yet God sent His son, Jesus, so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life.
C. The Lord’s Table is a time for self examination (I Cor 11:27,28).
Paul is admonishing the Corinthians to examine their unworthy behavior of not taking care of the poor. We must remember that we cannot make ourselves worthy by confessing all our sins. However, communion is the perfect time to take stock and ask the Lord how we are doing (especially in relationships), to create space for God to speak into our lives.
D. The Lord’s Table is a time to recognize the body of the Lord (I Cor 11:29)
The word “body” here can have a word play of two meanings which are both applicable:
1. The elements remind us of the physical body of Christ.
2. The elements call us to recognize also the other body of Christ, the Church.
Communion is a declaration/recognition of who is inside the Body (the Church) and who is not. We affirm that we are a part of the Body who have faith/belief in Christ.
The Lord’s Table is not for unbelievers, but for believers who “proclaim the death of Christ until He comes” (I Cor 11:26).
Conclusion: Communion is not meant to bring judgment, criticism, or fear to God’s people. It is a place of grace, mercy, and fellowship for God’s people. Here we joyously anticipate our future with Jesus Christ. As the “Body of Christ” we are a people growing in belief and faith in the power of Christ’s death and resurrection.