Acts 2 Church - 5 A Great church is Devoted to the New Covenant
Jesus Christ took the cup and the loaf—the ingredients of a common meal in that day—and transformed them into a meaningful spiritual experience for believers. However, the value of the experience depends on the condition of the hearts of those who participate; and this was the problem at Corinth.
But the interesting thing is that here Jesus calls it the cup. His body was the cup that held the blood. He was born to die and to shed that blood. Again and again the apostles remind us that we have forgiveness of sins because of the blood, that He has extended mercy to us because of the blood. He did not open the back door of heaven and slip us in under cover of darkness. He brings us in the front door as sons because the penalty of sin was paid when the demands of a holy God were met. Let’s not forget that, my beloved, in this day when the notion is that God can shut His eyes to sin and do nothing about it. He has done something about it. This is the cup; it holds the blood of the New Covenant.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come [1 Cor. 11:26].
Paul here adds something new. In 1 Corinthians he is always opening up a door or raising a shade, letting us see something new. Here it is “till he come.” When we observe the Lord’s Supper, that table looks in three different directions. (1) It is a commemoration. He repeats, “This do … in remembrance of me.” This table looks back over nineteen hundred years to His death upon the cross. He says, “Don’t forget that. It is important.” That is to the past. (2) This table is a communion (sometimes we call it a communion service). It speaks of the present, of the fact that today there is a living Christ, my beloved. (3) It is a commitment. It looks to the future—that He is coming again. This table won’t last forever; it is temporary. After the service it is removed, and we may not celebrate it again because we just do it until He comes. It speaks of an absent Lord who is coming back. It looks to the future.
And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them ….” A few days before He had eaten the Passover with His own, now these are two other disciples, and here is the first time after His resurrection He is observing the Lord’s Supper.“And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.” Wasn’t that wonderful to have Him present for the meal! In the meal He takes the bread, He breaks it, He blesses it, He gives it to them. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us …” (Luke 24:24–32). He had a meal with them. Then what did He do? He revealed Himself. That was the Lord’s Supper.
Oh, friend, when you observe the Lord’s Supper, He is present. Yes, He is! This is not just a symbol. It means you must discern the body of Christ. You have bread in your mouth, but you have Christ in your heart. May God help us to so come to the table that Jesus Christ will be a reality to us. God forgive us for making it a dead, formal ritual!
McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (5:56). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.