Tuesday, February 26, 2008
HOW WE PARTAKE OF THE LORD’S TABLE
“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you…”
1 Corinthians 11:23
In mid-eastern culture, sharing a meal together with someone is a symbol of friendship, fellowship, and oneness, and is never to be treated lightly. How different in our culture where our meals are hurried, and typically have an agenda of meeting to talk about business, or negotiating deals.
As we consider the Scriptural teaching regarding coming together for the Lord’s table, it is truly to be unhurried and unencumbered with any other distractions than the worship of, and fellowship with the Lord, our Redeemer. How we need to get back to the basics in remembering with what simplicity our Lord instituted it with his own disciples on the eve of His sacrificial death. It was at the end of the old Passover meal that had other elements such as bitter herbs and the lamb. And yet, in instituting the Lord’s supper, all other elements were removed except for the bread and the wine (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
The bread is to be unleavened and baked, symbolizing the sinless perfection of our Lord, the Substitute, even unto death. Christ remained sinless to the end, even as the Sin-bearer of His people. Their sin in no way affected his nature, any more than darkness can in anyway affect light. It is just the opposite. It is that sinlessness that was required, all the while having been put to death for the sin of His people, that we celebrate in partaking of the bread. The notion that somehow Christ had to become a sinner in order for God to justly put Him to death is such an abhorrent doctrine, that it is unfathomable that any who know anything of Christ in truth today, could even introduce, entertain, or promote such a doctrine. ‘Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?’
1 Corinthians 5:6
The wine is also just as important, because had Christ lived a perfect life to satisfy the precepts of the Law, without actually laying down His life in satisfaction of its penalty for the disobedience of His people, salvation would not be accomplished.
It took the doing AND dying of Christ as the Substitute, and it is because He finished the work that salvation was accomplished for His own. Wine is a symbol of health, strength, joy, and cleansing. More importantly, it is the symbol that Christ instituted to represent His shed blood, in which is ALL the satisfaction of God, by which He has ONCE FOR ALL put away the sin of His elect, and forever justified them, the law being satisfied, and therefore no more condemnation, because Christ removed it by fulfilling it for them - Colossians 2:14.
It is a simple celebration, but a significant one for the Lord’s people, with Christ alone as our sole object of worship. “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:” 1 Corinthians 5:7.
By Ken Wimer