By Bill Oldham
“…I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The night Jesus announced to His apostles the new covenant, He didn’t ask of them anything in regards to what their part was in it. The reason being, Jesus alone was the New Covenant between God and man. The terms of the New Covenant are unbreakable because they are settled forever in Heaven between the Father and His Son, according to the will of the Father. The New Covenant was established by the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood.
What Jesus did ask of the apostles, and ultimately of His church, was to remember Him. We call it The Lord’s Supper or Communion, but whatever we call it, Jesus asked His church to remember Him by the breaking of bread and the drinking of the wine. And Paul, in reminding the church of this most important element of worship, added that, as often as the church observes the Lord’s Supper, it proclaims the Lord’s death till He comes.
Jesus wants us to remember that as partakers of the New Covenant, we are eternally bound to Him and to one another: we are all members of one body, with Christ as the Head. This is the true church of Jesus Christ; and we become partakers of the New Covenant by, “Repentance towards God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 Here is the promise of the New Covenant:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30
Before leaving this world Jesus promised to His church that He was going to prepare a home in His Father’s house for them; and that He would come back one day to take them to their new home, which we know to be New Jerusalem. Jesus’ church is still in a waiting position for the day of His promised return. Make no mistake: Jesus is coming for the love of His life—His church!
The Lord’s Supper was instituted By Christ for us to remember Him, but is that fully how we are to remember Him till He comes? Before He left He also told us to be watching and to be found working while we wait. I’m saying that there are three things in the life of believers that will visibly proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Christians will be found following Christ by obeying His commandments; He said, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” John 14:21 Christians will take up Jesus’ cross and put to death sin in their lives.
True followers of Christ will love one another with an unfeigned love: it will be genuine, a sacrificial love, willing to serve rather than be served.
Finally, we must be found holding on to Christ in our heart of hearts as our first love; ever holding to His cross as our glory till He comes.
Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org