Preparing to Feast
This past Sunday, we had the joy of concluding our meeting by participating together in the Lord's Supper. Jeff's comments served to remind us what a significant meal this is for every Christian. So if you were out of town or serving in SovGrace Kids, we wanted you to be encouraged by his comments:
We, as a church, take the Lord’s Supper on about a monthly basis. And it would be easy when we announce the Lord’s Supper to sit back and think “Well, it’s that week again.” Instead, when we make this announcement you should be leaning forward. We’re coming to one of the most exciting, exhilarating moments of our time together.
Do you ever look forward to a meal? Some look forward to every meal! But I’m talking about a special meal. You’re going to your favorite restaurant with someone you love deeply. What do you do? You plan ahead. You eat less at lunch. You leave work early. You ask the babysitter to come earlier. You spend extra time getting ready because you have a special meal coming—and really, more than a meal; it’s a special moment in your life.
We’re celebrating a meal this morning and it’s very special. It’s the most special meal we will celebrate on this earth. There is another meal coming, an ending feast that will transcend this meal, but this meal is special. It’s special because the Lord himself planned this meal. The Lord invited us to this meal. The Lord is here hosting this meal. And look around—see those whom we get to share it with—our brothers and sisters in Christ! We’re here about to feast together.
Just as a meal combines all the senses—sight: you look upon a richly laid table and see a beautifully prepared plate of food; sound: you hear soft music, or the sizzling of steak on a platter; smell: as you take in the aroma of the food; and, of course, taste: you take in something delightful—you imbibe it and enjoy it. In a similar way, the Lord didn’t just give us a message to preach; with this message, and as a compliement to this message, He gave us a meal to reinforce that message. A meal that has the elements of the senses.
So, look at the bread and juice when they come. The bread and juice are a mirror in which we behold our Savior and His sufferings on our behalf. The bread has a certain beauty, but it’s a harsh beauty. That bread represents His body. It was whipped and spat upon and beaten for us. Look at the juice. It’s rich and red because it represents blood poured out: sacrificial blood—life given for life; propitiating blood—satisfying divine wrath; cleansing blood—making you and me white as snow. It’s precious blood represented in that cup.
And just as a meal, with all its delights, blesses and enriches, it also nourishes. This meal is intended to nourish as well:
Our mind is enriched as we reflect on the Savior. It is ennobled with the most lofty thoughts a human mind can conceive of. You will never think more profoundly than at this meal.
Our faith is fortified as these elements focus all our hope, comfort, and assurance not on ourselves and our performance, but on Christ.
Our heart is delighted as we fellowship with our dearest friend.
Our resolve is strengthened as we receive strength for this journey.
So, get ready. We’re about to feast. Get ready by acknowledging afresh your need for what this meal represents. By embracing again, taking to yourself, Christ’s propitiating, saving, reconciling work that brings us to God. Get ready to feast, get ready to receive, get ready to rejoice—because we have a feast coming.
This meal is for those who have already been introduced to our Host. In other words, this meal is for Christians. If you’re not a Christian and you’re listening to me talk, you might be thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t be at this table.” Well, you’re right in one regard: you shouldn’t eat the meal. But we’re really glad you’re in the room! We want you to watch this meal and look at what we’re eating and understand what this stands for. This meal pictures something. All of us have rejected God and sought to rule ourselves. All of us stand condemned before a holy God. But God has made provision for this sin—that’s what this meal is about. It’s for those of us here who have heard God’s invitation to this meal, who have turned from their sins and their right to rule their own lives, who have received God’s provision in Jesus Christ for their sins and have received forgiveness by His substitutionary death on their behalf. And that is what this meal represents.