In the American culture of Christianity the value of observing the Lord’s Supper has been devalued over the decades. The ordinance
of the Lord’s Supper has been overused and underused in different denominations; the bigger concern in today’s church culture is: Do Christians understand the authentic meaning of partaking in the Lord’s Supper?
Jesus Christ Himself instituted the ordinance that should be observed by the church, the people of God. He gave the instructions in Matthew
26 “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.”27 Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
It is important to realize that this should be observed throughout our Christian lives. The value is in remembering that Christ died for our sins and in that loving act allowed us to be reconciled to God through His blood. We are to remember all that was given – His body, His blood. This was the new Covenant that the apostle Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 11:23 – 26: (NIV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
In observing the Lord’s Supper we are also looking to the future kingdom where as we read, Christ will not drink of that fruit until we are reunited with Him in perfect fellowship, in God’s presence.
The meaning of the Lord’s Supper is just as complex as the requirements. The requirements are not an all-encompassing participation, as a matter of fact, not all who call themselves “Christians” should observe this sacred ordinance. Although the Bible doesn’t state verbatim, it is understood by many scholars and teachers that the Bible is speaking to those who placed their faith in Christ alone to save them from their sins and offer eternal life, the definition of Salvation . The second requirement based on scripture is that self-examination is required. 1 Corinthians
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.
This was a rebuke of sorts to the church in Corinth because they were being selfish in taking the Lord’s Supper without thinking of the church as a whole but as individuals. The true point is; it is all of the body of believers that make up the church of Christ. When we come into the time of remembrance it should be to reflect His character and not our own.