“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:16).

“When we remember Jesus we do not remember someone who is dead and gone, someone who lived and who died and left a memory.  We are not remembering someone whose place was in the past and who lives only in the pages of a history book.  We are remembering someone who is gloriously alive!  The memory turns into an experience and an encounter” (William Barclay, The Lord’s Supper, pp., 111-112).

The Lord’s Supper is not a funeral dirge.  Jesus should not be conceived as more dead than alive.  Although there is a certain solemnity in observing the Lord’s Supper, it is a solemnity that reflects joy.  It is true that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that He was buried,” but it is also equally true that “He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

We must not expend all our mental and spiritual energies on a backward look, but should also recognize the present reality that “He has risen” (Matthew 28:6).  The angel said to those at the tomb: “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen, He is not here; see the place where they laid him”  (Mark 16:6).  The tomb was empty!  He lives!  Obviously, the early worship periods of the church were not periods of dull gloomy monotony, but rather were worshipful occasions rich with fellowship and with the awareness, not only of His resurrection but also of the beauty of His presence in the assembly.

The proclamation of the second coming of Christ in the Lord’s Supper is a proclamation of joy, hope and expectancy.  The angel said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?  This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him to into heaven”  (Acts 1:11).  Christ “will appear a second time…to save those who are eagerly awaiting for Him”  (Hebrews 9:28).

One of the most exciting expectations of the early Christians was that Jesus is coming again!  An air of expectancy was reflected in their prayers:  “Our Lord, come!”  (1 Corinthians 16:22) and “Surely I am coming soon.”  John responded, “Amen, Come Lord Jesus!”  (Revelation 22:20).  To Christians in the first century Jesus could not come soon enough.  This spirit of expectancy was without doubt a part of their worship together and especially when they observed the Lord’s Supper.

The church in modern times needs desperately to regain this spirit of hope and expectancy, especially when we share the Lord’s Supper.  Therefore, scriptures read in conjunction with partaking of the Lord’s Supper should be selected not only to tell of His death but also to reveal that He is alive and that He is coming again.  Appropriate songs should be chosen that praise God for what He had done for us in His Son.  Whatever comments are made should reflect hope and a genuine yearning for the Lord’s return.

“Amen.  Come Lord Jesus.”


By Will Ed Warren



Comments are closed.