1 Corinthians 11:26-27
For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till he come.…
1. Represent Christ. They defend and declare His truth; uphold and make known His honour; illustrate and maintain His laws.
2. Copy Christ. All He is, they desire to be. All He has, they expect to share. All He requires, they are glad to do.
3. Commemorate Christ. He is the tie which binds them all together; the light which gives to each his colour; the circle which prescribes to each his course. Before He left them He said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." And till He returns He continues to say, "Ye do show the Lord's," etc.
I. OF WHAT DOES THIS ORDINANCE CONSIST?
1. What is it that is fed?
(1) Not the body only. "If any man hunger, let him eat at home" (chap. 1 Corinthians 11:34).
(2) But —
(a) The memory, because it goes back to the Cross.
(b) The faith, because it goes up for the grace.
(c) The heart, for it goes forward to the glory.
2. What is it on which the faithful feed? Not on the material Christ. "The natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ are in heaven, and not here." The food is not on an altar to satisfy the claims of God, but on a table to satisfy the soul of man. To man physical, the things taken are bread and wine. To man spiritual, the things appropriated are the body and blood of Christ.
II. TO WHAT DOES THE ORDINANCE REFER?
1. It is a doctrine solidified into an act. It is a profession published by a feast. It is a sign as to the past, and is a seal as to the future. Like a milestone by life's wayside, it has two faces: one tells whence we come; the other, whither we are going. It is the old oath in which the great army of the Cross have sworn fealty to their Lord. It is the old well, at which all the pilgrims have rested and been refreshed on their way to Zion. It is the old cry, by which, in gloom or joy, the saints encourage one another to go on. It is the old challenge, by which the true men distinguish friends from foe.
2. It represents His death; for the broken bread and the poured-out wine find their parallel only at the Cross.
3. It implies life; for only living souls can feed together on that bread from heaven.
4. It promises immortality; for they who really feed upon the living Christ, in their living spirits, by a living faith, have this prospect given: "If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever" (John 6:51).
III. TO WHAT DOES THE ORDINANCE POINT? "Till He come."
1. To the glory of Jesus. Intelligent love delights in the Master's honour, His glorified body, His grand espousals, His many crowns.
2. To the gathering of the redeemed in the heavenly banqueting house.
(1) For the perfect communion.
(2) In the presence of the ever-loving Lord.
3. But if at the table we show the Lord's death, what do we show in the world?
(1) Servants of the Crucified, are we dead with Him?
(2) Saved by His dying love, are we severe to living men?
(3) Talking of the dawn, are we walking in the dark?
(4) Pointing to heaven, are we cleaving to earth?
(J. Richardson, M.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.