Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26
Following the Sunday morning worship service, my Moscow host took me to lunch at a restaurant outside the Kremlin. Upon arrival, we noticed a line of newlywed couples in wedding garb approaching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall. The happiness of their wedding day intentionally included remembering the sacrifices others had made to help make such a day possible. It was a sobering sight as the couples took pictures by the memorial before laying wedding flowers at its base.
All of us have cause to be thankful for others who’ve made sacrifices to bring a measure of fullness to our lives. None of those sacrifices are unimportant, but neither are those sacrifices the most important. It’s only at the foot of the cross where we see the sacrifice Jesus made for us and begin to understand how thoroughly our lives are indebted to the Savior.
Coming to the Lord’s Table to take Communion reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice—pictured in the bread and cup. Paul wrote, “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). May our times at His Table remind us to live every day in remembrance and gratitude of all Jesus has done in us and for us.
When you approach the Lord’s Table, how do you view it? How can you use it as an opportunity to give thanks for Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf?
Loving God, nothing could ever repay the priceless display of love evidenced in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Help me to display my gratitude for what He’s done for me.
The Greek word epaineō means “to applaud—commend, laud, praise.” The word is used six times in the New Testament; it occurs four times in 1 Corinthians 11, where it’s translated “praise” (vv. 2, 17, 22 [2x]). Paul “praised” the Corinthians for their mindfulness of him and for following his teaching (vv. 2–16), but there was no such commendation (vv. 17–34) for the way they observed the Lord’s Supper. The self-centered indulgence that was going on among them was inconsiderate and harmful (vv. 18–22). What they were (supposedly) commemorating was the self-giving sacrifice of Jesus, yet they’d lost sight of it. Such irony and inconsistency compelled Paul to write, “So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat” (v. 20). His warning—for the Corinthians and for us—is that those who take Communion without due consideration for Christ and others do so in an unworthy manner.