Do you know what the bread and wine of communion point to? A book by John Stott titled The Cross of Christ helps us more fully appreciate the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. It expanded my understanding of the cross in profound ways. In his book , Stott unpacks the meaning behind communion and during this Holy Week I would like to share with you three lessons that communion teaches us.
- It teaches us about the the centrality of Christ’s death.
On the day before Jesus died he could have asked his followers to remember anything, but the one thing he asked them to remember regularly was his death. Communion reminds us of the significance of his death.
- It teaches us about the purpose of Christ’s death.
The Old Testament pointed to the need for blood to be shed for the forgiveness of sins. Communion reminds us that the blood of Jesus provided forgiveness and it was the only way for forgiveness to be final.
- It teaches us about the need to appropriate Christ’s death personally.
Stott says “The eating and drinking are a vivid acted parable of receiving Christ as our crucified Savior and of feeding on him in our hearts by faith… For him to give his body and blood in death was one thing; for us to make the blessings of his death our own is another” (Cross of Christ p. 70). When we participate in this meal it becomes a personal expression of faith in what Christ’s death accomplished.
This Easter week, as we prepare to join at the table, let us meditate on and remember the purpose and power of the communion meal.