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THE MEANING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, February 4, 2018

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:23-26).


I have read all four verses on the Lord’s Supper. But I will only speak directly from the last verse,

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

You may be seated.

When we take the Lord’s Supper we eat a piece of unleavened bread. Then we take the cup and drink the juice of the grapes. The Lord’s Supper speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ – it speaks of Christ’s flesh – it speaks of His Blood – it speaks of Jesus’ dying love for us. It speaks of His death on the Cross in our place. It speaks of Jesus’ suffering on the Cross and His cleansing Blood. Today Jesus is in Heaven, seated at the right side of God the Father. Thus the Lord’s Supper speaks of what Jesus did for us in the past, of the death of the Saviour, and the shedding of His Holy Blood.

I. First, let us take a look at the past.

The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Jesus’ death for us. Whenever we eat the bread and drink the juice it reminds us of the awful price Jesus paid to save our souls from judgment for our sin.

Looking backwards to the time of Christ’s crucifixion, we see a symbol of what Jesus did when He was on this earth. What do we eat and drink? Simply bread and the juice of grapes. The bread must be broken. Dr. Hymers always takes a piece of bread and breaks it. The broken bread is a picture of Christ’s body broken for us when they flogged Him and nailed Him to a cross.

The cup too speaks of Christ’s suffering. The grapes are gathered and thrown into a winepress, and crushed. The juice reminds us of the precious Blood of Jesus, flowing from His hands and feet and side – as He suffered and bled for us on the Cross.

You cannot separate the two. The bread and the juice must be taken together just as we are told to in the four verses I read (I Corinthians 11:23-26). You must have them both. So on the table you have two symbols that show the intense suffering of Jesus. Some preachers say that the Blood is just another word for the death of Jesus. But the Lord’s Supper proves that they are wrong. The bread and the cup are two different things. This shows that the death of Christ’s body (the bread) is not the same thing as the cup of juice (the Blood). This also shows us that the Mass is not Scriptural. The priest only gives people the bread. But we are told to eat the bread and drink of the cup.

Let us come, then, and think of Jesus. He died for you, in your place on the Cross, as a substitute, so you do not have to be punished for your sin. And then we drink from the cup. The juice of grapes symbolizes His precious Blood, shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Two things – the death that pays for our sin, and the Blood that cleanses us from our sin. Both were necessary for our salvation when we came to Jesus by faith.

Jesus died for you. His body was cut to pieces by the cruel flogging he went through. Then the crimson red Blood – His life poured out to cleanse your sin in the sight of God. You and I did not see Christ die. But we see past the Lord’s Supper. By faith we see Jesus crucified and bleeding, to save us from the penalty of our sin. And we see by faith the Blood He shed to cleanse us!

“As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come”
         (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

II. Second, the present message of the Lord’s Supper.

It says to us that it must be celebrated. I am to “shew the Lord’s death till he come.” The Lord’s Supper is to remind us of Christ’s suffering and death. We must often be reminded of the dying Jesus. Whatever else we do in church let His death and His Blood be given first place in our hearts! We must always remember Christ and what He did for us! That is why Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper – to remind us always of His dying love for us! The Lord’s Supper reminds us, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The present message of the Lord’s Supper is a message that is for everyone, saved or lost. Christians can become discouraged when they are struggling through the trials of life. Jesus said while we were on earth, that we would experience tribulation. Sometimes Christians feel that it is all very hopeless. And that is why Christians must be reminded of the message of the Lord’s Supper. They must be reminded of the core of their life and of their faith. The message that Jesus was taken as a spotless Lamb for your sin. The message that Jesus went willingly and without protest to the awful Cross for you. The message that Jesus loved you so much that He came down from His throne to die a criminal’s death because of the love that He had for your soul. When a Christian is reminded of what Jesus did, for their soul, for their sin, for their life, he is filled with a sense of humility and wonder and love. When Christians are reminded through the message of the Lord’s Supper of their Saviour, when there are eyes are returned to Jesus, the things of the world grow strangely dim, in the Light of His Glory and Grace.

And if you are not a Christian, the message of the Lord’s Supper is present, and important, and necessary for you today. It is a declaration of the Gospel. You have a problem that you cannot solve. It is the most important problem in the world. Your problem is your sin. If you try to run away from your sin or put it off for some other time, your sin will fester and get worse. You cannot run away from this sin problem, it will follow you wherever you go, even into the depths of your flaming eternity.

Your sin problem is planted into your nature, and from your heart, it blossoms into pure selfishness and wickedness. Your sin problem cannot be ignored without consequence. You must face your sin. You must acknowledge your sin and repent of it. You must sense the selfishness of yourself and your helplessness, and your need for a Saviour. Only then, will the Gospel suddenly appear as the Good News that it is. Only then, will you suddenly reach for the broken Body and shed Blood of Jesus. The Lord’s Supper has a message for you today. It directs you to the sacrifice of Jesus. It shows your soul that there is life in the Death and Blood of the Lamb who rose from the Grave. Reach out in faith, and take the Blood of Jesus. Reach out in faith, and trust the Saviour.

III. Third, the Lord’s Supper points to Christ’s Second Coming.

“Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:26). Yes, Jesus is coming again! The Lord’s Supper points to the past, when Jesus was on earth. But the Lord’s Supper also points to the future, to that glorious day when Jesus will come down from Heaven and set up His Kingdom on earth. You who serve Him – remember, Jesus will come again! The Lord’s Supper assures us that He will come!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us;
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us, joy’s cup runneth o’er!
He is coming again, He is coming again,
   The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
   With power and great glory, He is coming again!
(“He is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).

Sing the chorus with me. Stand and sing it.

He is coming again, He is coming again,
   The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
He is coming again, He is coming again,
   With power and great glory, He is coming again!

That’s right! Christ is coming again, down through the clouds, to the top of the Mount of Olives! And He will reign for a thousand years! “Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come”!

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives... and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zechariah 14:4, 5).

We wait for Jesus to come through the clouds in glory. We expect Him to come to reign on the earth for a thousand years! You who have been redeemed by His death and cleansed by His Blood are children of the living God. Wait for Jesus. He will surely come. Every hour brings us closer to His Second Coming!

Christ’s Second Coming will be better than the Lord’s Supper. If we remember Christ in the Lord’s Supper, it will be even better when He comes down from Heaven the second time. When we see Him again there will be no need for the Lord’s Supper to remind us of Him – for we shall see Him face to face in that day! We will see for ourselves the nail prints in His hands, the wound in His side – and His glorious face smiling at us as we behold Him! When Christ comes again we will no longer need the Lord’s Supper to remind us of Him. He will be with us for ever!

Now stand and sing hymn number 3. Sing it to the tune of “Amazing Grace.” Please stand and sing it from your heart, and think of the words while you sing.

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.
   (“There Is a Fountain” by William Cowper, 1731-1800;
      sung to the tune of “Amazing Grace”).

You may be seated.

Immanuel is another name for Jesus. “There is a fountain filled with Blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.” I believe that. Jesus took His Blood to Heaven. It is there to cleanse you from all sin. “And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, Lose all their guilty stains.” Trust Jesus in simple faith and the Blood will cleanse you from all your guilty stains. Then in stanza three, “Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious Blood shall never lose its power.” How true! The Blood of Jesus cleansed my sin when I trusted Him as a fifteen-year-old boy. But the Blood of Jesus “will never lose its power.” Today, if you trust Jesus, His Blood will make you as clean as it did me that day. Now look at stanza four, “E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die.” It’s true! Yes, it’s true! The Lord’s Supper proclaims it! This hymn proclaims it! Christ’s Blood is redeeming love. The moment you trust Jesus you will be redeemed by His Blood! Stand and sing the first four stanzas again!

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he, wash all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.

You may be seated.

Are you still lost? Do you want Jesus to cleanse you from sin? You may have had a false conversion. Don’t be afraid to come again. Many people have had several false conversions before they truly trusted Jesus. Come again and again until you do trust Jesus. I’m going to have our people sing the first and third stanzas one more time. While they sing stanzas 1 and 3 you come and stand here in front of the pulpit.

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.

Dr. Cagan, please come and pray for someone to trust Jesus this morning. Then thank God for the food we are going to have upstairs. (Dr. Cagan prays). All right, the rest of you can go upstairs now, while we speak with those who came forward. Amen.


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Only Trust Him” (by John H. Stockton, 1813-1877).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE MEANING OF THE LORD’S SUPPER

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come” (I Corinthians 11:23-26).

I.    First, let us take a look at the past, I Corinthians 11:26.

II.   Second, the present message of the Lord’s Supper, Acts 16:31.

III.  Third, the Lord’s Supper points to Christ’s Second Coming,
I Corinthians 11:26; Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4, 5.