Lord's Supper Service - 5-31-2020

Series: Special Occasions

May 31, 2020
Brad Shockley

Episode Notes

Lord’s Supper Service Online


Thanks for joining. Be sure and get your communion kits ready or juice and crackers as we take a break from the IN Between Years study today. Let’s pray.


In the last few months I have had to do a lot of things I’ve never done before. I’ve had to wait in a line at Sams to get in the door. I’ve had to hunt for toilet paper and hamburger meat. I’ve had to wear a mask and it wasn’t Halloween. I’ve had to have meetings online using ZOOM. I’ve had to preach to an empty sanctuary. It’s all good though.

I’m sure you’ve had to do many things you’ve never done before either. We are doing something today I am sure we have never ever done before at PVFBC. 

We are celebrating the Lord’s Supper together from home.

So, if you haven’t already, get your communion kits and set them on the coffee table. If you didn’t get a kit grab some crackers and juice or kool-aid or whatever you have and celebrate this special occasion with us.

Before we begin, as I often do before we have communion or the Lord’s Supper as it’s also called, I’d like to ask and answer a few questions about it.

The first is the most obvious… 

Why do we do it? 

The answer is easy and direct. We celebrate the Lord’s Supper because Jesus commanded us to. The night before the crucifixion, Jesus gathered the disciples together to share one last meal…

Luke 22:14–20 (ESV) — 14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Did you see what Jesus said in v.19? Do this in remembrance of me. We do this because Jesus said to. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is an opportunity to obey Jesus. I’m all for that.

The second question I’d like to ask and to answer is…

What does it mean?

This requires understanding more about what the disciples did that night at the Last Supper. It was most likely associated with a celebration Jews participate in to this day called the Passover meal (v. 15). The Passover meal reminded God’s chosen people, the Israelites, of what he’d done for them more than a thousand years earlier.

They were enslaved at that time in Egypt by a wicked ruler and were suffering. Moses was raised up by God  to stand against pharaoh and demanded “Let my people go!” Pharaoh wouldn’t let God’s people go, so a series of plagues followed. The last, the tenth, was the worst. The firstborn of every household in Egypt would die unless the doorposts had the blood of a lamb applied. Those that did would be “passed over” by the angel of death.This led to their deliverance and freedom. Ultimately God would make a covenant with the Israelites through Moses.

The connections here are striking and intentional. Jesus is the deliver like Moses but better whom God raised up to redeem us from the bondage and slavery of sin. Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God who took our place on the cross, the one whose blood made it possible for us to be made right with God — that’s the new and better covenant he talked about. 

Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper as New Testament Christians, we remember how we were delivered just like the Jews who celebrate Passover; we reflect on the new covenant God made with us through Jesus, a covenant that required the spilling of his blood. 

Here’s another good question about the Lord’s Supper…

Who is it for? 

It’s exclusively for Christians, for those who have believed in Jesus and received like a gift his living the life they should have lived and dying the death they should have died.

That sounds kind of elitist, doesn’t it? Kind of highfaluten.  It’s not meant to, I promise. You see, the Lord’s Supper points to something so special and precious — the crucifixion of Jesus, his resurrection, his return, and the new covenant sealed by his blood  —  it would be crazy inappropriate for people who haven’t become a part of that covenant to participate.

If you’re watching this morning and haven’t done that yet, please don’t feel bad. We are so glad you’re here. You can just observe and not feel awkward about it at all. But I do want to talk to you again in just a minute. 

Another question we should ask and answer is… 

How do we prepare?

Listen to what Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians about the Lord’s Supper… 

1 Corinthians 11:27–28 (ESV) — 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

Even in the early church, there were those who lost sight of its meaning. They took it lightly and abused what was supposed to be a cherished time for God’s people. 

Paul warned them and us to examine ourselves first.

He wasn’t saying the Lord’s Supper is only for those walking in perfect fellowship, only for those not struggling with failures. Good gracious alive no.

Paul spoke here of those who claimed to know Christ yet lived in open rebellion against Him. They weren’t convicted of or sorry for their sin. They came to the table callously.


If you are here today and there is failure, there is conviction and sorrow, the Lord’s Table is for you!


We prepare today by examining ourselves and confessing our sins. By coming to the table boldly, but humbly.


Conclusion: I’ve got one last question and it’s one I can’t answer. Only you can.


If you’re excluding yourself from celebrating communion with us today because you’re not a Christian, you’ve never come to God through faith and repentance…


Why wouldn’t you do something about that?


I admire and appreciate you taking communion seriously. Paul would too because you have a better understanding of how important it is unlike some of those who claimed to be Christians back in the church at Corinth.


But even though the Lord’s Supper is exclusive, it’s only for Christians, becoming able to partake is unbelievably inclusive. The Bible says, God promises…


13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13 (ESV)


You see what Jesus did in living the life we should have lived and dying the death we should have died is something he wants to give to you like a gift. It’d have to be because none of us could ever earn something like that. Look at what Paul wrote to the Ephesians…


8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)


Why wouldn’t anyone want that gift? What’s keeping you from taking God up on his offer today? What’s keeping you from doing something about this?


Do you feel like you’re not good enough, that God couldn’t accept someone like you? If so, I’ve got good news, you’re so ready. That’s exactly what God is looking for in those who want to come to him.


In Luke’s gospel, chapter 18, beginning in verse 9…


9 Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else: 10 Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.


What a contrast! Pharisees were the most religious people on the planet. They kept all God’s rules on the outside. They were suit-wearing, Bible carrying, holy living, church going folks. Tax collectors were considered the greatest of all sinners. The opposite of a pharisee.

11 The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. 12 I go without eating for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn.” 13 The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, have pity on me! I am such a sinner.” 14 Then Jesus said, “When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.”  Luke 18:9–14 (CEV)


That’s called a twist! It was the fellow who realized how unworthy he was, how far away from God he was that God accepted.


If all you can think about this morning is how unworthy you are, how far from God you are, that’s all God wants from you. You are this close! Just turn him and let him handle the rest.


Do you want to believe but feel like you fall short of having the faith God wants from you? You lean towards accepting Jesus as God Son and your savior but you have some doubts. I’ve got good news for you as well. You’re ready. That’s all God needs.


I know this because in the gospels a desperate father brought his sick child to Jesus for healing. He suffered from terrible seizures and wasn’t able to talk.


21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:21–24 (ESV)


In other words, the father could put a foot on the first rung of the faith ladder but no more. He wanted to believe fully but wasn’t able. It was enough because Jesus healed his boy.


If all you can do is put one foot on the ladder of faith this morning, that’s all God needs. Turn to him and he’ll supply the rest!


Listen to what Tim Keller says…


Helplessness, not holiness, is the first step to accessing the presence of God. Isn’t this good news, everybody? Jesus does not say, “I am the glory of God in human form. How dare you come before me with your doubts? Purify your heart. Confess all known sin. Get rid of all of your doubts. Get rid of your double-mindedness. Go away, and when you come back and you have really surrendered to me totally and you’ve really, really, really worked all the doubt out of your heart and you can come before me with a pure heart, then you can come before me and ask for your healing and your blessing.”

He doesn’t do that. Boy, not at all. Jesus is telling us… saving faith is not to say, “I’m faithful; now bless me.” See, when you say, “I’ve lived a faithful life; now bless me,” that’s faith in you. That’s being your own savior and lord. It’s not faith in him. But to say (which is what the boy’s father says), “I’m not faithful; I am riddled with doubts, and I cannot muster the strength necessary to meet my moral and spiritual challenges, but help me,” that’s saving faith.

To say, “I don’t have faith, I’m riddled with doubts, I’m not faithful, but help me,” is faith in Jesus instead of you. Jesus says, “When you say that, my power is released into your life, because now, finally, you have faith in me.” Remember the absolute difference between the religions of the world and Christianity. Religion says, “You give God a good record; then God owes you blessing.” Christianity says, “God gives you, at infinite cost to himself, a perfect record through Jesus Christ by grace, and then you live gladly for him.”…

Here’s a man who says, “I don’t have faith. I have all my doubts. I don’t have what it takes, but help me,” and Jesus says, “I can work with that,” because that is saving faith. It’s a way of saying, “Accept me not because of what I am but of what you are.” Isn’t that good news? The first step into …the presence of God is not holiness; it’s helplessness.[1]


How do you turn to God? Come to him though faith (even if it’s just one rung) and repentance (realizing just  how unworthy and helpless you are). Call on his name.


You can do that right now. And if you do, you are welcome to partake of the Lord’s Supper for the first time as one of God’s children. And you need to let us know so we help you on your new faith journey.


Use these next few minutes to do whatever you need to do to prepare for the Lord’s Supper this morning.


























INVITATION - “All are Invited” video allowing for time of reflection and repentance

Lord’s Supper Begins as instrumental music softly plays…

Serve the bread - instrumental

Pastor Brad:
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 

PRAY & Partake

SONG —————

Serve the juice - instrumental

Pastor Brad:
In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

PRAY & partake


For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:23–26, ESV) 


[1] Keller, T. J. (2013). The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive. New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

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