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The Power of the Lord’s Supper
by Rose Weiner

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus,

Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!

Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!

Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love

Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!

How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!

How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;

How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!

’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;

And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

– Samuel Trevor Francis, London, 1875

In deepest despair, Samuel Francis stood on the bridge over the river Thames in London, contemplating throwing himself in the water and committing suicide. At that moment, he had a life changing encounter with the Lord Jesus that transformed his life. He went on from there to write this song among many. He went on to become a preacher and a Christian businessman.

When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,“Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!” (Mark 11:8-10)

How would you like to experience the ecstasy of God’s love and Presence expressed in the hymn above, everyday of your life. Here is the good news you can. How? You might ask. Keep reading.

One Man’s Attempt to Experience God’s Presence

Thomas Merton tells of a priest who wanted to get closer to God so he decided to dedicate two years to seeking God alone. He went to live in a cave and cut himself off from all outside conversation and every worldly distraction. He had his meals placed outside the cave so he never had to see or talk to anyone to disrupt his noble endeavor.

Strangely, when this priest came back to society after those two years, he wasn’t any closer to God than he was before he had entered the cave two years ago. Why? Merton surmises, because he was trying to reach intimacy with God through his own striving and self-effort and sacrifice, when Jesus has already opened up the way. The torn veil signifies that Jesus has opened up the way for all to enter into the very Presence of God. This same veil once shut all of Israel out and prohibited the Israelites from gaining access into God’s Holy Presence. Under the New Covenant, that system has been done away with, and a new and living way into God’s Holy Presence has been opened up. But practically, what is that way?

The Key

Communion, partaking of the Lord’s Supper, the body and blood of Christ is the way — it is the key to experiencing this very deep Presence of God. Down through the ages in Christian liturgy, the Lord’s table has been called “the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

It is the meal that leads to intimacy. In sacramental churches such as the Episcopal and the Catholic where Communion is the central feature of the service the invitation to partake is given to the congregation saying, “Welcome to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”

You would be surprised at how many Christians think the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is a big banquet in the sky, and imagine their favorite foods will be served there — fried chicken and chocolate pie if you are from the South sounds good— hence the phrase “ pie in the sky when you die.”

You are a King and a Priest

You don’t have to go to church to partake of Holy Communion. You can practice this in your daily devotions. John tells us in Revelation that Jesus “has made us a nation of priests and kings.” You need no priest to officiate at the altar for you. You can absolutely consecrate the bread and grape juice or wine to the Lord. Ask His Presence to fill it.

However, when you partake of the Lord’s Supper, make sure you do it in a worthy manner. Ask the Lord first of all to search your heart for any unconfessed sin or unforgiveness. Forgive others as you want the Lord to forgive you. Then partake of the Lord’s Supper in faith. Remember His death, drink deeply of His blood. Ask Jesus to sanctify your life and bring you in contact with His abiding Presence.

Jesus promised, “If you eat my flesh and drink my blood you abide in me and I in you.” (see John 6) Meditate on the verses above and see if you, too, experience His Presence sweep over you and rise up within you like a flood. Take time to bask in His Holy Presence — this alone is transforming. Even the youngest believer can experience this.

This Cup is the New Covenant

Did you ever think about Jesus’ last words to His disciples in which He spoke His last will and testament before He was delivered up to be crucified? He delivered those words at the Passover supper as He passed the bread and the cup of wine ? And what were those words? “This bread is my body which is broken for you. This cup is the New Covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you can to remember Me.”

There is something very powerful here that most Christians are missing — “the cup” Jesus said, “is the New Covenant.” Pause and think about that for a moment. The early church understood this and “broke bread” (reference to the Lord’s supper) “from house to house daily.” In fact, the communion service was so much a part of the celebration of the early church that one of the excuses the Romans gave for throwing the Christians to the lions was that they were cannibals and drank human blood.

This command to eat His body and drink His blood was given by our Lord when He was just laying down His life for our sakes. These are His dying words, and His expressed will to all His followers for all time to come. To neglect taking the Lord’s Supper and treat this commandment lightly is to not understand the great power it contains and to lightly esteem all that Jesus has done for us. As a result, we forfeit a great measure of God’s blessings and promises and forfeit the power of His Presence we could be experiencing everyday that is communicated to us through it.

If we trace the word “remember” back to its roots in the Greek, we find its root meaning is “to abide, dwell, be present.” A rendering of this passage using the root meaning reads, “Do this as often as you will to abide, to dwell, to be present in Me. This meaning coincides with Jesus’ teaching, “He who eats my flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me.” (Strongs’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Greek Dictionary of the New Testament Entries # 364, 363, 3403, 3415, 3306).

The Communion Celebration

After Paul was converted, in the opening chapter of Galatians, Paul tells us that he spent three years being personally taught the Gospel by Jesus, the Resurrected Christ, before he started preaching. Evidently Jesus though that taking Holy Communion was so important Paul tells the Corinthian church, “I have this from theL ord, the Lord Jesus, on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ ” (1. Cor. 11:23-25) Jesus told Paul this was His last will and testament.

Paul also told the Corinthian church that the power in the Lord’s Supper is so great that it has the power to heal your physical body as well as to condemn you if you drink it in an unrepentant stat : “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that ea and drink unworthily, eat and drink damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.t 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep

The Testimony of Christian Giants

Martin Luther, the great Protestant Reformer of the 16th Century, explained that the most important sacraments of the church that should never be done away with are water baptism and Holy Communion. Of Holy Communion, Luther explained that “the Presence of God is communicated to the believers through the elements of the bread and the wine.”

John Wesley, 17th Century evangelist, who restored to the church the truth that we must be “born again” and led the greatest spiritual awakening to ever overtake the English speaking people, had this to say about the Lord’s Supper: “This is the food of our souls. This gives us strength to perform our duty, and leads us on to perfection. If, therefore, we have any regard for the plain command of Christ, if we desire the pardon of our sins, if we wish for strength to believe, to love and obey God, then we should neglect no opportunity of receiving the Lord’s Supper.”

C. S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity, “There are three things that spread the Christ-life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different people call by different names—Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord’s Supper . . . I cannot see why these things should be conductors of the new kind of life. We have to take reality as it comes. But though I cannot see why it should be so, I can tell you why I believe it is so. It seems plain as a matter of history that Jesus taught His followers that the new life was communicated in this way. In other words, I believe it on His authority.”

If you enjoyed this study on Holy Communion, you will enjoy our Bible Studies for a Firm Foundation. This book contains a Bible Study on the Power of the Lord’s Supper and offers you an excellent opportunity to study the foundational precepts of God’s Word. Make sure you build your spiritual life on the firm foundations of God’s Word. Take time to mediate on God’s Word and draw near to Him through this outstanding study. And we promise you, your live will be transformed.

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