The primary biblical text on the nature and meaning of the Lord’s Supper/Table and Communion is 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. Here are ten brief observations on what we see in this text.
1) The Lord’s Supper is primarily (but not exclusively) designed to elicit or to stimulate in our hearts remembrance of the person and work of Jesus: “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:25).
2) This remembrance is commanded. Participation at the Lord’s Table is not an option. Prolonged absence from it is spiritually unhealthy and willful neglect of it may be grounds for church discipline.
3) This remembrance entails symbolism through tangible elements: Just as food and drink are essential to sustain physical existence, so also the blessings and benefits that are the believer’s in the body and blood of Christ are paramount to our spiritual flourishing.
4) It is a personal remembrance. We are to remember Jesus. The focus isn’t on Abraham or Moses or Isaiah. The focus is no longer on the Jewish Passover or the night of his betrayal or anything else. The focus is Jesus. “Do this in remembrance of ME” (1 Cor. 11:25).
5) In this remembering there is also confession. In partaking of the elements we declare: “Christ gave his body and blood for me. He died for me.”
6) In this remembering we also proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes. This, then, is not merely an ordinance that looks to the past. It is an ordinance of hope that points to the future.
7) To partake of the Lord’s Table in an unworthy manner (v. 27) is to take it without regard to its true worth, not yours. To partake unworthily is to come complacently, light-heartedly, giving no thought to that which the elements signify.
8) To be “guilty of the body and blood of the Lord” (v. 27) is to treat as common or profane something which is sacred. The Lord’s Supper is not just another meal.
9) Hence, we are to “examine ourselves” (v. 28). We are to test our motives and attitudes as we approach the table to be certain we are partaking for the right reasons and with the right understanding of what the elements represent.
10) Finally, failure to do so may lead to divine discipline (1 Cor. 11:29-34). Such chastisement from the Father is in order that believers may be spared the condemnation that comes to the unbelieving world.
Adapted from SamStorms.com