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Sermon Title: Three Looks at the Lord’s Supper
Text: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup” <1 Cor. 11:28, KJV>.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:22 – 29
When participating in the Lord’s Supper, we need to make at least three serious, reverent looks: an inward look, a backward look, and a forward look.
I. We need to look within (1 Cor. 11:28).
If there ever is a time when we should do some serious, reverent heart searching, it is in preparation for taking the Lord’s Supper. Paul says that we are to examine ourselves not to discover whether we are worthy to participate but to determine if we are partaking in a worthy manner and for a worthy purpose.
No one merits the privilege of sitting at the Lord’s Table. By God’s grace, we are given the privilege of becoming his children and having fellowship with him. The psalmist’s prayer is always appropriate as we seek to create a proper attitude for the observance of the Lord’s Supper: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23 – 24).
II. We need to look backward (1 Cor. 11:24 – 25).
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial supper that is to remind us of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for our sins. By inspired imagination, we should sit in the gloom of Gethsemane’s garden and try to enter into the agony of our Savior as he committed himself to the cross on our behalf. We should stand outside the walls of old Jerusalem and survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died. We should let this experience inform our intellect, stir our emotions, and sway our will. We must look back to Calvary if we are to receive the elements of the Lord’s Supper into our mind, heart, attitudes, and ambitions.
III. We need to look forward (1 Cor. 11:26).
By our participation in the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim Christ’s death, and we are to do this until he returns. The most glorious event on the horizon is that moment when the heavens will roll back as a scroll and the Lord Jesus will descend with a shout, with the trumpet of God, and with the voice of the archangel. With the apostle John, we should look forward and pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
To properly participate in the Lord’s Supper, we need to be baptized, committed believers who will take an inward look, backward look, and forward look. These three looks can help us to reverently and meaningfully participate in the Lord’s Supper.
by T. T. Crabtree, adapted from The Zondervan 2015 Pastor’s Annual: An Idea and Resource Book
How to Use This Book
The Pastor’s Annual is for pastors who don’t have enough hours in the day. Packed with a year’s worth of sermons, use this book to enrich your preaching—and to reclaim some time and energy for other areas of your ministry.