The Past, Present, and Future Aspects of the Lord’s Supper (Sproul)

The Past, Present, and Future Aspects of the Lord’s Supper (Sproul)

Every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we think about the past, and we remember that there is a future for the people of God; that we are having a foretaste at the Lord’s Table of that ultimate fellowship we will have with Him in heaven.

The Lord’s Supper is a rich sacrament full of meaning and blessing for God’s people. Scripture talks about it in various ways, centered on Christ and his life-giving death. Regarding the Lord’s Supper, R. C. Sproul explained its past, present, and future aspects. Remember this next time you celebrate the holy Supper.

Obviously the Lord’s Supper is concerned about remembering something that took place once for all in time past. Often the words “Do This in Remembrance of Me” are carved into the wood of Communion tables. Jesus exhorted His disciples on many matters to be diligent in their learning and to remember the things that He had taught them. But it is as if the culmination of His teaching came in the upper room when He said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19b). Our Lord said, in essence, “What is about to take place is the acme of My mission. I am about to ratify a new covenant, and I am going to do it in My blood. I am going to offer the atonement by which redemption is secured for My people. Whatever else you do, do not ever forget this.” …

…So, a major dimension of what takes place in the Lord’s Supper is reflection on the cross, but we miss much of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper if we restrict it merely to the remembrance of things past. There is also a future orientation to the Lord’s Supper. This dimension gets less attention from the church than the others, and I am not sure I understand why.

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