WHY DO CHRISTIANS PRACTICE THIS RITUAL?
Once again, we face the daunting word WHY. Perhaps the most important word we can use in life. A truthful answer not only frees us but it also gives us a clearer mandate.
We know WHY we are to remember.
–His death, not life or teachings, may give life to repentant sinners.
His shed blood and death, offered once: “But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:12
Thus we know that giving thanks (eucharist) is an attitude in the heart–that personal salvation through faith and repentance (our Passover) is a once forever event–never to be repeated event. Yet, we will remember them both as the “New Creation” moments that they were and are.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” II Corinthians 5:17
The Lord’s supper is a remembrance for this reason and not a recreation or repetition. In figurative, Passover-speak, Jesus said,
“This bread is my body” “This wine my blood”.
The disciples partook of THAT bread and THAT wine
never to be consumed again.
But we do remember.
Clearing up WHY teaches us that HOW (our hearts condition) is far more significant than HOW OFTEN. A rebellious believer, unburdened by personal sin, with no intention of repentance will only be harmed by more eucharistic endeavor. (I Corinthians 11:27-32)
Yet the humble confessions of repetition and sincerity met with an occasional supper of remembrance is at the heart of our gospel. We know that no one will ever be worthy to remember and partake as a worthy person, yet we all are commanded to partake in a worthy manner—Confession of known sin and an attitude of submission with thanksgiving.
We know that the Lord’s Supper is a BODY thing: Christs’ body and His Church, the body. The Passover and Christs blood are central in the covenant sacrifice. These are some of the the WHY we partake.
NOTE: A NON-CHRISTIAN WOULD NEVER PARTICIPATE IN THE OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER. Hopefully, when unbelievers are present, they will grasp the sobriety and meaning of Christ’s death for them personally and this would translate into their own salvation.
How often do Christians participate and why? (I Corinthians 11)
PERIODIC (whenever you eat)
PERPETUAL (until He comes)
AS A PERSONAL PROCLAMATION ( as you go–proclaim)
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial feast in which we may further understand grace and salvation. (it does not impart grace or salvation) We may be moved by His death in gratitude and remembrance of our own salvation experience, though He died only once and we may be saved only once.
Nowhere is there any indication that His body and blood are to be mysteriously recreated and consumed as cannibals. (transubstantiation)
Creating a campaign of weekly and or daily observance too often indicates church teachings that observing the eucharist contains present, repetitive, redemptive, salvific meaning and thus keeps the customers bound to return, lest they be lost again and again.
When believers are together (two or more) Christ’s presence is also there, whether we observe the Lord’s Supper or not.
“Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.” –Matthew 18:20
“When the time came for Jesus and the apostles to eat, 15 he said to them, “I have very much wanted to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you that I will not eat another Passover meal until it is finally eaten in God’s kingdom.”
17 Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he told the apostles, “Take this wine and share it with each other. 18 I tell you that I will not drink any more wine until God’s kingdom comes.”
19 Jesus took some bread in his hands and gave thanks for it. He broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!”
20 After the meal he took another cup of wine in his hands. Then he said, “This is my blood. It is poured out for you, and with it God makes his new agreement. 21 The one who will betray me is here at the table with me! 22 The Son of Man will die in the way that has been decided for him, but it will be terrible for the one who betrays him!”
23 Then the apostles started arguing about who would ever do such a thing.” Luke 22:14-23 CEV
for more reading: https://openhandspublications.com/2017/11/07/letter-to-a-new-christian/