When you are young and meet a young lady or young man that you really like, it’s very difficult to get them out of your mind. You might day dream about them, fall asleep thinking of them and try to use every opportunity possible to see them. Remember the saying (if you are old enough) … the heart pumps custard! Why is it equally true that we just love to spend time with loved ones? Sunday lunches, weekly visits and game nights are scheduled into our calendars. Then we need to beg the question … why is it that we desire to spend little time with Jesus, who ought to mean more to us that and one person … and even all of them put together? I will suggest that the sinful nature driven by a desire for the things of the world tends to captivate and control one’s heart replacing passion for Jesus by passion for materialism and secular things. How does one overcome this grave problem we find ourselves having? Let’s read our text again to see what is says:
Ac 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We have dealt with being devoted to the apostles teaching and the fellowship … now we come to …
(c) Devoted to the breaking of bread. This could mean two things. The first is the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and the second would be a fellowship meal. The context here is the Lord’s Supper. How do we shift our attention and focus from the worldly to the spiritual? Being devoted to the Lord’s Supper!
(1) In anticipation of the Cross, Jesus said at the Last Supper:
Mt 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke adds an important ingredient in verse 19:
Lk 22:19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
In advance Jesus taught them to celebrate His meritorious, momentous substitutional sacrifice to deal with sin and one being alienated from God. This was to be institutionalized by the words “do this in remembrance of me”. Later in time Paul reminds the wayward Church at Corinth of where their focus ought to be:
1Co 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
What Matthew, Luke and Paul record about what Jesus said to remind God’s people of their need to keep the Cross and what happened there, is the focus. Remember the boy falling for the girl and can think of nothing other than that girl? If we are really in love with God, God will be first in our everything. His presence in our hearts will affect our minds and desires. Should we as God’s people play down the importance of Calvary we will play down the importance of the Lord’s Table. We need to see the institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion as God’s instrument for us to keep the main thing in life the main thing … and the main thing is what Jesus did for us on the Cross.
(2) We do not attend the Lord’s Table to be forgiven of the sins committed since last time we gathered. Those who think they can pack the sins in and attend Communion once a week for forgiveness are people who are unsaved and rely on rituals to be made right with God … which is impossible. The Lord’s Table is all about
(i) Praising God for whom He is and what He has done for us at Calvary.
(ii) Thanking God for our salvation in specific. When we think of the repetitive sacrifices and costs in travel to the Temple in Jerusalem and purchasing animals should one not have these for sacrifices … and now we have one sacrifice (Jesus) to deal with all sin and guilt, past, present and future … surely God has been good to us who believe! (Read Leviticus in the Old Testament and Hebrews in the New Testament to get a good grasp of what God has done for all the beloved in Christ.)
(iii) The Lord’s Table must be a perpetual reminder of what God did at Calvary for us. Each time we participate we ought to be, as it were, falling in love with our Savior all over again.
(iv) Putting this all together, the end result is walking away from the Lord’s Table with a greater determination to live in holiness of life! Coming to the Table means a pledge for holiness because the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus was to deal with sin so that people might live in holiness of life.
(3) However there is a caution for God’s people and anyone participating at the Lord’s Table that ought not to be there!
1Co 11:27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
Verse 30 here deals with the results and effects of coming to the Table laden with willful sin as a believer and coming as an unbeliever. To prevent the Lord’s anger, individuals ought to examine themselves seriously before coming to the Table and the Church leaders ought to prevent those under discipline, living in sin, doctrinally in error and the unconverted from supping at the Table.
Thank You Lord for this vivid reminder of Your grace at Calvary. Amen.