Category: Lord’s Supper Devotionals


When Jesus was born, the angel appeared to Joseph and told him he and Mary would have a son. Matthew comments that this all took place to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matt. 1:22-23 NIV

“God with us” is such a beautiful expression. Ezekiel used a similar thought to describe the ushering in of the city of God – the New Jerusalem:

“And the name of the city from that time on will be:

THE LORD IS THERE. Ezek. 48:35 NIV

The key feature of the New Jerusalem is the very presence of God. In Revelation, John wrote that in the New Jerusalem there will be no temple nor sun because God and the Lamb are there and will be both the temple and the light.
In Acts 17, Paul told the men at the Areopagus:

27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:27 NIV

James reminded the brethren of God’s nearness to true believers:

8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Jas. 4:8a ESV
As we consider the Lord’s Supper, Christ ordained this feast to be celebrated as a regular reminder of his nearness to us. In the bread and the wine, we see the very body of Jesus – his flesh and his blood. Our obedience to keeping this observance is tied to his presence with us, even as Jesus said this:
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:22-23 ESV
On this Christmas day, many will contemplate the words of Isaiah and Matthew: “He shall be called Immanuel (which means God with us)”. He was with us in his birth and remains with us in his death, resurrection and glorification. Could there be a more fitting way for Christians to observe this truth than to eat the Lord’s Supper?

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Immanuel: the name assigned to the Messiah by the prophet Isaiah. Immanuel means “God with us”, and it’s easy to see how this might be applied to the baby Jesus. God had truly come in the flesh. This Isaiah passage gets thrown around a good bit this time of year. Many Christians take time leading up to December 25 to reflect on and remember the birth of Jesus in a variety of ways. Some choose not to recognize the holiday in this light. Either way, every Christian should know there is something much more significant than the mere fact that Jesus was born. You might be surprised to know that early Christmas traditions recognized this.

Early Christmas trees were trimmed a little differently than the average decorated tree today. First, candles were commonly placed on the tree to represent Christ – the “light of the world”. I’ve never been sure how the candle thing worked on a dry tree, but today candles have been replaced by electric lights. In addition to this, some would hang wafers of bread on the tree. Why would this be?

The Eucharist meal/Lord’s Supper employs unleavened bread (commonly in the form of small wafers) to commemorate the fleshly body of Jesus sacrificed on the cross. This same fleshly body was raised again the third day. In this way, early Christmas traditions connected a recognition of Jesus’ birth with the ultimate purpose of his incarnation – his death.

The truth is, Jesus birth cannot stand alone. Without his atoning death, his birth is meaningless…a notable birth, but ultimately a pointless birth. In the same way, without his birth, the cross is meaningless. If God had not come in the flesh, he could not have been an effective sacrificial representative of mankind or “sympathized with all our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15).

By connecting his birth to his death with a wafer-adorned Christmas tree, perhaps early celebrants of Christmas were more aware than we might give them credit about the true significance of Jesus coming in the flesh. Anyone who regards Christmas today in honor of Jesus Christ should have the same mindset. There is much to celebrate in the birth of Christ and even more to celebrate in his life, death and resurrection. All of it is worthy of our praise and worship of the Father, and these various aspects of Jesus’ life are inextricably connected.

Finally, beyond his birth, death and resurrection, we look forward to his appearing again and the resurrection of our own bodies into new, heavenly bodies. The Lord’s Supper is a constant reminder that Jesus Christ was born in the flesh, died in the flesh and arose in the flesh. He is Immanuel – with us then, with us now, and with us forever in the New Heavens and New Earth.

In Numbers 14, the Israelites were in a tight spot at the border of Canaan.

Just over 2 years earlier, they had been delivered by God from cruel Egyptian slavery in a stunning display of power and mercy. Just before this deliverance occurred, God told them to eat a meal of roast lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. This was set as an annual ordinance known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread or the Passover. In Numbers 9, the Bible says on the first month of the second year after they left Egypt, God commanded Moses to have the Israelites observe the Passover as he had appointed.

Now a short time later in chapter 14, the Jews were at the brink of entering the Promised Land.  Ten out of twelve of their spies told them they should forget all about conquering the mighty nations found there. Some of the people said, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt” (Numbers 14:3-4). For a people who had celebrated the Passover memorial possibly only a few months earlier, how could this be?

If the Jews were faithful to God’s other directions pertaining to this feast, then this had occurred during all their Passover observance:

26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Ex. 12:26-27

What does it say of a people who could be so reminded of God’s deliverance from their condition of deplorable bondage but who turn their backs on God at the first sign of trouble? The people didn’t just express concern over entering the land or some understandable trepidation about the conquest of it. They said, “That’s it. Let’s throw out the LORD and Moses, find a new leader, and go back to the land of our slavery!”

Considering their recent observance of the Passover, we could easily say they had observed it in an “unworthy manner”. By their outward display, they said, “Yes, we are God’s people”, but inwardly, their hearts were in rebellion against God.

We should see some similarities between this story and the time Paul chastises the Corinthians for their shameful treatment of each other at the Lord’s Supper and says,

27 So then, 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 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. I Cor. 11:27 NIV

If we outwardly observe the supper, but our heart is not God’s, there is no purpose in the supper – there is only judgment.

For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.  I Cor. 11:29 NIV

In the context, Paul is addressing the church treating each other with contempt while observing the supper.  This revealed hearts not acting consistently with the gospel – not being compelled by the love of Christ.  Their actions displayed their fleshly, sinful hearts.

If our heart desires to “choose another leader and return to Egypt” – essentially rejecting Christ and returning to our state of bondage to sin – the supper is meaningless for us. As we take the Lord’s Supper we must guard our hearts against a rebellious desire for any other leader but Christ and any other object of our worship, which will be displayed in the way we love others.



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