Every Lord’s Day we are blessed with an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. Though God intended this to be a time of thoughtful meditation, it can sometimes be a frustrating part of worship. Sometimes other people distract us so that, instead of thinking of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are concentrating on them and their activities. Sometimes our minds drift to lunch plans, the sporting events, or other interests. It frustrates us when, as the Lord’s Supper ends, we realize that our mind has been far from the cross of Jesus. We often pray that the Lord will help us to focus on the sacred event because we know that we can be easily distracted. Over the years, this frustration has caused me to seek ways to keep my mind focused on Jesus’ offering for my sins and my obligation to keep the covenant that I made with God through His blood. Here are some things that have helped me.
- Read the Biblical texts that describe His suffering and death for me. The gospels record the historical events in Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23; and John 18-19. You may find it helpful to read and reread certain sections of each account for a month and meditate on the events that transpired. If you do this for a few months, you will understand the story surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus much better.
- Read prophetic passages that describe the death of Jesus and the reasons for His sacrifice. These help me better understand the eternal plan for Jesus’ death. Psalm 22 describes the crucifixion from the point of view of the cross. It describes the scene of Calvary from Jesus’ perspective. Though it appeared that God had forsaken Jesus, it is clear from verses 21-24 that the Father did not forsake Him, He did not hide His face from His Son, but He heard His Son’s cry. Isaiah 53 describes the crucifixion from the perspective of one standing below the cross of Jesus and observing the surrounding events. Not only did Isaiah vividly describe the suffering of Jesus and the viciousness of the mob that crucified Him, he also reflected on the effect of Jesus’ sacrifice on our salvation. Isaiah emphasized our sinfulness as the reason for Jesus’ death.
- Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. In this passage, Paul rebuked the Corinthians for abuses in their observance of the Lord’s Supper and gave them instructions for observing the feast in a proper manner. He reminded them of Jesus’ command, the seriousness of the memorial, and a warning that those who partake in an unworthy manner would be condemned.
- Read one of the many songs that describe the crucifixion of Jesus. So many songs help us picture the sacrifice of Jesus and remind us of our unworthiness to receive such a wonderful gift. You might want to choose a song and meditate on its message through the feast. Often you will find profound applications that you may have missed while singing the song.
- Write your thoughts on the sacrifice of Jesus and its meaning in your life. If you feel uncomfortable doing this during the supper, perhaps you could write your observances down at home and read and reflect on the thoughts when you observe the communion of our Lord.
These are just a few suggestions to help you maintain a proper focus on this important weekly occasion. Do not let its frequency lead you to complacency or improper observance.