Worthy Eating and Drinking
One of our Scottish preachers used to say that the believer has three looks at the Lord’s Table. There is, first, a retrospective look. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration, a celebration of an event in the past. It is an aid to us in remembering the pivotal, redemptive point of history, the point at which the Son of God died for his people. It is not a re-enactment of the sacrifice, but it is a dramatic visual aid to faith as it looks back over history to the point at which the sacrificial lamb died for us.
Second, there is a prospective look in the sacrament. It looks forward as surely as it looks back. It anticipates the return of the Lord. It belongs to the design of the Lord’s Supper that it is a temporary arrangement “till he comes.” The bride of Christ does not remember the death of her bridegroom as a widow but as one who longs for the day when the bridegroom will return to take her home.
But, third, there must be an introspective look in the sacrament. We are called to look inward as we participate, to prepare for the Lord’s Table by examining ourselves. We are not called to be self-obsessed, but we are called to be self-aware, to bring ourselves under the scrutiny of God’s Word even as God’s Word invites us to come to the feast.