The Table of the Lord

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
IT is a mistake to think that the proper blessing, or true character of the Lord's supper is connected with the title "Lord." That word is used as one of authority to guard against associating it with idols, and against profanation—to give it its dignity, and that is all right surely; but the proper word of blessing in it is "Christ"—"the communion of the Body of Christ"—koinonia (communion) and Lordship do not go well together, so when we partake of the Lord's table it is metechein.
Many ideas are current on this subject, and that on the part of those I truly love and value, and used by others with different intent, which I think unfounded. It is insisted that the Table is the Table of the Lord. No one of course doubts it, or that He whose Table it is, is the Lord, has peculiar claim to this title, this distinctive title. But while the heart joyfully owns this name, it is not, nor cannot be the highest and happiest aspect of the Lord's supper, not that which especially belongs to Christians in it. Of course were Christ not the Lord, not only the Table, but Christianity would be gone. But "Lord" is not the name in which Christians have communion there; and that is their precious part in it. "Communion with the Lord" is an ill-sorted term. The term “Lord" is used as to the Table when it is used in contrast with evil, or as a place of dignity and judgment. The Table of the Lord in contrast with the table of devils, the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils. Hence it is added: “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy; are we stronger than he?” Again as to judgment: "This is not to eat the Lord's supper"—"he shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Hence if we would judge ourselves we should not be judged of the Lord; and so on. But when the Apostle speaks of communion, he does not speak of “the Lord"; but "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?” “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” And this is the more remarkable, because the moment he begins, in the same passage, to speak of the authority, contrast as to devils, and judgment of evil, he says always “the Lord," but as to communion not.
The Lord's supper refers both to the Passover and to Sinai: “This do in remembrance of me" evidently alluding to Egypt, and the occasion itself showing the one, "the new covenant in my blood" referring to the other. As Passover it is the recollection of deliverance through One broken for us—deliverance from judgment and wrath; as blood of the covenant, it puts us in a new relationship, on the ground of grace through the forgiveness of sins.