The Lord’s Supper, so called because our Lord instituted it, is also known as the Sacrament of the Altar because it is received at the altar. It is also known as Holy Communion. Communion is a compound word which means “in common with” or “union with.” It is a communion as described in 1 Corinthians 10:16, ” 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?” In a mysterious way there is a union between the wine and the blood of Christ, and the bread and the body of Christ. This is a miracle. This passage declares that the body and blood of Christ are really present in the Sacrament. It is a commentary on our Savior’s words of institution. He broke the bread and gave it to his disciples saying, “This IS my body. . .” He gave them the cup to drink and said, “This cup IS the new testament in my blood.” Scripture teaches then what we call the REAL PRESENCE. This we believe though we cannot either understand it or explain it other than to say this is what our Lord said, and this is the way it is! It is a matter of faith. Unless one believes the words of our Lord concerning the REAL PRESENCE he receives the sacrament to his judgment. Scripture says, “Whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27). ” He that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (11:29).
For whom then did the Lord institute this wonderful supper of salvation? Not for perfect people, but for sinners. But what kind of sinners? Penitent sinners. A penitent sinner is one who recognizes the reality of sin in his life, confesses his sin, believes in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and believes that in the Sacrament there is forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. The Sacrament of the Altar is a means of grace through which the Lord gives us the blessings which He won for us on the cross. The forgiveness pronounced through the sacrament is no greater than that which is spen in the Word itself as it is preached or pronounced in the absolution on Sunday. The blessing of the Sacrament lies in the fact that it conveys in a very personal and most intimate fashion the forgiveness which comforts the heart. It is as if the Lord called each communicant by name and said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” For that reason the Christian will want to receive the sacrament often and not neglect it. He will enjoy it in communion with his fellow believers.