The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper will be administered tomorrow during morning worship. As I prepare to (administer and) commune on the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been thinking about the elements of bread and wine. We do not consider the elements in themselves that often- we spend more time thinking about what they represent (blood and flesh). But each aspect of the Lord's Supper is intended to communicate a great truth about the mystery of the Gospel.
John Willson wrote a very useful catechism on the Sacraments in the late 18th century. Here is just a small sampling of what he says about common bread and table wine:
Bread, in order to nourish us must first be sown, and die in the earth; so Christ's body behoved to die, and be buried in the earth, in order to feed and nourish our souls. Bread must be prepared by threshing, bruising, and grinding in the mill and baking in the oven; so Christ, that he might be a fit savior to us, was content to be bruised between the millstones of God's justice and our sins, and to be scorched in the oven of his father's wrath.
Wine, in order to prepare it for our use, must be squeezed out of the grape, which for that end is crushed and bruised in the wine press; so our blessed savior was crushed in the wine press of his father's justice, till the precious juice of his sacred body did gush out, for the saving of our souls. None could afford our perishing souls for this remedy, but Christ alone: hence it is said, 'he has trodden the wine press alone'.
Wine does refresh and cheer the heart of man- Christ's blood does much more cheer and refresh the soul of a humble penitent sinner, that makes application of it by faith.
As you come to the table this Lord's Day- think about all that was ordained to make up this wonderful visual description of the Gospel. Blood poured out. Flesh broken. Sinners reconciled.