The Lord’s Supper was instituted by our Lord at the Last Supper. It was the night He was betrayed, the eve of His crucifixion. This was His final meal before being condemned as a criminal, judged by the Jewish and Roman authorities and then executed under a guilty sentence.
Criminals sentenced to death today get a last meal before their execution is carried out. Though the chronology is reversed–Christ ate and then was tried–because of Christ, we are no longer on death row. We were. Apart from the cross, God would be just to make this meal, or any meal, our last. But it isn’t. This isn’t our last meal, this is our life meal.
Our celebration of participation in His life does not come at the cost of justice. The Judge wasn’t duped. We are not singing because God forgets our sin and sentence. We sing because God sent His Son so that all who believe would not be condemned.
Eating and drinking is not a reminder of our condemnation, it is a reminder of One who was condemned on our behalf. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). We don’t sit and stew over our sin, we sing in and for our Savior. Our judgment is not in the balance. No trial awaits us. The jury isn’t out. The verdict is in: “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”!