"The Lord's Supper is to be a joyful season, not a time for sorrow. The preceding foot-washing service provides an opportunity for self-examination, confession of sins, reconciliation of differences, and forgiveness. Having received the assurance of being cleansed by the blood of the Saviour, believers are ready to enter into special communion with their Lord. They turn to His table with joy, standing in the saving light, not the shadow, of the cross, ready to celebrate the redemptive victory of Christ."- Seventh-day Adventists Believe, pp.198,199.
What meaning did Jesus assign to the bread and grape juice? Luke 22:15-20.
The Communion service symbolizes Jesus' atoning death for our sins and His desire that we should personally appropriate the saving merits of His sacrifice. By instructing us that we are to keep this ordinance until He returns, He made it an occasion for us to anticipate and envision His second coming and the joys of participating in the ultimate Communion in heaven (Mark 14:22-25).
Describe the attitude with which we should approach the Lord's Supper. 1 Cor. 11:27-29.
How can we develop such an attitude? Luke 15:18-24; Ps. 51:6-12, 17.
Eating and drinking. Eating the symbol of Christ's body and drinking the symbol of His blood represents the incorporation of God's Word into our daily lives. In John 6:63, Christ says, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." And in Matthew 4:4, He tells us that we "shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." As we allow the Bible to teach us how we should live, we will be prepared to partake of the Lord's Supper.
How can the Communion service help to unite and stabilizethe church? As you formulate an answer, consider 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17: "Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf" (NIV).