In volume 2 of Arnold Dallimore’s George Whitefield biography, Dallimore describes Whitefield’s interactions with Scottish Presbyterians. In regard to the way in which these Scottish Presbyterians received the Lord’s Supper, Dallimore quotes this fantastic passage from D. Macfarlan’s Revivals of the Eighteenth Century:
There they accept of the bread and cup personally, there they profess to accept of Christ as set forth in these – of Christ as having made an atonement for them – of Christ as their loving and beloved Lord, reigning in them, reigning over them, and reigning for them. (George Whitefield, vol. 2, p. 126, my emphasis.)
At the Lord’s Table, Christ’s broken body and shed blood minister to us, assuring us of our pardon before God. But also, Christ reigns at the Lord’s Supper. Our King exercises his sovereignty in us, over us, and for us by his broken body and shed blood.
Christ Reigns at the Lord’s Supper In Us
At the Lord’s Supper, Christ proclaims his Gospel to us again–but he does so through tangible elements instead of using only his spoken word. At the Supper, Christ addresses us directly, insisting that his body was broken for us, and that his blood was shed for us. The Gospel is promised to us! At the Supper, Christ promises our pensive, doubting, fearful hearts again that he will surely complete the good work that he has begun in us.
At the Lord’s Supper, Christ is King. As the conquering King who reigns in us, he will not fail to pardon, cleanse, and destroy every last vestige of the Enemy’s strongholds in our lives. Even though we will not see the full reign of Christ in us on this side of glory, the Lord’s Supper assures us that one day, some day, Jesus the King most surely will have his way in us.
Christ Reigns at the Lord’s Supper Over Us
Not matter how far Christ condescends to minister to us at his Table, we must never forget that it is Christ alone who reigns. At the Lord’s Supper, we admire Christ reigning supremely over his church and the world. Though his enemies have pierced his hands, feet, and side, nevertheless Jesus proclaims that it is precisely through his broken body and shed blood that we behold the power of God unto salvation.
At the Lord’s Supper, our tongues confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. At the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Spirit lets us taste of Christ’s reign by seating us with him in the heavenly places. At the Lord’s Supper, the Father confirms his Son’s reign, declaring, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel” (Psalm 2:7-9).
Christ Reigns at the Lord’s Supper For Us
Although Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, he nevertheless promises at his Table that he will lead us as the Good Shepherd to well-watered, green pastures. He promises that he will feed us with the Bread of Life, and he promises that he will enlighten our eyes by unveiling the Light of the world as we look upon the glory of God in Christ’s own face.
At the Lord’s Supper, Christ vows that he is for us–and if Christ is for us, then who can be against us? At the Supper, Jesus promises that in his providential, sovereign reign over all creation, he will work all things together for the good of those who love him and who are called according to his purpose. And at the Table, Christ reminds us that he has sealed this promise with his own broken body and his own shed blood.
As you receive the bread and the wine, believe that Jesus Christ Reigns at the Lord’s Supper–in us, over us, and for us.