3. Sorrow for sin. Contemplating sin and contemplating atonement are two sides of the same coin. Meditation on the sufferings of Christ engenders grief over sin. As Jonathan Edwards stated, we “contribute nothing to [our] salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
4. Feed on Him by faith. The means by which we feed on Him are the elements of bread and wine. Through receiving and consuming the elements by faith, we are symbolically appropriating the benefits of Christ and trusting in His merit. United with the gracious host by faith, we commune with Him in His blessed presence by faith.
5. Rejoice in His love and give thanks for His grace. When Hezekiah reinstituted the Passover in Israel, the people kept the feast with “great gladness” and “thanksgiving” (1 Chron. 30:21–23). Gladness and thanksgiving are the intended posture and outcome of the supper. Jesus commanded His disciples to partake “in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24–25). Such remembrance of our Lord ought to provoke gladness and gratitude.
6. Renew our covenant with God. In Exodus 24:8, when Moses threw the blood onto the people, he said, “Behold the blood of the covenant.” Moses instructs the people to behold the blood that is being sprinkled on them, for in the blood, the covenant—and all its sanctions, stipulations, and promises—are shown forth. Similarly, in the blood of the new covenant—symbolized in the wine—Christ’s death is shown forth (i.e., displayed visibly) and we are reminded of the covenant relationship we enjoy with God in Christ. Specifically, we are in a covenant of grace with God, whereby the Lord has promised salvation to all who embrace Christ by faith alone. To renew our covenant with God, then, is to renew our commitment to receive and rest upon Christ alone. This is not akin to the notion of “recommitting our lives to Christ.” Rather, it is a renewal of our desire and resolve to be found in Christ alone and to walk in new obedience with our covenant-keeping Lord.
7. Renew our love for the saints. When Paul admonishes the Corinthians for corrupting the supper, he begins by saying, “When you come together . . .” (1 Cor. 11:18, 20). The supper isn’t a private meal or act of personal devotion. It’s a communal meal—hosted by Christ for His bride (Ps. 23:5; Luke 14:7–24; Rev. 19:6–10). Therefore, when we partake of the supper, it’s not ideal to close our eyes and pretend we’re in our personal prayer closet. We ought to observe and taste the elements together; pray together; rejoice together; renew our love for and obedience to the Savior together. Christ has given us this meal to show forth His death together until He returns. Few things exemplify that unity for which He prayed (John 17) more than His people’s renewing their commitment to love one another around His table.