In examining the rich meaning of the Lord’s Supper, we see that the Lord’s Supper was understood as a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb, an invitation to the heavenly banquet. To participate in the sacrament was received as a sign that one would enter into the eternal kingdom of Christ and all His saints. This concept is the primary sense of Jesus’ parable regarding the wedding feast of the king’s son (cf. Luke 14:21-24) and this parable illustrates that the vast blessings of the gospel are represented by a marriage feast.
What are these blessings? First, it is pardon for sin, for thousands, even millions of the most aggravating sins. Second, the blessings of the gospel is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the influences of the Holy Spirit which sanctifies our depraved natures, subdues our sins, and implants in our hearts every grace and virtue. It is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts which gives us freedom from the tyranny of sin and Satan, and favorable access to our blessed God.
Furthermore, it is through the Holy Spirit working in our hearts that we have sweet communion with God through Jesus Christ, even in this world. This is surely an important aspect of the blessing of the Supper. The sign of the shared meal makes this most clear. The character of this sacrament is ultimately communion with God the Father and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. According to Samuel Davies, in the Supper, there are “reviving communications of divine love, to sweeten the affections of life; and the constant assistance of divine grace to bear us up under every burden, and to enable us to persevere in the midst of many temptations.”
The Lord’s Supper is a sign and a seal of the wedding feast of the Lamb; it is in the preaching of the gospel that we are invited, and in receiving it by faith, our place in Christ is affirmed. It can be said that the Lord’s Supper is an appetizer or an hors d’oeuvre which intimates the delicacies yet to come. The Supper testifies of our complete salvation in due time and everlasting happiness equal to the largest capacities of our nature. At the Lord’s Supper, we receive Christ as Savior and accept the gospel. Here, we commit ourselves to Christ; here is where the decision is made; here is where we make the vows of the covenant and become participants in the covenant community.
In light of the parable of the wedding feast, the minister is one of those servants whom the king has sent out to the poor and the crippled and the blind to urge them to come into the feast. Samuel Davies pleads with his congregation:
Where are the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind? In quest of you, I am sent; and I am ordered to bring you in. And will ye refuse? Come, ye poor! Accept the unsearchable riches of Christ. Come, ye blind! Admit the healing light of the Sun of Righteousness. Ye halt and maimed! Submit yourselves to Him, who, as a Physician, can heal what is disordered, and as a Creator can add what is wanting. Come, ye hungry, starving souls! Come to the feast…
When we receive the Supper, we are those who have been brought into the presence of our Great King and we celebrate the reality that we, who were outsiders, have now been brought in.