Teaching Kids about the Lord’s Supper
Along with baptism, the Lord’s Supper is one of two ordinances that the Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to practice. While baptism is a one-time event that identifies a newly converted believer with the local church, the Lord’s Supper should be observed regularly throughout a believer’s life. For this reason, the Lord’s Supper provides a continual lesson in the gospel for children to observe. Whenever your church practices the Lord’s Supper, consider reinforcing for them the following truths about this ordinance.
The Lord’s Supper is based upon the Passover meal of the Old Testament.
When Jesus instituted the ordinance we call the Lord’s Supper, He was celebrating the Passover meal with His disciples. God commanded the Israelites to celebrate the Passover festival in order to commemorate their deliverance out of slavery in Egypt by God’s strong hand. Before the tenth and final plague upon Egypt, God required each Israelite family to slaughter an unblemished lamb and spread its blood upon the doorposts and lintel of their homes (Exod 12:3–7). The blood of the Passover lamb turned away the wrath of God’s judgment from the homes of the Israelites so that their firstborn sons would not be struck dead by the tenth plague (Exod 12:13). While the plague brought destruction to the Egyptians, the Israelites ate the Passover meal in preparation to leave Egypt. Corresponding to this great event of redemption, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Passover. He is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Therefore, whenever your children see the Lord’s Supper in practice, remind them of the realities of sin, judgment, and salvation inherent in the Old Testament events that are fulfilled in Jesus Christ the Savior.
"Jesus took what represented a temporal and limited redemption for one nation and transformed it into that which celebrates an eternal and comprehensive redemption for all people and for all time." From the Adventure Club Teacher Book: The Truth About The Church, The Bible, and The End Times p.93
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Jesus’ substitutionary atonement.
Just as the Old Testament Israelites celebrated the Passover meal in order to remember God’s redemption out of slavery in Egypt, so believers celebrate the Lord’s Supper in order to remember Jesus’ redemption out of sin upon the cross. The bread eaten in the Lord’s supper symbolizes Jesus’ body which was broken on the cross, and the cup symbolizes His blood that was shed for sin. Every time that a church celebrates the Lord’s Supper, they proclaim the Lord’s death (1 Cor 11:23–26). Just as the Passover lamb of the Old Testament turned away God’s wrath from the Israelites, so Jesus’ death on the cross turned away God’s wrath from all who would believe in Him. Take the opportunity to instruct your children about Jesus’ death in the place of sinners (substitution) to take away God’s wrath for sins (atonement).
The Lord’s Supper commemorates the New Covenant in Jesus.
When Jesus shared the cup with His disciples, He told them, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood” (1 Cor 11:25). In order for your children to understand this language, they need to be taught the promises of the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant under Moses, Israel was not able to keep the requirements of God’s law (Deut 29:1–4). The law and the sacrificial system had no power in itself to forgive sins and change the heart, so God promised a new covenant. This new covenant would usher in unparalleled spiritual blessings, including the promise that God would write His law upon the hearts of all the covenant members (Jer 31:33–34). When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He established the New Covenant based upon His death for sinners. All who believe in Him receive the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant in Christ. This is why only believers may practice the Lord’s Supper, and Paul warned the Corinthian church that any who take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner would be guilty of the body and blood of Christ—treating the blood of the New Covenant in a light manner (1 Corinthians 11:27). Teach your children about the promises of the New Covenant in Christ and pray that God would grant them new hearts to believe in Jesus.
Finally, the Lord’s Supper looks forward to Christ’s return in glory.
The Lord’s Supper is not merely a celebration that looks back to the cross. All who partake of the elements also proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Cor 11:26). Jesus Himself promised that He would not eat that meal again until He ate it anew in the kingdom of God (Matt 26:29). Therefore, every time a church celebrates the Lord’s Supper, they renew their hope and faith in Christ’s return. Don’t forget to point your children to the sober realities of eternity and the precious gospel promises concerning salvation in the new heavens and new earth. Point your children to the greatest reality in heaven—seeing Christ face-to-face (1 John 3:2).
As your church gathers to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, keep the whole sweep of God’s gracious redemption before your children. Remind them of God’s miraculous deliverance pictured in the Old Testament Passover. Teach them about Jesus’ fulfillment of the Passover in His substitutionary death for sinners. Hold out to them God’s promises in the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. And point them to the future glories of Christ’s return for His people. As Paul instructed the Corinthian church, “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26).
Gracia y Paz a uds! Somos una pequeña iglesia(30 miembros) Hermanos Bautistas Reformados San Juan(Argentina)que sigue la Sana Doctrina, con luchas y victorias en Cristo. Deseamos el material para niños de Generaciones de gracia y oramos fervientes para alcanzar obtener ese objetivo. Envíenos por favor presupuesto Material para niños pequeños. El Padre les bendiga grandemente! Carlos Iturrieta y Alicia, Ministerio Educación Bíblica.