Cup and Platter

When the Lord Jesus is chastising the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, He speaks to them with the image of a cup and platter (Matt. 23:25-26). We would do well to apply what He said to our use of the cup and platter here.

He said that the scribes and Pharisees liked to make a fair show on the outside, but on the inside they were full of extortion and excess.

When the Lord’s Supper is observed rightly, what is on the inside of the cup? It is the blood of Christ, the blood that cleanses from all sin. What is on the platter? It is the true bread of heaven, the body of believers, with Christ as the true head.

Cleansing the inside of the cup is not accomplished by introspection. Cleansing the platter is not brought about by self-accusation. Sinners can only be cleansed because Christ their Savior died—and at this meal, we are confronted with that reality. Christ bled. Christ was broken. This broken bread cleanses the platter. This shed blood cleanses the cup. Look to that reality and respond in faith.

Responding in faith is different than acting as though you had faith by magnifying what you say is happening in this meal through various forms of ceremonial pomp. Gold cups don’t automatically have the blood of Christ in them. Silver platters don’t automatically have the body of Christ on them. Our observance here is dignified, but we want it to be simple. We want your faith to be simple at the same level.

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