Many people create memorials to remember their dead. Christians come to the Lord’s Table to remember, not millions, but “The One” who suffered and died for each of us. But just as there was no inherent power in the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, there is no inherent power or supernatural quality in the elements of the Lord’s last Supper.
The bread and the cup are not holy in and of them, nor is the act of partaking of the bread and of the cup holy in and of itself. In other words, no special grace is conferred upon us when we observe the Lord’s Supper. It is not a means by which God conveys His grace to sinners.
God’s grace is conveyed to us by Christ alone, through faith only. The purpose of this memorial is not to convey grace, but rather to help us remember Christ’s death and our commitment to follow Him as our Lord.
Once the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River and go in the Promised Land, the first thing Joshua did was to set up a pillar of stones as a memorial. Its purpose was to remind the future generations of Israel about the faithfulness of God in keeping His covenant promises by bringing the people out of slavery in Egypt, caring for them in the wilderness and bringing them into the Land.
Likewise, the Lord’s Supper is a memorial designed to remind us of God’s faithfulness when He fulfilled His covenant to us by providing Jesus Christ as a sacrifice in payment of the debt we owed to God because of our sins. In 1- Corinthians 11:24-26, Paul explains it; like this: “And when Jesus had given thanks, He broke The bread and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’
In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink [it], in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
An enlightening comparison can be made between the sign of the old covenant and the sign of the new covenant. Just as the Sabbath day symbolized the old covenant (Exodus 31:12-17), the Lord’s Supper is a sign of the new covenant (Luke 22:20). A major purpose of the Sabbath was to remember how God had brought Israel from Egypt (Exodus 20:8; Deuteronomy 5:15); a major of the Lord’s Supper is to remember how Christ delivered us from sin.
This clarifies, in part, why the Sabbath is unique to the Old Testament and the Lord’s Supper is unique to the New Testament. Also, just as the Passover was a memorial to celebrate God’s work through the death of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:1-28), in the Lord’s Supper we declare God’s work through the death of His Son until Christ returns (1-Corinthians 11:26).