23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. ~1 Corinthians 11:23-29
Of course for the Christian, this should be a completely familiar scripture. It surrounds the very most important event in the world…the death of Christ Jesus for our sins.
On the night in which the Lord was betrayed, the Lord’s Supper, or communion, was established (V 23). It is a command of the Lord’s to partake of it in remembrance of Him until He comes again, (V.24).
First the Lord took bread, and he broke the loaf, and passed it around to His disciples…even to Judas. And He said “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” After the bread had been passed around to all of the disciples, the Savior took the cup and said “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me”…(VV 24-25).
Notice that Jesus said in both cases that we should eat and drink in remembrance of Him. This is a very important thing to do as the next few verses will show.
As Christians, we partake of this communion in our worship services. However, we must also make sure our hearts and minds are centered on the sacrifice which the Lord was going to make on our behalf. He was about to lose His physical life so that we may gain our spiritual life!
In fact, the next few verses are usually not as often spoken of before communion is served, yet they are extremely important as they deal with our frame of mind and spiritual condition as we partake of this supper.
When we commune with Jesus, we proclaim His death until He comes again, (V 26). And so comes the admonishment from the apostle Paul that if we eat and drink in an unworthy, (irreverent or self-centered), manner we will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of Jesus Christ (V 27-28).
This incorrect mindset was a particular problem in the Corinthian church at the time. However, it can be trouble for us today. If we let our minds wonder over our own problems, such as finances, or marital difficulties, or work matters, we are just as guilty of sinning against Jesus as the Corinthians were!
Paul continues with this thought and adds some severity to it when he says “For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (V 29)! My friends, that is a very serious affair indeed.
So the next time we join in the communion service, let us take our minds back to the scene of Christ as he hung on that cross, bloody and pierced in body for our sins. Yes, my friends, this is meant to make us feel the shame of our transgressions, something the “world” would have us dismiss in the name of better self-image and so forth.
However, we don’t act in the way the world does. It is good for us to overcome the pride of self-worth for just a moment so that we can be appreciative that we didn’t have to bear this beating and death ourselves. It helps garner more humility in the eyes of the Lord, and a little meekness before God renders far greater rewards than pride does before man!
It is also a time to grow our love for Jesus and the Lord God who together with the Holy Spirit, devised a way in which we may be reconciled to the Father and cleansed of our sins by grace. And the plan cost the Godhead an awful price.
As we can see, there is much to focus on as we partake of the communion with our best friend and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Refs: ~biblegateway.com ~ Google ~ “The NIV Study Bible, copyright 1995, Zondervan” ~