Summary: A look at Paul’s teaching regarding the Breaking of Bread/Communion and its effect on us as believers.
THE LORD’S SUPPER - I CORINTHIANS 11:23-33
We are going to look at the scripture where Paul tells us about the Last Supper, and how we should keep it today. There are some important and helpful matters dealt with in these verses.
Let us take them slowly, feed on them, and learn from them.
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,
It is clear that we have Divine Revelation claimed by Paul,
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you
Having received the revelation, he passes the truth on to us today. Let us always seek to recognise that the Communion Service is something that has been ordered by the Lord. It is not an ordinance of man.
the night he was betrayed
What I find remarkable, is that the Lord, knowing He was going to be betrayed, still thought enough about you and me to leave this ‘feast’ for us to share in.
The Lord Jesus . . . took bread,
Jesus, our wonderful Lord, gave a demonstrative act that we can share in to help us remember. If we do this regularly, we will be better able to keep before our minds the wonder of our salvation.
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."
A MEANINGFUL DEMONSTRATION
when he had given thanks, he broke it
Here we have a meaningful demonstration, as the Lord takes the bread and breaks it. We can remember the fact of His broken body every time we share in this great act. I wonder do we really think about the Lord’s body being broken for us, as we break the bread.
A MYSTICAL ACT
"This is my body, which is for you;
The Lord gives a wonderful metaphoric statement, as He tells ‘This is my body’. I do not think He intended us to see this as being literally changes into His body, but as He spoke of the door being representative of Him being the way to the Father, so He speaks here of the bread as being a reminder of His body being broken for us.
A MAJESTIC REQUEST
do this in remembrance of me
Each time we do this, we are to do it as an act of remembrance. Not just a ritual, or ceremony, but a means of remembering the suffering of the Lord to bring us Salvation.
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."
A COVENANT ACT
This cup is the new covenant in my blood
Here we have the blood of the Lord spoken of, and we are shown that this was sealing a covenant on our behalf. He took our place – our sin – our death – our punishment; so that we could go free. The Old Covenant had been done away with, and a New Covenant is now in place!
A COLLECTIVE ACT
33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.
I have deliberately inserted verse 33 just here, as we must always have in mind that this is a collective act. We share together at this feast, and we are to consider one another. It is a Considerate Act.
A CONSIDERATE ACT
do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."
Together, as one body, we are to remember Jesus. His death for us means new life for us. Real life. Eternal life. Abundant life! This would not have been possible without Calvary. It is also a Cleansing Act, as we see in verse 28.
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
A LITERAL ACT
whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup
This is something we should do. I believe that every believer should do this as an act of remembrance, and thanksgiving. My reason for this is that we lovingly declare the Lord’s death each time we do it.
A LOVING ACT
you proclaim the Lord’s death
Jesus Died. Very clearly the Scriptures tell us that He died. I want to declare the fact, because He died for me! That means my salvation is sure. He took the penalty of my sin, and I am free.
A LONGING ACT
until he comes
The wonder of this feast is that it not only speaks of His death, but because He rose again – showing that the Father was satisfied with His substitutionary death, but we only do it until He comes again. Yes, He is coming again!