1 Corinthians 11:22-25

In 1 Corinthians 11:22-25 Paul continues to call out the Corinthian church about their behavior in the Lord’s house around the Lord’s supper. Paul’s message is both strong and plain – “If you want to eat or drink selfishly, do it at home!” Using repetition, Paul makes it clear: ‘I do not commend you’ is repeated three times in this brief section. The apostle is not happy with the Corinthian Christians at this point. “What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.”

Paul then shifts to telling them what the Lord’s Supper is to be like. Paul didn’t just make this up, he received it from the Lord. It came to him from the Lord either personally or through the other apostles. “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 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.” In conducting a communion service, Paul puts the emphasis on remembering Jesus, on what He said about the meaning of His own death for us. The bread represents His broken body.

Guzik writes ‘We remember the Last Supper was actually a Passover meal, when Jesus, together with the disciples, according to Biblical commands and Jewish traditions, celebrated the remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt to the Promised Land, beginning in the book of Exodus. The breaking of bread and the drinking of wine were important parts of the Passover celebration. Jesus took these important pictures and reminders of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, and added to them the meanings connected with His own death on the cross for us.’ This has historical significance as well as meaning for us as we partake of it.

Paul then moves on to the cup which represents Christ’s blood. “In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” In receiving the cup, we are called to remember the blood of Jesus and the new covenant. The Passover meal featured several cups of wine, each with a different title. The cup Jesus referred to was known as the cup of redemption, and Jesus added to the idea of redemption from slavery in Egypt the idea that His blood confirmed a new covenant that changed our relationship with God.

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