Paul Expounds the True Nature of our Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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 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. NKJV
Paul quickly after revealing his total abhorrence or loathing of the Corinthian believers irreverent behavior in what they were calling the Lord’s Supper, now immediately turns the focus of his writing to explaining to them the true nature of this holy institution as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself gave it to the original disciples. Paul is not giving them his speculation, or what he supposes, or his own opinion, but what our Lord Jesus Christ told him directly He did with the original disciples on the very same night He would be betrayed and taken into custody by the Jewish religious leaders. The supper that they ate that night was the Passover which was done by Jews everywhere during that same time of the year to honor YAHWEH for bringing them out of slavery in Egypt by the last plague He sent upon the Egyptians as the angel of death killed every first born son in Egypt but every home of the Jews were covered with the blood of a pure spotless lamb and so the angel of death passed over every house as recorded by Moses with these words, “And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever” (Exodus 12:22-24).
Now God’s permanent spotless, special, and sinless Lamb our Lord Jesus Christ during the time of the Jewish Passover is about to become the Passover Lamb Himself for these original disciples sins and for the Corinthians sins and for your sins and my sins as Paul writes what our Lord Jesus told him with these words, “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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.’” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Our Lord Jesus had observed the Passover with these disciples in the past but now this time was different, for He knew that He was about to become the Passover Lamb and so He instituted this for them to remember, recall, or recollect what He is about to do on their behalf, though the disciples then still did not fully understand that He was going to die and then resurrect from the dead. Our Lord wanted them to observe that “Last Supper” for it was just that a meal of sustenance and nourishment, but it was made special because it would be the last time they would eat the Passover Supper with our Lord Jesus Christ here on the earth, although they gave Him fish to eat after His Resurrection from the dead, that was not the Passover meal.
The seriousness of this Passover meal makes the turning of it into some sort of religious ritual or rite the highest form of blasphemy and serves to bring about condemnation on those who do so and view it as such, for our Lord’s Body was beaten, battered, and broken (not His Bones) but broken in the sense that He took into His Pure, Holy, and Sinless human body the sins of the original disciples, the Corinthians, you, and me as declared by these words written by the Apostle Peter, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). This truth and reality is why Paul was so angered with what he had come to learn of what the Corinthian believers were doing and calling it observing the Lord’s Supper. Likewise, this is why Paul writes to them explaining the true nature of this holy institution praying that they would not continue to dishonor it by their drunken parties full of sinful behavior and not reverence to our Lord Jesus’ Loving Sacrifice for them. Paul concludes his declaration of our Lord Jesus’ Account of what He instituted for all of His Disciples to do to honor the memory of His Death by continuing the description of the right way of observing the Lord’s Supper with these words, “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” (1 Corinthians 11:25-26).
The Old Covenant that the Jews were under from the time of Abraham through to Moses and to David was a “good covenant” but it was not a “permanent covenant” but instead it was a picture pointing to the permanent covenant and the better covenant that was to come through the death, burial, and resurrection from the dead of our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ. For the Old Covenant was that of Law and although the Law was perfect it was made weak through the flesh of sinful men (Romans 8:3) which required sinful men to serve as high priest and required numerous animal sacrifices to make the people acceptable before God the Father, but now our Lord Jesus Christ by His Blood has instituted a new covenant, a permanent covenant, and a perfect covenant because He is perfect (Hebrews 7:28). The writer of Hebrews goes on to describe in detail the difference between the Old and the New Covenant and the wonderful and glorious honor all that lived after Christ death on the Cross have in being under the New Covenant in Hebrews 8-10. Paul wanted to make it very clear to these Corinthian believers and to us today how very important it is to know and understand the significance and extreme importance of the right observance of the Lord’s Supper not only for our Lord’s Honor, but more importantly for the good of everyone who would observe it in a pure, righteous, and holy manner.
“Our Saviour, having undertaken to make an offering of Himself to God, and procure, by His death, the remission of sins, with all other gospel benefits, for true believers, did, at the institution, deliver His Body and Blood, with all the benefits procured by His death, to His disciples, and continues to do the same every time the ordinance is administered to the true believers. This is here exhibited, or set forth, as the food of souls. And as food, though ever so wholesome or rich, will yield no nourishment without being eaten, here the communicants are to take and eat, or to receive Christ and feed upon Him, His grace and benefits, and by faith convert them into nourishment to their souls. They are to take Him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to Him, and live upon Him. He is our Life, Colossians 3:4.” Matthew Henry
“Our Lord Jesus was not instituting some religious ritual when He sat down to eat the Passover meal with His original disciples, but He was pointing them and us to His Once in time and eternity sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26) for sin and through Him only can sinful men and women be saved, rescued, delivered, restored, and made whole from their sinful condition and so the observance of His Death for sin should never be taken lightly or irreverently.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…