The first day of every month my Church comes together for an observation of the Lord’s supper. I look forward to this time and I prepare myself by meditating on the word and reflecting on the things that I need to reevaluate. I give these things God in prayer so He can take control and help me with every step. We do not need to be perfect to approach God, but we need to be intentional and ready for a revival!
“For I received from the Lord Himself that [instruction] which I passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread;” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23 AMP
Why was Paul so concerned about the church in Corinth and their religious practices for Communion?
The context in the previous chapter of 1 Corinthians is that the church of Corinth was a very problematic church. There was strife, party spirit, divisions, pride and toleration of immoral behaviour, disorder in the gathering for worship with some women refusing to follow the accepted custom of covering their heads. The problems that we are having now in the church is not new.
Communion shouldn’t become a ritual or be treated as a routine, like it’s just another Sunday where we go to Church to take it, reflect on nothing and move on. This is not correct. When we see the bread we should remember the bruising of Jesus’s body. The blood should remind us of the blood He shed for us. The Last Supper is not just another random meal. The first recorded meal is the eating of the Forbidden fruit. Passover meal is to give reverence to the people’s slavery in Egypt and the death of the first boy. Jesus fed thousands with five barley loaves and two fish. This brought an immediate attention from the people. How can this be done? It was a miracle. Lastly, we have the Last Supper in the upper room. This took place on the night before Jesus was crucified.
The last meal was the new Covenant with Jesus fulfilling Jeremiah 31:31-34
“and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is (represents) My body, which is [offered as a sacrifice] for you. Do this in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in [affectionate] remembrance of Me.”” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:24-25 AMP
Jesus wants us to remember what this special meal is all about
“So when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for when you eat, each one hurries to get his own supper first [not waiting for others or the poor]. So one goes hungry while another gets drunk.” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:20-21 AMP
Many were taking too much food for themselves and taking too much wine to drink. Being gluttonous. Paul was particularly concerned about the way that they were behaving (not just the problems), but they went as far as misinterpreting the eating and drinking of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper was being conducted in a disorderly way. The church would share a meal together and join the Lord’s Supper at the beginning or at the end. They dressed it up and made it appear that they were doing it for God.
“So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord.” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:27 AMP
Each time the Church had “supper” there was a mad rush for food and drinks by the hungriest members of the church. Things got out of hand. Such indulgence was already scandalous enough for the Church. What made it worse was that it made a terrible mockery of the Lord’s Supper.
“But a person must [prayerfully] examine himself [and his relationship to Christ], and only when he has done so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:28 AMP
Jesus is the one who has called us from sin and set us free. In order to be spiritually free we need to have a relationship with Him by submitting ourselves in obedience to Him in prayer, reading His word and declaring His gospel (sharing the gospel). Therefore, we do go to His table and eat we will be more thankful for the meal that He provides.
There are spiritual benefits and protection that each person will receive however if you do not take it serious then you are unworthy and should not partake
“For anyone who eats and drinks [without solemn reverence and heartfelt gratitude for the sacrifice of Christ], eats and drinks a judgment on himself if he does not recognize the body [of Christ]. That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason why many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep [in death].” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:29-30 AMP
Leading by example means to be careful not to cause others to stumble. For example, when there is a “church” party we should be mindful not to introduce whiskey, rum and other strong drinks. Those who attended the party may not be able to wake up and worship God the next day, do God’s work, or hear the truth of the Word. This is why it’s very important to respect that there is a place and time for everything.
In Corinthians many got sick and died. They did not get sick or die from food poisoning etc. They were treating the sacrifice of Christ in a wrong way. They had no respect or reverence for the importance of the Lord’s Supper. It wasn’t just another meal or another party. It is a sacred meal. People had forgotten the meaning of what it meant. When you are eating the Lord’s Supper discern the meaning of the meal and what Jesus has done for us. Do not do this in a mechanical or ritualistic manner.
“But if we evaluated and judged ourselves honestly [recognizing our shortcomings and correcting our behavior], we would not be judged.” 1 CORINTHIANS 11:31 AMP
We must recognise Jesus Christ as the son of God who died on the cross for us. His body was bruised and his blood was shed. It is not a natural meal or a supernatural meal. It is simply a sacred meal. We must expect spiritual blessings from the table of the Lord. As Christians we need to know the truth of the Lord’s Supper. We need to acknowledge spiritual revelation. There is more to it than meets the eye. It means more than just bread and wine. The meaning can only be seen by faith with spiritual vision. The first thing that we need to do when we come to the Lord’s table is to look to Jesus. He is the primary focus! It shouldn’t matter who is standing before you, serving Communion or who the pastor is etc. It should only matter that you accept and believe in your heart that Jesus is the Lamb and your focus.
If we take our eyes off Jesus, like Peter we would sink.
“Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me.” REVELATION 3:20 AMP
Jesus is our gracious host the guest of honour at this meal. He is hosting this meal, He sets the agenda, plans the menu, plans the food, and determines the manner in which it is consumed. Jesus is the meal Himself. This does not literally mean that we feed on Him (a common misconception). It means that Jesus is spiritually present and that our souls feed on Him in a spiritual manner. The Communion is the only meal that Jesus prepared for us. There is no variety to this meal. He expects us to come and eat at His table in remembrance of Him.
“Jesus replied to them, “ I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually].” JOHN 6:35 AMP