1Co 11:23-26 “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”
Paul had just rebuked the Corinthians soundly for their attitude towards each other (see verses 17-22). Now he confirms to them that this is not just his thought or his personal assessment of the situation. What he had established among them during his previous time there, and the counsel he was imparting in this letter, were the direct result of what the Lord had given him.
His reminder of Jesus’ betrayal was not coincidental. He was telling them that in their actions and divisiveness toward each other, they were still guilty of betraying their Lord and Master. For those among the brethren who took Paul’s words to heart, this had to be a serious and humbling reminder of Jesus’ instruction that whatever treatment we extend to one of His, we also do the same to Him (Mat 25:40).
It should strike us as most marvelous that the Lord of glory could take up bread, give thanks, and break it with His own hands. Remember that the bread represented His body. Knowing that His body was going to be broken (beaten; stripped of all human dignity; pierced with thorns, nails, and a spear) yet He was able to give thanks to His Father.
He was thankful that He was able to do His Father’s will and rescue His people from the law of sin and death, even knowing full well the price that he would pay. More than that, He did not take up bread that someone else had broken and give thanks. He broke the bread with His own hands, just as He would willingly lay down His life at the moment of His own choosing; a gift given in sacrifice rather than taken by the judgment of others.
In the same manner, He also took the cup that represented the New Testament in His blood. He gave thanks again for being able to do His Father’s will, actually putting our sins away so that we might stand in His holy presence. Again, He took this cup with His own hands, offering up Himself freely for us. The ultimate purpose for these tokens is that we should remember Him.
Precious child of God, whenever we take the tokens of His body broken for us and His blood shed for us, it is not to remember us but to remember Him. It is not so much a time to remember our sins as it is to remember how that we are set free from our sins. It is not a time for us to be self-serving, but rather to rejoice that we may follow the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and willingly give ourselves freely for His holy cause.
May we use the grace God gives us every day to eat and drink of the sacrifice of our Lord, remembering Him and showing His death in our life until He come!