By Doug Bell
1 Corinthians 11:
23 ¶ For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 ¶ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
It seems to me, that in this passage, Paul is giving at least four commands to the Corinthians as they take the Lord’s Supper. And we would do well, if we paid attention and take to heart these instructions in our own lives.
The first is look “INWARD.” Immediately after the words above, the Apostle tells us his readers to ‘examine themselves’ (Vs. 27-32). We must always remind ourselves that our God is a Holy God. And as Christians, we tend to play fast and loose with Holy things. That’s why we need to take to heart Paul’s warnings. Why? Because: 30 ”For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” We may not take God’s Holiness seriously, but God does. In fact God had judged some of the Corinthians; 27 ¶ “Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” And how did our loving Heavenly Father treat his children here? A.) Some we’re weak & sickly, B.) Some we’re on their death beds, and C.) Some had already died! Jesus death on our behalf is the central most important fact in history. And the Good Father says you must treat it as such. So, examine yourself, then God won’t have to chastise you.
The Second Command is look “Outward.”
Vs. 24…”this is My body which is broken for you;” and Vs. 25…”“This cup is the new covenant in My blood.” The Gospel, even all Christianity is wrapped up in these two verses. Without Jesus Death, Burial, and His Resurrection we have nothing! We are already condemned, doomed, & hell-bound. We can never be sinless, nor keep all the Law. Our good works are as ‘filthy rags.’ We are cursed, the devil is our father. Therefore we are sons of disobedience, without hope and without God! Romans 7:24 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Yes, we look ‘Outward,’ because salvation must be found outside of ourselves, and it Is ONLY in Jesus Christ!
Thirdly, We must look “Down.” As we take the elements, we bow our heads and look down. Why? Because it is a sign of ‘Humility.’ We recognize that Salvation is All of the Lord. Isaiah 57:15 “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” We see this attitude in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 9:24, “Thus I prostrated myself before the LORD; forty days and forty nights I kept prostrating myself, because the LORD had said He would destroy you.“ and 1 Chronicles 29:20 (NKJV)
Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the LORD your God.” So all the assembly blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD and the king.
Finally, we are to look “Up.” This is an important attitude as we take the Lord’s Supper. We are being crowded in on all sides by our circumstance, problems, and every day life! So, Jesus reminds us: 26 ¶ “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” We are to continue to commemorate the Lord’s sacrifice “UNTIL HE COMES!” It has been said that a Christian is, ‘a person who has one eye on the earth and the other on Heaven.’ We are a people who await the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior! This not only gives us hope, but the inspiration to continue to be faithful and not loose heart as we wait.
2 Peter 3:8 ¶ “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,fn not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Now the next time we participate in the Lord’s Supper, may we remember to look inward, outward, down, and up! 31 ”But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.”