Author: Ron Graham
In this Bible study series called "Remember" it is appropriate that we include a lesson about the memorial Supper which Jesus instituted. This is a chart lesson based on 1Corinthians 11:20-34.
"Do this in remembrance of me."
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial supper, a ceremony of remembrance. When we partake of the unleavened bread, we remember that Christ’s body was cruelly treated and nailed to the cross. When we partake of the fruit of the vine, we remember that the blood of Christ was poured out of his body. His body and blood were a sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 10:19-20).
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death..."
When we assemble to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are making a statement that Christ died for the world, and we set an example to all those who observe us keeping our weekly appointment with the Lord at his table. This includes the lost. Going to the Supper is preaching by example. Anyone can preach Christ in this manner (Colossians 4:5).
"...eat this bread and drink this cup... till he come."
For each of us individually, "till he comes" means "till I die". That is why the hymn writer called it "the little while between". We know that eternity could be upon any one of us at any moment either by death or by the Lord’s return. The Lord’s Supper week by week helps us stay focussed on the real purpose of this short life (James 4:14, Revelation 3:3).
"Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup."
We are to partake of the Lord’s Supper in a spirit of self examination. When we examine ourselves honestly, we find ourselves unrighteous without Christ, and greatly in need of the sacrifice he made. We see his death as our life. The Lord’s Supper encourages us to re-dedicate ourselves to being crucified with Christ and letting him live in us (Romans 12:3, Galatians 2:20).
1Corinthians 11:29 compare v.27
"He eats and drinks judgment to himself who does not judge the body (and the blood of the Lord) rightly."
We judge Christ’s body rightly when we recognise that Christ in the flesh was killed as a sacrifice for sin, that he was then raised up from the dead, and that he later ascended into heaven and was glorified (Acts 2:23-24). He lives and reigns as Lord in glory today (Acts 3:13). At the Lord’s Table, we eat and drink in recognition and discernment of these truths.
20. When therefore you assemble yourselves together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat.
21 For in your eating each one takes his own supper first. One is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What, don't you have houses to eat and to drink in? Or do you despise God’s assembly, and put them to shame who don't have? What shall I tell you? Shall I praise you? In this I don't praise you.
23. For I received from the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread.
24. When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me.'
25. In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.'
26. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord's cup in a way unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.
29. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy way eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he doesn't discern the Lord's body.
30. For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep.
31. For if we discerned ourselves, we wouldn't be judged.
32. But when we are judged, we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33. Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
34. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest your coming together be for judgment. The rest I will set in order whenever I come.
—World English Bible (WEB)