“With perfect confidence, then we partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ. For in the figure of bread His Body is given to you, and in the figure of wine His Blood, that by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ you may become one body and blood with him.” Cyril of Alexandria (ca. 378 – 444)
The Lord’s Supper is the place where the church publicly proclaims her participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is where we add our “Amen” to the New Covenant and all that it promises. In Corinth the meal had fallen so far short of this that Paul could no longer recognise it as the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper speaks of our unified worship and participation in Christ. We all eat from one loaf. In Corinth there was division on this very point. Some were eating and some were being excluded.
Jesus Christ is one and all that are joined to Him are one also. By excluding some they were effectively excommunicating their own brothers and sisters in the faith. Corinth was meant to be feeding on the promises of Salvation but the meal had become a place of division within the church.
The New Covenant, like the Old, contains blessings and curses. (cf. 2 Thes 1:8; 1 Cor 10:16). There are blessings that go with this cup that you won’t get from other cups (10:16).
Likewise, there is judgement in this cup if you drink it without recognising your unity and communion with God and one another. Many in Corinth were already sick, weak or dead as a result.
The solution is not to keep ourselves from the cup. The cup is the solution to division. In Christ we are united. The solution for Corinth, and for us, is to repent and begin to live up to the unity that God has called us to.
The Supper reminds us each week of our need for union with Christ and our consequent union with one another.
Am I welcome at the table this morning? Well, if, having been baptised into the body you desire to proclaim his death and resurrection as the source of your ongoing salvation, then yes, eat, drink and be filled.
Lessons for Little Saints…
1. How were the people divided at Corinth?
2. How did God show He was serious about this meal?
3. What does the meal teach us about Jesus?
4. What does the meal teach us about each other?