That Bread. That Cup.

I Corinthians 11: 23 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:24 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.25 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.26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

This is clear instruction for the church.  Through the birth, death, and resurrection—the suffering and giving of himself—Jesus gave us salvation.  It is the thrust of Christmas and Easter, the good tidings of great joy.  Our sins can be forgiven.  We can find deliverance through the Lord when we come honest before him and trust his grace and mercy.  It is possible because of his suffering.  That’s why verse 28 refers to it as that bread and that cup.  That is in italics.  The translation from Hebrew to English was hard.  The translators put some words in italics letting us know that the word that follows is important.  Back then, the people knew the significance of the cup and the bread.  They knew they were not ordinary.  It was that cup and that bread, referring to something specific.  Only in a glorified body will we understand it all, but now we can understand enough now.

Drinking the juice and eating the bread does not save us.  They are examples. The Passover was symbolic of the old covenant.  Jesus was bringing in a new covenant shown by the bread—his body broken for us and the cup—the new testament in his blood.  Jesus was in human form just like his disciples.  The only exception was that his body was sinless.  He refused sin for our sakes.  When the devil came after him he didn’t sin.  His body was flesh but not sinful flesh.  He had the same make up as the others in the room.  Chemically his blood was the same, yet it was perfect because his father was God.  His blood had a divine component to it.  Jesus retained his unblemished state in order to be our substitute.  He suffered in our place.

He said this is my body broken for you.  Heaven didn’t need a sacrifice.  We did.  When we take the bread we are reminded again how important our faith in Jesus Christ is for salvation.  We can break our body all to pieces, but it won’t do a thing for us.  It is his body that counts.   Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God because he brought a sacrifice from the flock.  There had to be blood.  To get to heaven, we must have faith in his blood given by his body.  He said my blood and when we partake we throw all the responsibility of our redemption to Jesus and yield ourselves to that body and that sacrifice.  We have reason to rejoice.  We have a Savior who’ll give us victory and it is by the bread of that body and the cup of that blood.  That’s why we examine how we conduct ourselves spiritually.  One writer puts it that we should examine ourselves to ensure we are in the faith.  Do you trust Jesus with all your heart?  Are you surrendered to him?  He consecrated himself all the way.  The least we can do is to consecrate ourselves likewise.

Paul talked about eating unworthily.  I’m not worthy.  If we feel any worth in ourselves, we are mistaken.  Our worthiness comes through trusting in his body, his blood, and his sacrifice.  The Lamb of God is worthy.  It’s wonderful that he accepts us and welcomes us to the table.  He welcomed the disciples to the table knowing that later they would forsake him.  I’m thankful for a Savior whose blood was given.  As often as we eat of this bread and cup we show the Lord’s death until he comes. 

I’m glad Jesus still saves.  I’m thankful he is risen from the dead and is alive forevermore.  Until he comes after us, let’s remember him.  Let’s live each day in conscious recognition of what he did.  Just as He gave his all for us, He is worthy of our all.

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