The church at Corinth had messed up the Lord’s Supper. They confused it with a fellowship supper. People brought food to go with the bread and wine. This worked on Paul because he knew it would upset the Lord. The meaning had been completely lost. Paul called it heresy–error. It got to the point that poor people who couldn’t bring as much food as others were denied eating because they couldn’t bring as much. They had the whole thing turned upside down.
Communion and foot washing are vital parts of the ordinances of the Lord. He commanded they be continued until he comes. A believer should be baptized, partake of the Lord’s Supper and wash one another’s feet. Nutritionally the Lord’s Supper does nothing for us. Look at it this way. If we never wash our feet we’d be hurting. If we didn’t bathe it would be the same. These are things we do because we should. Communion and foot washing aren’t necessary for salvation but should be done. When a person is saved and is physically able to eat, he can partake of the Lord’s Supper. Some may not be physically able to wash another person’s feet. God understands that. These are just witnesses to others that we follow Jesus Christ. Paul quoted Jesus when he said that as often as we do this, do it in remembrance of Jesus. We do it quarterly. Some churches do it more often, but it needs to be done right and for the right reason no matter how often we do it.
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.
When the observance of Passover was finished, Jesus instituted a new ordinance. He was the fulfillment of the first and original Passover and was instituting a new covenant. In verse 25 he called it a new testament. Those in the Upper Room were the first to witness the closing of an old testament and the beginning of a new one.
God held the old testament true and showed all mankind from Genesis to Malachi that man could not save himself. If people believed God they realized they could not fix their sins. The old testament brought man to realize the need of a Messiah. We realize we are lost and need a Savior. Jesus created this new testament by the giving of himself in our place on the cross. He delivered himself to be the sacrifice in our stead. By his suffering and dying, his blood flowed as atonement that would cover us–cover our sins. We are saved because we have a Savior who gave his body and blood for us.
So as often as we eat this bread and drink of this cup we are to remember him. When we gather and each takes the bread and cup we do it together and should do it humbly. Some may ask why we do it. We want to identify with the Master. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet he showed love and humility by serving them. We serve the Lord by serving others.
Salvation is of the Lord. All of us are here because he loved us. So let us once again do this in remembrance of him.