For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord Himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.” In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this to remember Me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.1 Corinthians 11:23-26
As I said yesterday most would recognise that Paul was claiming the authority for these statements from Christ himself. There is debate as to when such revelation was received but most centres around his experience on the Damascus Road or his experience in the 3rd Heaven. When did he deliver these things to them? The Greek of “I pass on to you” is perfect tense, the sense of which is – he passed it on at some time in the past and he is still passing it on now. Clearly when Paul founded a church he would have taught them the observance of the Lord’s Supper. He had already given them this teaching and he was still doing it.
And when he had given thanks . . . some translations have “blessed”; others have “gave thanks”. This is to be understood as either asking a blessing of his Father upon it, or else of giving thanks to his Father for what was signified by it, for the true bread he gave unto his people, meaning himself.
He broke it; as a symbol of his body being wounded, bruised, and broken, though no bone was broken, but his skin and flesh were torn and broken with rods and fists, by whippings and scourgings, by thorns, nails, and spear. Breaking the bread was used in order to be distributed, and that everyone might partake, as all the Israelites did at the passover, and not as with the Corinthians when one was full and another hungry. But Christ broke the bread, that everyone might have a part, as every believer may and ought, who may eat of this bread, and drink of the wine, and feed by faith on Christ, and take every blessing procured by him to themselves. The literal “body” could not have been meant; for Christ was still sensibly present among His disciples when He said, “This is My body.” They could only have understood Him symbolically and analogically:
New Covenant – The word διαθήκη (diathēkē) is covenant, and which is expressed by the Hebrew word בּרית berı̂yth (Berith), a covenant, The meaning is, that this was the new covenant which God was to make with man in contrast to that made through Moses. When an Old Testament covenant was made there always had to be sacrifice made. When Abraham confirmed the Covenant of Circumcision and walked between the divided carcasses with the burning pot he was effectively saying – this (referring to the carcasses) do to me and more so if I don’t fulfil my side of the bargain. It was a solemn oath or statement of intent.
The new covenant was established with Christ’s own blood, of which the wine in the cup was a sign and symbol. It is called new, not because it was newly made, for it was made from everlasting. Neither was it recently revealed, for it was made known to Adam and Eve immediately after the fall, and to other saints in succeeding ages. It is called new in contrast to the old covenant, and it provides for and promises new things, preferable to all others. It is ratified by his blood: hence his blood is called “the blood of the everlasting covenant”, Heb_13:20, pardon and righteousness, peace and reconciliation, and entrance into the holiest of all, all come through this blood.
you show the Lord’s death till he come; or it may be translated in the imperative mood, as an exhortation, direction or command, “show or demonstrate the Lord’s death till he come”. “till he come” infers there shall be no longer need of symbols of His body because when He comes the body itself will be manifest. The Greek expresses the certainty of His coming.
All of the above is set in the context of Paul passing on the ordinance of Communion. Many think this was a very early Christian teaching which was “canned” in a series of set teaching statements about the tradition of communion. That may be but whichever way you look at it Paul is still using it to correct the false practice of the Corinthians relating to communion.
The More Opinions You Listen To, The Weaker You Become.Robb Thompson
We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my take on it and I’m sticking to it.Ian Vail