1 Corinthians 11:23-25
1Co 11:23 Because this is what I received from the Lord, a truth I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread,
1Co 11:24 And after he gave thanks, he broke it up, and said, “This represents mine — the body broken on behalf of you all. Do this so that you will remember of Me.”
1Co 11:25 In the same way, he poured the cup also, after they ate the bread, and this is what he said, “This cup is the new covenant, launched with my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
do this too
We often snatch these words out of their biblical context and use them as a means of celebrating the solemn rite of communion. Paul used them to berate the Corinthians, who were using the bread and wine as mere additions to their beast feasts. Notice each pronoun referring to Christ in the text that Paul accentuates:
…He was betrayed
…he took bread
…he gave thanks
…he broke it up
…this represents mine
…in remembrance of me
Paul was pointing out that the ritual Christ gave us was focused on remembering him. Paul did not appreciate the fact that the Corinthians had made communion an excuse to indulge in their own prideful gluttony.
In the original context, these were the words of Jesus, and it is right for us to use them in our communion rituals. He broke the bread, and he told us to do this too, so that we remember that his body was broken for us. He poured the wine, and he told us to do this too, so that we can remember the new covenant, launched not with an animal’s blood, but with the blood of Christ himself.
LORD, thank you for giving us a tangible way to regularly remember you, and your gift of grace when you gave yourself for our salvation.