| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 46 - Page 53 of 249 Index | Zoom | |
pp. 26 - 29
The Apostle Paul has been severely reprimanding the Corinthian believers for their
gross abuses of the Church's common meal, the agape, and the Lord's Supper that
followed it. This behaviour was even worse in view of the fact that the love feast was so
closely connected with the New Covenant feast, which was a memorial of the Lord's
atoning death for them; and to link such conduct with such rich and solemn symbols was
The Apostle now elaborates this:
"For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, how that the Lord
Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks,
He brake it, and said, This is My body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of Me"
(I Cor. 11: 23, 24 R.V.).
That the actual words of the Lord Jesus at this Passover supper were handed down
from the apostles to their disciples and then to others there is no doubt, and it is possible
that they could have reached Paul in this way. But in view of Gal. 1: 12, with its great
stress on the Lord's revelation to Paul independently of any human source, it is better to
take the words "I received of the Lord" as meaning that the Apostle received this record
directly from Christ.
There should be no need to stress that this meal was directly connected with the
Passover, as all the four evangelists make perfectly clear. Likewise its connection with
the New Covenant of Jer. 31: is plain, and that covenant is specially related to Israel
and Judah (Jer. 31: 31). It is tradition that wrenches this feast away from its divinely
Israelitish setting, so much so that many Christians have never realized that, in its
inception, it was connected with the Passover at all!
The Lord gives the symbolical meaning to the broken bread and the wine by the figure
Metaphor, in which the verb "to be" means "represents" (see Figures of Speech used in
the Bible by E. W. Bullinger, D.D., p.738). "This (broken bread) represents My body,
which is for you". The ghastly failure of the Roman Church to recognize this fact has
resulted in the blasphemy and bondage of the Mass that has enslaved and deceived
thousands down the centuries.
The twelve apostles were exhorted to keep this feast as a "memorial"--"do this as My
memorial" (I Cor. 11: 25 literally). Now both the Passover and this feast were memorials,
the one reminding Israel of their miraculous deliverance from the bondage of Egypt
(Exod. 13: 9), and the other of a greater deliverance at Calvary from the bondage of sin
and death. In both cases blood was shed stressing death, the former a type of the great
reality, the precious life of Christ, voluntarily laid down in bearing the penalty of the sins
of His people. This figure Metaphor would have been readily understood by these