| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 96 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
pp. 225 - 229
Having glanced at the connection of the agape, the love-feast or communal meal, with
the Lord's Supper, we return to the Apostle Paul's argument in I Cor. 10: 16:
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion (sharing) of the blood of
Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a communion (sharing) of the body of
Christ? Seeing that we, who are many, are one bread, one body: for we all partake of the
one bread" (10: 16, 17 R.V.).
In the last study we pointed out that the cup of blessing was a technical Jewish term
for the cup of wine drunk at the end of the meal with an appropriate grace: "Blessed art
Thou, O Lord our God, Who givest us the fruit of the vine". In the Passover meal, this
was the third of the four cups that had to be drunk. The Apostle is now going to argue
that the symbols of the wine and broken bread set forth the broken body and shed blood
of the Lord Jesus, the redemptive benefits of which they all shared together by faith in
Him; this fact binding them into one body or company of believers. This was set forth
pictorially, by their drinking the cup and eating the broken bread. In this sense they had a
common participation in the body and blood of Christ. The phrase `one body' used here
is explained: "Because there is one loaf, we, many as we are, form one body, for we all
partake" (verse 17 C. K. Barrett). The common participation bound them into one
company, and so, as Rom. 12: 5 later expressed it, they were "one body IN Christ, and
every one members one of another". Note, Paul does not say they were the Body OF
Christ. In Christ is positional, such as we have it used in II Cor. 5: 17. The joint-Body
(sussoma) of Ephesians was a later revelation: the latter word is not used in the Acts
epistles, and we need to be very accurate in our reading of the context we are studying.
Let us not forget that the discussion concerning the Passover meal and the Lord's Supper
arose from the warning to flee from idolatry (10: 14), and to avoid as far as possible food
offered to idols. Any participation in these things after sharing in the tremendous
benefits that flowed from the Lord's death, symbolized by the broken bread and the wine,
would be treachery indeed.
Paul now points to an analogy to re-inforce his argument:
"Behold Israel after the flesh; have not they which eat the sacrifices communion with
the altar?" (10: 18 R.V.).
In some of the O.T. sacrifices, the priests and the offerer shared together in the eating
of the sacrifice. They were "partners at the altar" and equally partook of the benefits.
But no such idea of blessing could be read into idolatry:
"Well: what do I mean by this? That food sacrificed to an idol is anything? Or that
an idol is anything?" (10: 19 C. K. Barrett).
Idolatry was dangerous from many aspects, but chiefly because behind all idolatry was
demonism and Satan worship: "the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to
demons (devils), and not to God; and I would not that ye should have communion