1 Corinthians 11:24
And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1. It is remarkable that we are indebted to Paul for the most particular account of this service, because he was not one of those who were present on the night of its institution. Nor did he derive his knowledge from those who were present (Galatians 1:11, 12). The striking agreement between this report and that of those who were present is one of the evidences of the truth of Scripture.
2. Thoughtful men know the value of particular customs, medals and inscriptions, to certify any historical event. Now, the observance of the Lord's Supper is a standing historical evidence of the truth of the Christian religion. It is to be traced backwards for hundreds of years to the night in which Christ was betrayed; but no farther. There we lose the clue, because the institution then had its origin.
I. THE NATURE OF THE ORDINANCE. It is commemorative.
1. Who is it that is to be particularly remembered? Christ claims our grateful recollection on the ground of —
(1) His dignity. Rank and power impress all beings: but there never was such rank on earth as that which attached to the person of Christ. He was in possession of the attributes of Godhead.
(2) His condescension. He passed by the nature of angels, and was "found in fashion as a man."(3) His love. A love that "passeth knowledge." Christ's love has been compared with the love of Jonathan to David. But that was love for a friend: this is love for enemies. That was love for love: this is love for hatred.
2. What is it that is commemorated?
(1) The death of Christ — a death entitled to this distinction. Many men are remembered who are not entitled to that honour; many have had monuments raised to them, whose name ought to have been blotted out. I find the death of Christ observed by God the Father. "My Father loveth Me because I lay down My life." And we are told that in heaven the great event which is celebrated is the death upon Calvary. "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain." We may well, therefore, celebrate that death.
(2) The second coming of Christ. Just as Israel had manna so long as they were in the wilderness, but when once they came into Canaan, the manna ceased; so when Christ comes we shall not want anything to remind us of Him.
II. THE TEMPER IN WHICH THIS SERVICE SHOULD BE OBSERVED BY US.
1. We are called to remember the person of Christ, and the great events connected with His person, in a manner corresponding with the dignity of His person; and the vastness of the benefits flowing from His sacrifice, as expected by us at His second coming.
2. We are to draw near with fervour and lively gratitude. The ordinance itself is a eucharistical one. Hence we find our Saviour Himself, when He had instituted the supper, sung a hymn.
(J. Beaumont, M.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.