After God raised Jesus from the dead, Jesus’ followers* began to tell people the good news. This news travelled to many places very far from Jerusalem* where it all started. Soon, people in the city of Corinth* heard the news and many people believed. The believers* began to gather, and a church grew up there. After many years, Paul* decided that he should write a letter to the church there. They were having some problems and Paul wanted to help them. Some of the people there were not acting in a good way when the church ate the Lord’s Supper. So that is one of the things he talked about in his letter.
Paul reminded them where the meal came from and why it is important.
He told them that on the night before Jesus died, he took bread. He gave thanks to God and then broke some bread for his disciples* to eat. It was Jesus who first ate this meal with the disciples. So he told them what to do. Jesus said, ‘Take this bread and eat it. This is my body which is broken for you. Do this to remember me.’
Jesus also took the cup and gave it to them to drink from. He said, ‘This cup brings a new promise between you and God by my blood. Whenever you drink it, do it to remember me.’
When Jesus first ate this meal with his followers, he made them a promise. He said that he was going away. But he would drink it with them again one day as they sit together in his Father’s kingdom*.
Paul says, ‘This means that you are to eat this bread and drink from this cup. And every time that you do, you are telling of the Lord’s death until He comes again. But you should look into your own heart* before you eat the bread and drink from the cup. You must not forget how Jesus gave his body for you. If you do, this will not please God.’
Paul wants the Lord’s Supper to be important to them. He wants them to take care of one another as they eat. So, he writes to help them. He says, when they eat, they are to think about what Jesus did for them. Jesus gave his body to rescue them. And they should remember that Jesus is coming again. And they will stand before him when he comes. Paul tells them that, if they think about these things, they will honor* God as they eat.
We do not come to eat the Lord’s Supper because we think that the bread and the cup will save us. We come to honor Jesus because he has already saved us. We come because we believe that Jesus has done all that God has required. We come to the supper because we are part of his family and he welcomes us there. We come because we love him. We are so thankful for what he did for us.
Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper to help us so that we would not forget that he loves us. He loves us so much that he put himself into the hands of men who caused him to suffer. He died a painful death to rescue us so that we would not have to suffer such a death.
We were weak and could not help ourselves. God showed His love to us. While we were still sinners,* Christ died for us. Christ came at the right time and gave His life for people who did not please God. God saved us from the punishment of sin by the blood of Christ. He has also saved us from God’s anger. We were enemies of God. But we were saved from the punishment of sin by the death of Christ. And because he rose again to life, even when we were far away, he brought us back to God.