As I ponder the Bread of Life ~ Body of Christ metaphors, I was re-reading Paul’s instructions to the Church in Corinth regarding the Lord’s Supper, and there is a very big deal here that I want to dive into for a few minutes.
Have you ever wondered what Paul is talking about here?
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. – 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 NASB
This chunk of scripture seems very scary. Hey – it says I could be guilty of the body and blood of Jesus, and that it is causing sickness and even death in the Church.
It would be good to know how to avoid this, wouldn’t it?
What typically happens when I hear this passage read, I see the Church go into a tailspin of navel gazing, and self-deprecation that I believe is uncalled for. We start to examine how we are keeping all the “rules,” and invariably we come up short.
Paul actually tells us what to examine here. How do you see the body? Do you see His body the way He does?
His body, broken for you, restoring your relationship with the Father.
His body, broken for you, restoring your relationship with your neighbor.
The only two commandments Jesus left us with were Love God with your entire being and love your neighbor as if he was your own body. Rightly judging the body of Christ has to do with seeing others in the body as Christ does, forgiven and precious!
Just a few sentences further down in this letter, Paul is going to tell the Corinthians that they make up the body of Christ.
Right here though, he is telling them their partisan bickering, dividing over minor areas of doctrine, and their preferring themselves above their neighbors, could actually be the cause of an inability for healing to come to the folks in the church.
You see, Christ teaches us so clearly that all law, and therefore all transgression, all of what offends God, ALL SIN, is relational. Remember those two commandments?
That’s why He tells us
Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. - Matthew 5:23-24
That’s why He tells us
Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. – Mark 11:25
The Lord Supper is the perfect place for you to mend a relationship. When you eat the bread, it’s not just the body of Christ broken for you, it is the body of Christ broken to make you one with the men and women with whom you do your Christian life.
His (physical) body broken to make His body (the Church) whole. [Tweet This]
Ask the Lord if there is a broken place that you can mend.
See you again soon.