1 CORINTHIANS 10:14-17; 11:27-32
10:14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
11:27Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.30For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Who would have thought that participating in the Lord's Supper in a certain manner could be an occasion of sin and judgment? And the judgment that Paul refers to is pretty serious: sickness and, for some, even death.
Why the severity of the judgment? The answers lies in "an unworthy manner" cited in verse 27. What could this be? In the unloving, self-centered, unruly manner of some of the Corinthians believers who came to the Lord's Table. Some, perhaps hard to believe, got their fill at the Lord's Table, not eating before they came (see v. 34). And many, coming to the table without prayer and checking their motive and attitude toward others.
The irony of this sin is that it's taking place in the one act that commemorates the "body of Christ" (v. 29). The "body" here can refer to the Lord's physical body or the church as the body of Christ. Mostly likely in the context of Paul's discussion, it's the second notion. People are coming to the Lord's Supper unaware of the nature of the church as the body of Christ. Instead of unity, there's disunity. Instead of other-centeredness, there's self-centeredness. Instead of Christ, their is Self.
Hence, the severity of the judgment.
Woe is us!
Let's pray: Lord Jesus, forgive us for our own self-centeredness and impure motives when dealing with others. Please bring your perspective and humility. We recant of our self-agenda seeking ways. Bless those around us. Bless our lives today. Help us to keep things in your perspective, the perspective of your kingdom and your cross. In your name, amen.