1 Corinthians 11:26 MEANING

1 Corinthians 11:26
(26) For as often as ye . . .--The previous verse concluded the account of the institution as conveyed by Christ to St. Paul, and the Apostle himself now again speaks. All this being the true account of the origin of this Supper, as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup (as distinct from other bread and wine) you proclaim the Lord's death until He come. The Greek word for "ye show" is that used for making a public oral proclamation. The passage does not imply, as some have suggested, that the Lord's Supper "was a living sermon or an acted discourse," but, as is still the custom, that when the bread and wine were consecrated to this sacred use, there was an oral declaration made (perhaps in the very words the Apostle here used, 1 Corinthians 11:22-25) of the facts of the original institution. The imperative form given in the margin of the Authorised version is quite inadmissible.

In the pathetic words "until He come" we may find an expression of the belief, perhaps largely due to the hope, that the Second Advent was not far distant.

Verse 26. - Ye do show the Lord's death. The word literally means, ye announce, or proclaim, with reference to the repetition of the actual words used by our Lord. It will be seen that St. Paul does not lend the smallest, sanction to the unfathomable superstition" of a material transubstantiation. Till he come. Accordingly the antiquity and unbroken continuance of this holy rite is one of the many strong external evidences of the truth of the gospel history. The α}ν is omitted in the Greek, to indicate the certainty of Christ's coming. The same Greek idiom is hopefully and tenderly used in Galatians 4:19.

11:23-34 The apostle describes the sacred ordinance, of which he had the knowledge by revelation from Christ. As to the visible signs, these are the bread and wine. What is eaten is called bread, though at the same time it is said to be the body of the Lord, plainly showing that the apostle did not mean that the bread was changed into flesh. St. Matthew tells us, our Lord bid them all drink of the cup, ch. Mt 26:27, as if he would, by this expression, provide against any believer being deprived of the cup. The things signified by these outward signs, are Christ's body and blood, his body broken, his blood shed, together with all the benefits which flow from his death and sacrifice. Our Saviour's actions were, taking the bread and cup, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and giving both the one and the other. The actions of the communicants were, to take the bread and eat, to take the cup and drink, and to do both in remembrance of Christ. But the outward acts are not the whole, or the principal part, of what is to be done at this holy ordinance. Those who partake of it, are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. The Lord's supper is not an ordinance to be observed merely for a time, but to be continued. The apostle lays before the Corinthians the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable temper of mind; or keeping up the covenant with sin and death, while professing to renew and confirm the covenant with God. No doubt such incur great guilt, and so render themselves liable to spiritual judgements. But fearful believers should not be discouraged from attending at this holy ordinance. The Holy Spirit never caused this scripture to be written to deter serious Christians from their duty, though the devil has often made this use of it. The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord's table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord's table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God's worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,.... Not any bread, or any cup: but what is ate and drank in an ordinance way, and according to the institution and appointment of Christ, and with a view to the end proposed by him; and though there is no set fixed time for the administration of this ordinance, yet this phrase seems to suggest that it should be often: and very plainly signifies, that the bread and wine, after the blessing or thanksgiving, remain such, and are not converted into the real body and blood of Christ; but are only outward elements representing these to faith;

ye do show the Lord's death till he come; or rather, as it may be rendered in the imperative mood, as an exhortation, direction or command, "show ye the Lord's death till he come"; since everyone that eats and drinks at the Lord's table does not show forth his death, which is the great end to be answered by it; for the design of the institution of it is to declare that Christ died for the sins of his people: to represent him as crucified; to set forth the manner of his sufferings and death, by having his body wounded, bruised, and broken, and his blood shed; to express the blessings and benefits which come by his death, and his people's faith of interest in them; and to show their sense of gratitude, and declare their thankfulness for them; and all this, "till he come"; which shows the continuance of this ordinance, which is to last till Christ's second coming, where the carnal ordinances of the former dispensation were shaken and removed; and also the continuance of Gospel ministers to the end of the world, to administer it, and of churches to whom it is to be administered: this assures of the certainty of Christ's second coming; as it leads back to his coming in the flesh, suffering and dying in our stead, and thereby obtaining redemption for us; it leads forward to expect and believe he will come again, to put us into the full possession of the salvation he is the author of; when there will be no more occasion for this ordinance, nor any other, but all will cease, and God will be all in all. The apostle here refers to a custom used by the Jews in the night of the passover, to show forth the reason of their practice, and that institution to their children; when either (u).

"the son asked the father, or if the son had not understanding (enough to ask), then the father taught him, saying, how different is this night from all other nights? for in all other nights we eat leavened and unleavened bread, but in this night only unleavened; in all other nights we eat the rest of herbs, but in this night bitter herbs; in all other nights we eat flesh roasted, broiled, and boiled, in this night only roasted; in all other nights we wash once, in this night twice; and as elsewhere (w) it is added, in all other nights we eat sitting or lying, in this night all of us lie; and according to the capacity of the child, the father teaches him,''

particularly he was to inform him what these several things showed forth, or declared (x); as that

"the passover "declared", or "showed forth", that the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt; the bitter herbs "showed forth", that the Egyptians made the lives of our fathers bitter in Egypt; and the unleavened bread "declared" that they were redeemed; and all these things are called "the declaration", or showing forth:''

and there is a treatise called , "the showing forth of the passover"; in which, besides the things mentioned, and many others, it is observed (y), that it was commanded the Jews "to declare" the going out of Egypt, and that everyone that diligently declares the going out of Egypt, is praiseworthy: now the apostle observes this end of the Lord's supper, to show forth his death, in opposition to the notion of the "judaizing" Christians at Corinth, who thought of nothing else but the showing forth of the passover, and the declaration of that deliverance and redemption wrought for the people of Israel; whereas the true and only intent of it was to show forth the death of Christ, redemption by him, and the greatness of his love expressed therein, and which is to be continued till his second coming; whereas the time was come when it should "be no more said, the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt", Jeremiah 16:14.

(u) Misn. Pesach. c. 10. sect. 4. Haggadah Shel. Pesach. p. 5. (w) Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c. 8. sect. 2.((x) Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora prec. aff. 41. (y) P. 5, 6. Ed. Rittangel. & Seder. Tephillot. Ed. Basil. fol. 243. 1.

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