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The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”


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23. His object is to show the unworthiness of such conduct from the dignity of the holy supper.

I—Emphatic in the Greek. It is not my own invention, but the Lord's institution.

received of the Lord—by immediate revelation (Ga 1:12; compare Ac 22:17, 18; 2Co 12:1-4). The renewal of the institution of the Lord's Supper by special revelation to Paul enhances its solemnity. The similarity between Luke's and Paul's account of the institution, favors the supposition that the former drew his information from the apostle, whose companion in travel he was. Thus, the undesigned coincidence is a proof of genuineness.

night—the time fixed for the Passover (Ex 12:6): though the time for the Lord's Supper is not fixed.

betrayed—With the traitor at the table, and death present before His eyes, He left this ordinance as His last gift to us, to commemorate His death. Though about to receive such an injury from man, He gave this pledge of His amazing love to man.

24. brake—The breaking of the bread involves its distribution and reproves the Corinthian mode at the love-feast, of "every one taking before other his own supper."

my body … broken for you—"given" (Lu 22:19) for you (Greek, "in your behalf"), and "broken," so as to be distributed among you. The oldest manuscripts omit "broken," leaving it to be supplied from "brake." The two old versions, Memphitic and Thebaic, read from Luke, "given." The literal "body" could not have been meant; for Christ was still sensibly present among His disciples when He said, "This is My body." They could only have understood Him symbolically and analogically: As this bread is to your bodily health, so My body is to the spiritual health of the believing communicant. The words, "Take, eat," are not in the oldest manuscripts.

in remembrance of me—(See on 1Co 11:25).

25. when he had suppedGreek, "after the eating of supper," namely, the Passover supper which preceded the Lord's Supper, as the love-feast did subsequently. Therefore, you Corinthians ought to separate common meals from the Lord's Supper [Bengel].

the new testament—or "covenant." The cup is the parchment-deed, as it were, on which My new covenant, or last will is written and sealed, making over to you all blessings here and hereafter.

in my blood—ratified by MY blood: "not by the blood of goats and calves" (Heb 9:12).

as oft asGreek, "as many times soever": implying that it is an ordinance often to be partaken of.

in remembrance of me—Luke (Lu 22:19) expresses this, which is understood by Matthew and Mark. Paul twice records it (1Co 11:24 and here) as suiting his purpose. The old sacrifices brought sins continually to remembrance (Heb 10:1, 3). The Lord's Supper brings to remembrance Christ and His sacrifice once for all for the full and final remission of sins.




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