Big Idea: When we take the Lord’s Supper in unity, we remember the cross.
If there is one value that is undervalued in American society today, it is unity. We value loyalty to our team and hatred of the ‘enemy.’ We value intensity of opinion and certainty of point-of-view. But the thing Jesus prayed for as He ended His earthly ministry? Unity. Corinth was a very modern city in many ways. They were in constant conflict, heavy on factions and light on family, and obsessed with status and prestige. It showed up in many areas of their corporate life, but what seems to have genuinely angered the apostle Paul was when this division spewed its filth on the Lord’s Supper.
In other settings, factions are foolish and juvenile. In this setting, it is blasphemy. How can we, who have received the unmerited broken body and poured-out blood of the spotless Son of God, look down on one another? Or how could we despise someone of a different class? In Corinth, the fellowship feast was a bring-your-own food affair. The wealthy were fat and drunk, while the poor had empty stomachs and sandpaper mouths. Instead of looking at the others as members of a family, their hearts were filled with contempt. Contempt even while the wine that represented the blood of Jesus, who bore the contempt of the Almighty for our sins, was still on their lips. What absurdity! What blasphemy!
The Lord’s Supper must picture the unity bought by the death of Christ. Unity between humanity and God, and unity between people. To eat and drink unworthily, without repentance is to be guilty of the blood and body of the Lord. It is a great responsibility, but also a great privilege. We can serve as a living picture of the work of Christ. Your church is proof of the ministry of reconciliation. It is not for nothing that He said: “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Discussion Idea: Who are some people that are divided from each other today? How can the message of the gospel reconcile them?
Prayer Focus: Pray that God would help you identify the areas in your heart where you look down on others, and help you to overcome them.