The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is a time of solemn remembrance of what Jesus Christ did in shedding His own blood and giving up His life for all of us who believe in Him and who have made Him the Lord of our life. Luke 22:19; I Cor. 11:25; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 10:19-39; I Cor. 16:22; Prov. 8:17. This does not mean that henceforth, we will never stumble, or make mistakes (I John 1:8-10), but that our desire is to live lives that are pleasing to God. We should also have a growing relationship with the Lord, and come to know His DEEP inner Peace (Eph. 4:30; James 5:16; Luke 13:1-5; John 14:27; 17:3; Col. 3:15).
Once when I was discussing this subject with a Lutheran minister, he scolded me for not understanding the plain meaning of the word "is". In other words, he repeated the words of Jesus on the night that He was betrayed, when He told His disciples after He broke the bread, and said: "This IS my body, which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:19.
And I said: "If THAT loaf of bread WAS the actual body of Christ, then why couldn't THAT loaf of bread have been nailed to the cross instead of Jesus' body?"
In fact, later that same night Jesus prayed and asked the Father, that IF it was possible for Him to not have to die, that that was what He wanted, and then He added, "yet not My will, but Thine be done." Luke 22:42
In other words, IF Jesus could call a Loaf of bread His body, then why couldn't that same loaf of bread be nailed to the cross in His place, or another loaf just like it that He had also blessed in a similar manner?
The reason is obvious: i.e. because NOTHING but His actual body and blood could pay for our sins (Eph. 1:7). A loaf of bread is simply not equal to a human, much less a sinless one. And nothing but an actual (and sinless) human body was going to satisfy God's wrath against sinful and fallen human beings who were in rebellion against God. Isa. 53:3-12; I Pet. 2:18-25; I Cor. 1:18-31; II Cor. 5:20-21.
Therefore, it seems obvious (to me) that Jesus was using the loaf of bread in a "spiritual" or symbolic sense, rather than a literal one. This is also seen in John 6:24-63 (esp. verses 29, 35 and 63); See also John 4:34; 7:37-38; Mark 3:33-35; Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:15; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 10:38.
Note also that I Cor. 11:29 is significantly Different between the NASB and the King James. This is (very likely) due to the fact that the oldest manuscripts were not available to the translators of the King James, and the fact they were available to the translators of the New American Standard Bible.
I am speaking about the 4th Century Bible that is held by the Vatican, called the Codex Vaticanus. For according to Benjamin Wilson, who wrote the Emphatic Diaglott (Greek to English New Testament), the Codex Vaticanus does not have the word "Lord's" in verse 29. In other words the NASB is very likely more accurate than the King James in this instance. I say this because in the Emphatic Diaglott (1864 edition) we are told in the footnotes on verse 29 to "omit Lord's" (according to the Codex Vaticanus).
In other words, the verse should read as follows: "For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly." This also fits in very well with the context of verse 28 (where we are told that a man should "examine himself" before he partakes), and verses 30 and 31 (which also talk about judging ourselves, and what happens if we don't do so correctly: i.e. we will be judged by the lord).
Also in this regard, I think it should be stated that EVERY true BELIEVER is a MEMBER of the BODY of CHRIST in a much more intimate way than a loaf of bread ever was. Don't believe me? Then read I Cor. 6:15, and 12:12-27 and see for yourself. See also I Peter 2:1-10.
We are also told in Rev. 1:6, and 1 Peter 2:5 and 9 that we are God's People, and are being made into God's own Priests. In other places we are called Saints (i.e. I Cor. 1:2, Eph. 1:1, Phil. 1:1). And in II Cor. 5:20 we are called "ambassadors for Christ." Also in Acts 2:42-46 we are told that:
"And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone had need. And day by day continually with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved."
In other words, according to Scripture, any true believer can break bread with any other believer: and do so in their own house. And why shouldn't we, since we are called God's People, and are the children of God (I Pet. 2:9-10; I John 3:1; II Cor. 5:17).
God wants our obedience on a daily basis. Just as His life was a sacrifice to God so that He could offer salvation to us, even so our lives are supposed to be living sacrifices to God (Rom. 12:1-2). And when we do fall into sin, we need to confess, and get up and keep going. And if a certain behavior or person is a stumbling block to us, then we need to turn away from it, or from that person. Otherwise they will become a stumbling block to our relationship with the Lord, and will hinder our spiritual growth. And as time goes by, we should be getting closer and closer to Him, and sinning less and less, and also be experiencing His DEEP abiding Peace on a daily basis.
In other words: more than we want to please ourselves, we should be seeking to please God. And if we are married, we should be seeking to serve God in some way, shape, or form, WITH our mates (Ps. 34:3), or else allowing him or her the freedom to serve God and His people while we take care of other things. For if all we do is seek to please ourselves, then (in my opinion) we are very likely not pleasing the Lord (Phil. 2:3-4). However, each man and woman has a different calling, and different gifts as well. If you have peace in what you are doing, then there is a very good chance that you are where the Lord wants you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Randy S. Berg
For those who want to know more See Bernard Bell's article on this topic.