Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Jesusí last meal with his disciples

1 Corinthians 11:23

The night before Jesusí arrest was one of the most important occasions in Jesusí life. It is so important that the Bible gives 5 separate accounts of that last meal. They are: Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-39; John chapters 13 to 17; and here.

Paul was not present at those events, but he still had personal knowledge of them. He seems to say that he received that knowledge from Christ himself. That is why he taught so carefully about those events. In a similar manner, Christ had shown Paul that he (Christ) was alive after his death (see 1 Corinthians 15:8). We do not know how or when Christ showed these things to Paul. However, we can read accounts of how Christ spoke to him in Acts 22:6-10; Acts 22:17-21 and Acts 23:11.

The meal was a special meal, for the sacred holiday called the Passover. Jesusí 12 special students, called the disciples, ate the meal with him. Lamb (a young sheep) was the meat at that meal. God had made special rules about that meal (Exodus 12:2-11).

It was the bread, and not the meat, that Jesus chose especially to speak about on that occasion. Jesus was establishing a special sacred meal, which would help Christians always to remember the importance of his death.

At special meals, people usually choose to have plenty of food that is beautiful and, if possible, expensive. That was the kind of meal that the Christians in Corinth were trying to have (11:21-22). But all that food was not necessary for the special sacred meal that Jesus established. For that meal, they only needed a little bread and wine. It was the meaning of the meal and its purpose - not the food - that was important.

Next part: The reason for Christís death (1 Corinthians 11:24)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.