The Heavenly Banquet
1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Now in this that I declare to you I praise you not, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse.…

Let me notice here the many words which are connected with "the Lord" by the apostle: the Lord's body (ver. 29), the Lord's blood (ver. 27), the Lord's bread (ver. 27), the Lord's cup (ver. 27), the Lord's death (ver. 26), the Lord's Supper (ver. 20). For in this ordinance Christ is all and in all; He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Why does the apostle call it the Lord's Supper?

I. THE LORD APPOINTED IT. It is not man's feast, or the Church's feast, it is the feast of the Lord.

II. HE PROVIDES. The feast of fat things is of His providing, so is the table, so is the banqueting house, so is the raiment. All the viands are of His selection, His purchase, His setting out. He is both appointer and provider. The provisions must be rare and suitable and nourishing in such a case. His wisdom knows what we need, and His love prepares it all.

III. HE INVITES. Come, is His message to us!

IV. HE IS HIMSELF THE FEAST. He is the Paschal Lamb. He is the bread and wine. Yes; Christ is Himself the provision, as well as the Provider.

V. HE PARTAKES WITH US. He sits at the table Himself, and forms one of our number. Here we have fellowship with Him, and He with us. Seated at this table, and partaking of this Supper —

1. We look backward. And as we look back we see the passover, we see the shewbread, we see the Cross.

2. We look forward. For we show His death till He come. We fix our eye on the coming glory.

3. We look inward. In doing so, we ask, Is my soul prospering?

4. We look around. Brethren in the Lord are on each side — our fellow-believers, our fellow-pilgrims. Love circulates around, as well as joy and peace.

5. We look outward. We cannot, at a feast like this, forget a world which is famishing; shutting itself out from this heavenly feast, and revelling in its lusts and vanities. We pity, we pray for you, we plead with you to come. For here at this table we find all we need — the fulness of Christ. Here we taste —

(1)  His love.

(2)  His peace and joy.

(3)  His consolations.

(4)  His glory.For that glory is our hope, specially at the table. Here we get the foretaste of it.

(H. Bonar, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.

WEB: But in giving you this command, I don't praise you, that you come together not for the better but for the worse.

The Church: its Note of Universality
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