(1 Corinthians 11:23ff)
What did the apostle Paul receive of the Lord that which he also delivered unto you?
He received a memory. A memory of something. Of bodies and blood. A night. A supper. God’s very last. A memory of Jesus broken and poured out, given unto those he loved—feeding those he loved with himself.
Paul received something else. A memory of something important about that night. A night-lesson Jesus commanded his students to forever mark in their minds—a stake within their heads that upon remembering would drive straight through their hearts. Jesus raised his hand holding up a new covenant and told them in this cup was his utter commitment to them.
Remember this night.
The supper was Jesus’ last because it was the night He was utterly betrayed. It was on this night that covenants and commitments were sealed and solidified for eternity through the breaking of them; where everything established was established forevermore by their dissolution; where everything that was good was purified, exalted, and made perfect by the evil done to it; where every man revealed the true form of his belief by betraying the object of it. This night each and everyone proclaimed in anger or despair, it matters not which, the Lord’s death. It was for man, on the night of his final union with them, the night of his betrayal by them, that the Lord Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks for this great gift, he broke it.
And said, “This is my body, which is broken for you.”
Paul received it too. Not in the upper room, but on a road. And he gave what he got.
For St. Paul received also this same memory, this lesson, this last supper from the Lord. He also proclaimed the Lord’s death; proclaimed full and proud and happy and loud and miserable and hateful; proclaimed it to everyone. Long and long Saul of Tarsus had supped unworthily; guiltily on Christ’s suffering. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. With the taste of Steven's blood fresh in his mind and mouth he proclaimed the lamb's death to the Lord of Shepherds; proclaimed Love's death to Love’s Creator.
Right up until He came back. Then Paul remembered. And when he did, he remembered everything.
Paul, the former king of a life unexamined, warned those he called his children, “But let a man examine himself…
Lest he be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord…
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
A life unexamined is a life untransformed.
“And so often as ye do this, do it in remembrance of me.”