Paul’s Deadly Serious Warning to the Corinthian Church Regarding the New Testament Passover in I Corinthians 11:20-32.
What it meant to be a Corinthian or to Corinthianize (Corinthianise)?
It can be defined as one who lives like a Corinthian. A way of life that is one of licentiousness and debauchery. It was used as a verb in the Roman Empire. It could be used to describe drunkenness as well as sexual wantonness and disorderliness. This is the background of the people Paul warned of their many congregational problems. Many Corinthians still had an emotional attachment to idolatrous hedonism from their pagan life before conversion. Note I Cor. 8:4, 7.
The worship of the goddess Venus, whose temple was on hill Acrocorinthus, was attended with shameless profligacy, 1,000 female slave, and temple prostitutes being maintained for the service of strangers. They roamed the city doing religious work for Venus. Corinth was a big seaport. Hence, arose dangers to the purity of the Corinthian Church (1 Corinthians 5-7). Under aged and male prostitutes were also part of the worship system in these pagan cities as well. Young children would be sold to the pagan temples as sex slaves. Do some in our media push our current society in somewhat similar wanton directions as well?
Betrayal and Comradeship Are Part of the New Testament Passover
God’s Church celebrates the last dinner and Passover Service of Jesus Christ and his disciples before He actually became the Passover Lamb because He was crucified at the time when the official Lamb of Israel was sacrificed at the Temple. He was the real Lamb of God. See John 1:29, I Cor.5:7. The entire world will appreciate and know this after Christ returns. He and his disciples had to take the Passover earlier than the other Jews. You cannot eat the Passover lamb before it dies so Israelites ate it several hours after it was sacrificed. The New Testament Passover starts before Jesus’ death and includes the entire experience. The final comradeship and his death are included.
The Disciples were celebrating a solemn comradeship and loyalty to Jesus before the horrible suffering began. Jesus explained to them that it was a good bye. Yet, He would, after He ascended to the throne of God, send them a comforter. It was a heartfelt farewell before the spiritual warfare began with Satan’s world for all of them. Read John chapters 13-17. We also are remembering Jesus’ betrayal by a close friend. That hurt emotionally, but was part of the cost payed by our Savior for us. We are further commemorating his kangaroo trial, humiliations, flogging and painful crucifixion. God rightfully demands that we commemorate this great sacrifice for us by building a strong bond. This must be a bond of love and deep thankfulness and appreciation and real comradeship with Jesus. See John 17:19-20. These prayers of Jesus are also for us latter saints who believe by the words of the Apostles. We also are part of the disciples loved by Jesus.
We Must Behave Reverently and Appreciatively
Paul sternly rebukes the church for their unbelievable corinthianising of the New Testament Passover. They had aggressive partisanship and infights. Some apparently had to be carried out because they were too drunk afterwards. Some ate like pigs and embarrassed themselves and others. Note I Cor. 11:21-22. They were warned that this night on the calendar is to be remembered as the night in which Christ’s body was broken for us. See I Cor. 11:23-25.
Then Paul gave the great warning. Whoever eats and drinks this in an unworthy manner, eats and drinks damnation to himself. Woe!
This must be taken seriously. Paul warns that many in that church were sickly and some had died an early death because of these behaviors. What is Paul’s remedy for these problems? He forth rightly calls for ‘Self-Examination’. No one is worthy of Jesus but we can examine ourselves and commit to repentance and improvement. We can partake of the New Testament Passover reverently, politely and repentantly. Note I Cor. 11:28-32. We should consider this service each year, as a pivot point to repentance and a better more Godly life.