Let A Man Examine Himself…
The Breaking of Bread should not be taken for granted and hence Paul gives us food for thought. Paul reminds the brethren at Corinth as well as us that our position in Christ is very much like Israels. The 11th chapter of 1 Corinthians is often read by the presiding brother to introduce the emblems as a way of focusing our minds on the seriousness of this simple but essential act.
The bread and wine remind us of the covenant which binds us to God. As a way of remembering our absent Master, we recognize his perfection in contrast to our unworthiness, and we are thankful for the love and forgiveness we receive through His sacrifice; we also re-dedicate our lives to him, bearing in mind that “with his stripes we are healed”. Our self-examination should therefore humble us, and “the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
In the privacy of our minds then we should examine ourselves and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. None of us is without sin, otherwise there would have been no need for the sin offering, but “discerning the Lord’s body” includes remembering that “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye (we) should follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). In our self-examination we should have the assurance that through Jesus whom we remember we can; “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Truly here is a man who was “despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering”. Do we then, brothers and sisters, in our self-examination recognize ourselves with his suffering, do we truly know this man whom we remember every first day of the week by breaking bread, do we truly want to share in his suffering? “Let (therefore) a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup”.
Bro Costa Kanembe and son Alijah
Bro Costa and Bro Eddy discussing with students
Bro Stewart Gomeza (South Africa)