In this passage, Paul corrects the Corinthians’ abuse of the Lord’s Supper. He begins by telling them that he does not praise them in this matter because their assembling together leaves them worse than if they had not assembled at all. The reason for this is that they are divided when they assemble. Paul tells them that this must happen, so that those who are approved by the Lord will become evident. However, he tells them that they do not eat the Lord’s Supper, but their own suppers. Then, he implies that they could eat and drink at home, but they despise the church through their sin, and shame those who do not have food to eat during the assembly.
In verse 23, Paul begins to explain how the Lord’s Supper originated: the Lord told him that He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, told the disciples that the bread was His body, which was for them, and commanded them to eat it in remembrance of Him. Furthermore, the Lord said that the cup of wine was the new covenant in His blood, and commanded the disciples to drink it in remembrance of Him. Then, Paul summarizes these instructions by saying that the Lord’s Supper proclaims the Lord’s death. As a result, Paul says in verse 27 that anyone who partakes of the Lord’s Supper in the way in which the Corinthians are is guilty of murdering the Lord. In contrast to this, he commands them to examine themselves in preparation for partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Otherwise, one who does not treat the body of Christ, the church, correctly will be judged for partaking of the Lord’s Supper in such a condition. That is why many of the Corinthians are weak and sick, as well as why some of them are dead. However, such judgment would not come if they judged the body of Christ rightly. Nevertheless, the purpose for the judgment, or weakness, sickness, and death, is to discipline the church, and to make sure that disciplined church members do not fall away from the faith.
In verse 33, Paul concludes by commanding the Corinthians to wait for one another when they are gathering for the Lord’s Supper. Furthermore, he commands those who are hungry to refrain from eating a meal at the Lord’s Supper.