For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread (I Corinthians 11:23).
Those who read my blog regularly, know that I like to rant against the many manmade traditions that have crept into Christianity. The Catholics and others have added many sacred acts to our religion that are not found in the Bible, which they claim was must perform in order to help purchase our salvation. Many of these traditions, such as lighting a candle for the dead, were invented by human beings and contribute nothing to the salvation of the deceased.
However, those few traditions that were commanded and instituted by Christ must be obeyed by all Christians. One of these is “communion” or “the Lord’s supper.” What Paul is saying in the verse above is that communion is not something he invented himself, it is something that was personally instituted by Jesus Christ his last night before he was crucified. Paul goes on in the following verses to relate the simple instructions that Jesus gave for performing communion. Paul warns us not to change the instructions or purpose of the meal, as some in Corinth had presumably done. The previous verses indicate that there were some who were eating the so-called “Lord’s supper” without really reflecting at all on what the Lord had done for them. In fact, they were not really remembering Him at all. They were just stuffing themselves full of food that they themselves had brought to the party, paying little heed to the symbolism of the bread and wine. They were changing the tradition in order to suit themselves. But Paul warns them that the Lord’s supper is not to be trifled with this way: it must be observed respectfully the way that Jesus originally commanded.