Paul’s use of the words “on the night [Jesus] was betrayed” (1 Corinthians 11:23) underscores the serious nature of the matter he was addressing. It was Christ who implemented the first Communion (Lord’s Supper), and He did so on the Passover night before His crucifixion. Paul revisits the importance of this ordinance to correct a serious error in the church at Corinth. He led into this section by saying, “In the following directives I have no praise for you” (v. 17)—stern words to hear from an apostle of Jesus.
The apostle pointed out how there were “divisions” among the people (v. 18). Some were eating too much while others went hungry, and some were even getting drunk. The apostle found such behavior appalling and warned of God’s judgment on those who were offending in this matter (vv. 27–32). He concluded by appealing for their renewed unity (v. 33).