Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
The bread and the wine of the New Testament Passover, representing Christ’s body and blood given in His complete sacrifice for our sins, are not something to take lightly. Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians give us a warning and advice about preparing for this meaningful memorial.
Baptized Christians are commanded to take the bread and wine, to recommit to our loving God and Savior. Examining ourselves will surely show how far we fall short of the perfection of our Savior, and how much we need His sacrifice and His help to overcome. We are not worthy and cannot make ourselves worthy.
Thankfully Paul is not talking about being worthy, but about approaching God in a respectful way. Seeking God’s forgiveness and help allows us to take these symbols in a humble, worthy way.