By Glenn Reese
What is the Lord’s supper? It’s a symbolic act of obedience where Christians remember the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming. The bread is a symbol of His body and the juice represents His blood.
For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
There it was. Every time I sat in church as a child – always near the front – I read the words “Do this in remembrance of me.” which were inscribed on a table that sat front and center. We called it the Communion Table. The table where the men in suits placed the juice and crackers. The words inscribed come directly from Jesus as recorded in Luke’s Gospel:
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
- Luke 22:19
When Jesus spoke those words to the disciples, there was a history of over a thousand years of Passover celebrations. Years of remembering God’s deliverance of the Israelites out of the slavery of Egypt. I doubt they fully realized they were eating the Passover meal with the Passover Lamb.
Now we are over two thousand years removed from the death and resurrection of Jesus. How desperately I need to remember.
The word remember is found 171 times in the Bible. Remember the Sabbath… remember my covenant… remember Lot’s wife … remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead…
How about this use of remember: One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
- Luke 23:39-43
I wonder if this criminal might have thought after Jesus’ death, “I hope He (Jesus) remembers me”? That criminal, along with the rest of us criminals, is eternally grateful that Jesus remembers us and remembers our sin no more.
Way too often when I take communion, I struggle to remember Jesus. Just Jesus.
I remember sin – He chooses not to
I remember shame – He extends grace
I remember failure – He redeems the past
I remember rebellion – He extends loving kindness
Is it possible for me to come to His table with child-like wonder again?
Can I remove the distractions and focus on Jesus? Just Jesus.
Can I seek His face more than Facebook? Can I take delight in the Text more than texting?
Yes, I can. As I allow His Word to settle my restless heart; as I allow His Spirit to fill me; as I gather with my family in Christ, take a cracker and a cup of juice, look to the cross, and remember Jesus. Just Jesus.