In Remembrance of Him

Text: 1 corinthians 11:23-26 Speaker: Festival: Passages: 1 corinthians 11:23-26

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1 corinthians 11:23-26

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for1 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”2 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

Footnotes

[1] 11:24 Some manuscripts broken for
[2] 11:24 Or as my memorial; also verse 25

(ESV)

 

What will you leave for your children? If you happen to know that you were going to die tomorrow, and your children were all gathered around you. What would you give them as an inheritance? What did you receive from your parents?

In our Women of Faith devotions we heard about a lady who knew that she was dying. Let’s just call her Susan. Susan was worried that when she was gone her children would drift apart. While she was alive she worked hard to plan family outings to make sure they regularly got together. But when she was gone she was worried they would all be too busy with their own lives. They would forget about her and each other and slowly drift apart.

For this reason Susan left instructions that when she died her ashes were supposed to be divided into four parts. She chose four different destinations for each of the four parts, and instructed that the whole family was to travel together to these locations. This way at least four times in the coming years the family would come together. They would remember her and they would be together.

 

The night before His death Jesus had similar thoughts. He knew that He was to go to His death, and he knew the prophecy.

Zechariah 13:7 Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered;

He knew that it was His love and His power that kept the sheep together. He knew that Satan was waiting for His death so that he could scatter and devour the sheep. What would keep the apostles and disciples together after He was gone?

For this reason He instituted the Lord’s Supper. It was His desire that His disciples should continue to come together to eat and to drink in memory of Him and in fellowship with one another. He put in the Lord’s Supper the same power and love with which He had kept the disciples united and safe from the evil one.  He made it an everlasting testimony in order to unite all His disciples.

If His church was to last the thousands of years till He came again they need to be firmly united in His love. For this reason He gave the Lord’s Supper as an inheritance for all time, In Remembrance of Him

 

One wonders about Susan’s kids.  Did they really fulfill her wishes? Did they all come together and travel together and spread her ashes in all four places? It’s easy to imagine that it didn’t really work out the way Susan wanted. Maybe they all did the first spot, but then the second time one or two kids couldn’t make it. They were too busy, too busy with work and kids. Maybe they tried but they just couldn’t find a good time that worked for everyone. Maybe they kept putting off the second or the third trip, and then they just never got around to it.

In the case of the Lord’s Supper we don’t have to imagine. We know how quickly His disciples began to forget.

1 Corinthians 11:18  when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you

1 Corinthians 11:20-22  20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.  21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.  22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

What God had meant to unite them, they used to create division. Each one pushing and shoving and making sure they got what they wanted ahead of others. What God had meant to be in remembrance of Him, became all about the desires of the moment.

I wonder what Paul would say to us?

My attitude tends to slip more in the direction of the men from the parable of the wedding feast. Remember the Lord sent our invitations to all those people to come to the great feast he had prepared. But they all wrote back making excuses. I’m too busy with my farm. I’m too busy with a new house I have to buy, etc.

How often don’t we make excuses? Like Susan’s kids, like the men from the parable. Even when we do come do we do we take the time to do it in “Remembrance of Him.” Or is it something we just get through as fast as we can so we can so we can get home and get back to the things of this life?

 

Christ gave the Lord’s Supper as an inheritance to the church for all time, so that we would regularly take time out of life to remember Him, to come together as a family and to be united in His power and His love.

The word “remember” is an action verb. When the Bible says that, “God Remembered,” His power is at work.

Here His power is at work within us to cause us to remember His death, and to unite us to himself and to one another. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of His death and life but it is more than that. It is God’s power in action to bring life and salvation to His people.

We ought to remember and rejoice in that great inheritance we have received no matter if we receive it once a month, or once a week, or four times a week.  What is it that we receive each and every time?

For I have passed on to you that which was given to me, “take and eat, this is my body and my blood give for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

What is God’s great love doing for us:

  1. In the memory of the Christs death we see our sins, as it is written, “in remembrance of me.”
  2. By the power of His blood we receive the forgiveness of sins which is given specifically to you, as it is written, “for you.”
  3. With the true presence of His body and blood we are united with Him and each other, as it is written, ” This is my body, this is my blood.”

This is our inheritance for the Lord for all time, in remembrance of Him.

AMEN