Thursday: How is Christ’s Death Remembered?

lastsuppermuralGod is into commemorating because we are into forgetting.

On Thursday of Holy Week, our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper, also called communion and the eucharist (which means thanksgiving). Scripture describes the scene:

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26, NKJV).

The heart and soul of the Christian message is wrapped up in the death of Christ. He came that he might die. In that death, he shattered the bonds of sin, crushed the head of the devil, broke the bars of hell, and defeated death and the grave forever. His sacrificial death was a once-for-all event, never to be repeated, duplicated, or forgotten.

Our problem is that we forget. We morph the grand story of God’s own work for us into the lunacy of our work for him. We turn the biblical message on its head, insisting that we are to be radical for Jesus, fanatics for Christ, and crazy for God — without first anchoring our hearts in this great finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s Cross.

We are creating a generation of activists, a mile wide and an inch deep in their faith.

Such faith cannot withstand the onslaught of culture gone wild. It will most surely melt into the indiscriminate sentimentality we are already seeing today.

Such faith cannot guard the truths once for all delivered to the saints. It will cave in in the name of tolerance and not making waves.

Such faith cannot withstand the adversities of life. It will disappoint Christ-followers, leading them to doubt the Almighty’s power, and ultimately causing them to turn to other gods to save them.

When God’s people are thin in the doctrines of the Cross, they will be weak in the warfare of life and faith. You cannot remember what you have not first of all learned.

What is the solution?

To proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.

I submit that no one benefits from communion who is not taught well the doctrines of the Cross.

  • Is there guilt? Then come to know the great forgiveness purchased by Christ’s shed blood.
  • Is there self-doubt? Then learn the wonders of acceptance wrapped up in the doctrine called propitiation.
  • Is anyone afflicted with self-punishing tendencies? Then saturate the heart in what another generation called expiation.
  • Do you feel inadequate in life or love? Then sink deep roots into the soil of justification.
  • What about a cold heart? Believe more deeply in the fires of regeneration — a divine fuel that never runs dry.
  • Are you perpetually trapped in addictions, bondage, and sin? For you, the Cross has purchased redemption. Do you even know what that is?

Only the great cluster of doctrines wrapped up in Christ’s death can put a solid foundation under the church’s feet to face the trials before us.

Every communion service is a test: how well can you concentrate on Jesus Christ? How long can you think of him? What content lies within your soul to appreciate, worship, value, and rest in his Cross? What is the meaning of his broken body? What is the value of his shed blood? How do these things fortify you to face the day?

  • The communion service is not about your commitment to God, not one bit. It its about his commitment to you, proven by a bloody Savior.
  • The communion service is not primarily an exercise in emotion, though that may come. It is above all else, a REMEMBRANCE: a calling to mind of the things you have learned of the wonders of the Cross of Christ.
  • The communion service is not primarily a sacrament, which means a mysterious transfer of grace. It is an ordinance, which mean set pattern to remind us of grace that has already been transferred, to the max, once for all.
  • The communion service is not primarily about Christianity, dedication, fellowship, unity, following Jesus, or anything else we might make it out to be. IT IS ABOUT HIS DEATH. HIS CROSS. HIS SHED BLOOD. HIS SACRIFICE. HIM, NAILED TO A TREE, BEARING OUR SIN AND RECONCILING OUR SORRY SELVES TO GOD.

Christ knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows how our gears slip, how our compass loses calibration, how our legalism asserts its stupid head, how our distractibility sends us into a tizzy to be busy for Jesus. He knows how easily we forget the main thing. So he created this ordinance, this periodic recalibration, to drag our souls back to the thing that matters most: For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2, NKJV).

Thank you, Lord, for your body, broken for me.

Thank you, Lord, for your blood, shed for me.

Thank you, Lord, for so great a salvation.

Lord, let me never forget.

As always, sharing is appreciated.