Have you ever noticed how often Israel would turn from God, suffer the consequences God promised, and turn back to God. Like them, the stories were read to us since childhood. We learn from the history of Israel that our behavior is not new. Like Israel, we repent, promise to turn from our sins, and then sin again. For many of us, we are making plans to engage in gluttony, hypocrisy, or idolatry before we even leave the sanctuary on Sunday afternoon. Somehow, our memories grow short and we forget the victory Christ gained for us.
Perhaps this is why Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a regular practice, so we would often be reminded of what he did and what that means for us.
24 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.” NKJV
Christ was beaten to the point that He was no longer recognizable. He was scourged using a device known as a cat of nine tails. It is a devastating weapon that is able to remove flesh from bone. He was beaten to a point that would normally be a death sentence. We find in Isaiah that it was by His stripes that we are healed, He was bruised for our iniquities, and wounded for our transgressions.
25 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.” NKJV
Starting in the Garden of Eden, God established that our sins required a sacrifice to cleanse us. The law handed down by Moses was meant to demonstrate that we would never be able to provide an adequate payment on our own. It was Abraham that revealed God’s plan, in Genesis 22:8, to offer the only sacrifice that could cover our sins when he told his son that “God will provide himself a lamb.” KJV
Jesus paid a terrible price for our sins. We have a freedom that we neither deserve nor could we have ever gained for ourselves. We need to be reminded of what we have and what it cost. Our salvation was not cheap and should never be forgotten.
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. NKJV
Perhaps, though, the reason Jesus wanted us to keep this practice was to declare what He did to a world that desperately needs Him. In His death, burial, and resurrection, we have the only eternal hope for a desperately wicked world. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant for the price already paid by Christ and the promise of His return as well. In this practice, we are able to declare that God’s word is faithful and true. He has already forgiven us and He will come again!
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