REMEMBERING THE LORD’S DEATH
We are in the Lent season.
This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday,
And then Good Friday and Easter.
In our church as in many others
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
One of the meanings of the Lord’s Supper is
That it is an act of Remembering.
We remember and proclaim Christ’s death
Until he comes.
The apostle Paul reminds the church
how the Lord’s Supper was started
and what the purpose of it was.
Paul had received the account
as a part of the church’s tradition,
and had passed it along faithfully,
and now he was reminding them again.
1 Cor 11:23-26
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,
and when he had given thanks,
he broke it, and said,
"This is my body which is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also 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."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
The Lord’s Supper is rooted in history.
It was a certain man, Jesus, son of Joseph,
and it was a certain night,
“the same night in which He was betrayed” (v. 23),
and it was a certain event
in which He took real bread and wine
and instituted the sacred rite.
The Passover meal that gave occasion for the Lord’s Supper
looked back in Israel’s history
to the event by which God delivered Israel
out of the bondage of Egypt.
The Lord’s Supper at the time of its beginning
looked forward to an event of deliverance for all mankind,
Christ’s death on the Cross and His Resurrection.
At the Passover celebration
it was traditional for a child to ask his father,
“Why is this night different from other nights?”
and this would be the clue for the father
to retell the story how God delivered Israel from Egypt.
Paul’s explanation is an effort to remind the Corinthians
of the sacrifice that Christ made for them.
The Lord’s Supper is about God’s gift of grace and sacrifice,
“this is My body which is for you.”
In this statement Jesus identifies Himself
with the Passover Lamb,
the lamb that was sacrificed
and whose blood was smeared
on the doorposts of the Israelite homes in Egypt.
It is a reminder that the angel of Death
Passed over their homes and saved them that night.
This call to remember, however,
Is not only an invitation to remember how he died,
And the reason for his death.
We are also challenged to remember that His death brings life.
We are to remember His life and His teaching,
His Resurrection and the victory and hope that it brings,
and we are to remember His purpose in the world.
In the observance
Christ wants us to remember everything about Him—
His love for us,
and His power.
And that is what we in fact do,
As often as we eat the bread
and drink the wine in remembrance of Him.
By his death,
Jesus established a new covenant
That is based on God’s grace and love.
May God grant us the joy of our salvation
As we remember that he died
So that we may live.
Eternal God, heavenly Father,
you have graciously accepted us as living members
of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ,
and you have fed us
with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood.
Send us now into the world in peace,
and grant us strength and courage
to love and serve you
with gladness and singleness of heart;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Der Herr segne dich und bewahre dich,
Der Herr lasse sein Angesicht leuchten über dir,
Und schenke dir sein Erbarmen,
Der Herr wende sich dir in Liebe zu,
Und gebe dir seine Frieden.