Monday, April 23, 2012

“This Do In Remembrance of Me”

By Ken Chumbley
    Tomorrow, being the last Monday in May, Congress has decreed, is Memorial Day in honor of those who have given their lives in military service for the United States. It is appropriate that we honor those who gave the supreme sacrifice for the liberty of this nation. However, today, the first day of the week, Christians gather together to remember the greatest sacrifice of all time, that of Jesus Christ, the Son of the God who gave His life on Calvary’s cross. We gather to partake of the Lord’s Supper in memory of the One who freely shed His blood that we might have the remission of sins.
    In this life, we have many different kinds of memorials in order to remember certain individuals. In our Bible Study last Lord’s Day, we read the words written by brother Leroy Brownlow. “We look at a flower from mother’s grave in memory of man’s truest friend on earth; we look at a faded picture of father in remembrance of him who guided us through tender years; we look at a lock of baby’s golden hair in memory of her who was with us such a short time; we go to Washington’s monument and stand with heads uncovered in memory of the father of our country.” He continued, “Hallowed flowers kept within the lids of the Bible disintegrate into fragments and powder with time; once cherished pictures are transformed by the years into unrecognizable scraps of paper; marble monuments are first effaced and finally leveled by time.” (Why I am a member of the Church of Christ, pages 168-169). However, as brother Brownlow so eloquently points out, the memorial that we have in order to carry out Christ’s command to remember Him is such that time and the elements cannot destroy it. When our Lord instituted what we refer to as the Lord’s Supper, he took two simple common things, unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, and gave them a wonderful significance. Two simple things that can be easily acquired. When Jesus instituted the feast He said that the unleavened bread was to remind us of His body that was broken and bruised on the cross of Calvary and the fruit of the vine His blood that was shed. Thus Christians every first day of the week (Acts 20:7) remember the Lord and His sacrifice by the partaking of these two simple elements.
    The unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are given as a memorial that preaches Christ’s death (I Cor. 11:26). However, it also preaches the return of Christ for He said that this was to be done by His disciples “till he come” (I Cor. 11:26). Thus, as we partake of the bread and the fruit of the vine, we look back to that death nearly two thousand years ago on Calvary’s cross but we also look forward to that day when He will come again to receive His own unto Himself. Additionally, it is a memorial that preaches the New Covenant for our Lord said, as recoded by Paul, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood “ (I Cor. 11:25). The cup, the fruit of the vine that we partake of is the sign of and confirmation of the New Covenant between God and man that could not be ratified or brought into effect without the death of the testator (Heb. 9:16-17).
    Let us, as we partake of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine this Lord’s Day and indeed each Lord’s Day realize the significance of this wonderful memorial to our Savior and realize afresh what His death, His coming again and the New Covenant mean to us and let us truly give thanks for this greatest of sacrifices.

- Ken Chumbley preaches for the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC.  He may be contacted at their website: 

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