His Request

1 Corinthians 11:26  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Let us meditate briefly on this verse: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." 1 Cor. 11:2626For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:26).
If the Lord had not requested that we remember Him in death according to His own prescribed manner, Christians might still have wished to commemorate His death in some fashion. But if we were left to ourselves to devise a way to do it, there would probably be as many ways, or variations, as there have been Christians who had such a response kindled in their hearts. Even as it is, with the Lord's direct and implicit directions in our hands, there are many innovations and inventions added to or taken away from its beautiful and meaningful simplicity—a loaf of bread and a glass of wine, the "fruit of the vine."
If saints on earth had been left to conjure up some method of remembering Him, some might have set up ways that only the rich could keep-as with Mary, whose precious ointment would cost about a year's wages for a workman. Most of us could not do such a thing. Caste and society might have entered into it in other cases. But to take a loaf-that which unbroken reminds us of His body now composed of all true believers on earth, Himself the Head in heaven, and when broken reminds us of His body, the body prepared for Him, in which He suffered on the accursed tree-and thus remember Him in His body given for us is the simple way He ordained. And to take the cup, that which reminds us of His precious blood that flowed from His wounded side as the cost of our redemption, is blessedly simple and not costly. We sometimes sing:
"When blood from a victim must flow,
This Shepherd by pity was led
To stand between us and the foe,
And willingly died in our stead."
Should we, however, in our search for a way to remember Him, have hit upon this very way of which He has told us, we would miss much, for we would not have had the assurance that it pleased Him. But in keeping up this remembrance of Himself in this way, we know we are doing that which He would have us do, for He Himself instituted it just before He went to the cross, and confirmed it to us by a direct word from heaven through the Apostle Paul, who said, "I have received of the Lord" those very instructions. What a privilege it is to thus remember Him according to His own prescribed manner, knowing that it is most surely according to His mind and will.
Then a question arises about when it should be done. The Lord has left the matter open, by saying, "as often as ye eat this bread," etc. It is not laid down by legal requirements as the Jews under the law were required to keep the Sabbath. Years ago, when certain ones were engaged day after day in the examination and careful study of the prophetic scriptures, they broke bread every morning in remembrance of Him in His death. They feared that the study of prophecy might get them away from the personal enjoyment of Christ and His death, although they considered the perusal of the prophetic word very important.
But we have a precedent for doing so each first day of the week, given by divine inspiration. In Acts 20 we read, "Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread." What a fitting time to remember Him-the day that marks His mighty victory over death and all the power of the enemy-the day on which He who lay in death came forth in triumphant power. But for many saints, once in three months, for others, once in a year, will suffice. In that case, we would almost need to read that verse thus: "as seldom as ye eat this bread."
It would be a poor response to such great love to be satisfied to do it on rare occasions; and what is so calculated to warm our own hearts and keep us fresh in the enjoyment of what He accomplished, as the weekly observance of this remembrance of Himself in His death? Surely our poor hearts need to have Him thus brought often to mind.
And how long did the Lord intend that this commemorative service should be kept up? The answer is precise, "Till He come." Right up to the very time of His coming to take the Church to Himself, this feast is to be observed. Now as the end is at hand, and the moment of His coming for His own may take place at any moment, how important it is that each Lord's day, unless unavoidably detained (in which case He knows all about it), we respond to His own blessed request, "This do, in remembrance of Me." 'What a privilege it would be to remember Him, as it is written, the last Lord's day before His coming! Some will do it; may none of us be willing to let anything else take precedence over that one thing which He has asked us to do.
Some people, even real Christians, may account it "waste" to spend the time on a Lord's day to go aside from the world and remember Him in death. The disciples called Mary's action in breaking that alabaster box of costly ointment and using the contents on Him, "waste," but He approved of her devotion. Do we wish His approval?
In the days of Malachi the prophet, things were at a very low ebb. The Jewish remnant that had returned from captivity in Babylon in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah had grown cold, and even said to God, "Wherein hast Thou loved us?" They called the proud happy, and set up tempters of God as examples to follow. In such a condition, there was a feeble remnant who thought upon the Lord and called upon His name. Whatever the rest of the Jews thought of them, they had His approval. He, as it were, stooped to listen to their conversation as they "spake of Him" and caused a special book of remembrance to be written of them. He will even reward them in a day that is coming—the day when He makes up His jewels. No special book of remembrance was written for godly Jews in the days of Solomon when it was comparatively easy to be a godly Jew. We are now living in days comparable to those in which Malachi prophesied; may we then take courage from God's word of encouragement written at that time.