This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 1

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 8
A little while ago, beloved friend, burdened with sorrow on account of sin, you were sorely distressed in your mind. But the precious words of Jesus, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest,” and His “Peace be unto you,” applied to your heart by the Spirit of God, have taken away both your burden and your sorrow. You are now like the disciples when the risen Jesus showed them His hands and feet and side. “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” And your shelter being the heart of Jesus, His voice is your guide, “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me.”
He addresses you from the heavens, saying, “Lovest thou Me?” You answer with Peter’s words, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love Thee.”
Let us consider that request of His which stands prominently before us, written, as it were, in His own most precious blood, that request which we read in His opened wounds—“Do this in remembrance of Me.”
There is an especial tenderness in these words. We know that they were first uttered at the Passover table, when His disciples were gathered around Him, and He was in their midst, when the anticipation of the cross with all its agony and shame—the hour of man and the power of darkness, yea, the forsaking of His God filled His suffering spirit—we know that these words were spoken again from the heavens when His work of suffering was over—when He was crowned with glory and honor—the object of heaven’s worship—the enthroned of His Father. (Read carefully and prayerfully, Matt. 26:26-3026And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:26‑30); Mark 14:22-2622And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 26And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (Mark 14:22‑26); Luke 22:19, 2019And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:19‑20); 1 Cor. 11:23-2623For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23‑26).)
What wisdom and what kindness of the Lord it is that has spoken to us thus from the heavens! Had He not from thence reminded us of His blessed words, spoken upon the night of the betrayal, we should have lacked the same assurance of His changeless love which we now possess—a love which neither death, nor the grave, nor the glory above has changed one whit. His words bend our thought to His death, and at the same time link our affections to Himself, the living Jesus in the heavens, in a manner which is inexpressibly precious, and explain to us the value He sets upon our heartfelt love to Him—“Remember Me.”
You may perhaps say, “Do this” bids me partake of the Lord’s supper, yet indeed hardly dare take so solemn a step. But stop such reasonings. It is your privilege to do what the Lord desires, and He Himself has made you worthy, by washing you from your sins in His own blood. You belong to Him, you love Him. This is your title to His table, and where two or three are gathered together to His name, there is He in the midst. What He has done for you has made you fit to worship Him—all is His doing, therefore you may boldly say, “I am a Christian, one of God’s people; it is my privilege to gather with other Christians to Christ’s name to remember Him.” Indeed it is a question whether you have sufficient love to the Master to follow Him—not whether you are fit to take the Lord’s Supper. What a solemn question is this for you to put to your soul! Do I love my blessed Saviour sufficiently to fulfill His dying request to me, “Do this in remembrance of Me”?
What love must the Son of God have towards us to desire our poor remembrance of Himself? And yet, despite His love, how often is this, His request, slighted by His own blood-bought people! It is called by some, immaterial and unimportant; by some, alas, it really appears to be shunned.
Now it is not to hear sermons, nor to pray about ourselves, that He thus speaks with us. Ministry is verily the gift of Christ, and most blessed it is, and prayer is the atmosphere of the Christian’s life “pray always,” but these things connect themselves with our needs, and, however precious they may be, are not the subject of the word of the Lord before us. He asks us to remember Him. He seeks somewhat from His people, and it is for this that He invites them to break the bread and drink the cup. When seated at His table our privilege is to forget ourselves, our trials our joys, our things, be they what they may, and to think alone on Himself.
We hardy need inquire to whom the words of the Lord before us are addressed. He speaks to those who know Him. We cannot remember a person unless we first know him, and thus it is a mockery for the unconverted to partake of the feast. Yes, for those whose hearts are not turned away from sin—who do not love Jesus—to partake with His blood-bought people of the memorials of His precious death, is sad and dreadful mockery. And how sinful it is in the Lord’s people to remember Him in company with mere professors, or perhaps avowed scoffers! It is a sin against the Lord, and a sin against the souls of the unconverted, even keeping them to rest in profession and lip service.
We may ask, “How can an unbeliever worship the Lord at all?” He cannot. Think for a moment. Let us ask our own hearts what came out of them before we were saved? And does not Scripture say, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh?”
We will not answer why unbelievers partake of the supper, but we may safely affirm that they do not so out of love to Jesus, for the simple reason that no one can love Jesus until he has faith in Him. The Scriptures declare that the church or assembly of God is one body, that its members are united to Christ by the Holy Spirit in eternal union, and that through Him each is united to the other.
The happy privilege of the one body of believers is to meet together around the one center, to remember the death of the one Lord; and He has promised His presence to them who do meet in His name, saying, “ Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the mist.” In early Christian days we read that those who gladly received the word were baptized, and continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers (Acts 2:41, 4241Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:41‑42)). And we have been told that their oneness and godliness were known to all men.
And does not the Word of God hold good now? Has God changed? or think we His people have changed because there is no longer oneness among them?
We have heard the Lord’s words to us about the Supper, and have found that there is no hindrance (but disregard of Him) to our partaking of it; and we have observed that it is only believers who ought to partake of it; let us now inquire a little into the meaning of the feast.
The unbroken loaf signifies the unbroken body of Christ. We adore as we consider the life of the Lord, perfect in every detail, every act, every word, precious to His Father. His whole life was like the sweet and holy frankincense that was all burnt before the Lord (Lev. 2). Yet the holy life of Christ could never bring us to God. In order to bring us to God, it was necessary that He should suffer the just One for the unjust (1 Peter 3:1818For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Peter 3:18)). Without the breaking of His body the preciousness and perfect obedient life of the Lord would merely add to our condemnation, because the very perfection of Christ as a man would be a divine standard by which to measure us; and who could stand beside Him for a moment?
We can only draw near to God through the broken body and shed blood of Jesus; through the rent vail, that is to say His flesh. We break the bread, and while breaking it, remember His precious body, bruised, wounded, and stricken, who was “made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Our corrupt and evil nature was judged upon His cross, and now we are righteous in the sight of God, for we are “in Christ.” The fruit of our bad nature is sins, but these are all forgiven, for “He himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.”
It is by the death of Jesus we freely approach God, and God has raised our blessed Substitute from the grave, and has set Him at His own right hand on high, which is the unquestionable evidence of God’s righteousness being satisfied, and of our perfect acceptance in Christ. The breaking of the bread is an act individual as well as collective; each believer at the table, when so doing, practically confessing that his own sins bruised the precious body of Christ. While eating of the bread each heart says, “He loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
(To be Continued.)