This Do in Remembrance of Me: Part 2

 •  11 min. read  •  grade level: 8
In the cup we remember that His blood was shed. “He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,” “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” In His blood our sins are washed away; as He said to His disciples, “This is My blood of the new covenant which was shed for you and for many.” O, when we think of our blessed Saviour having been “made sin for us, He who knew no sin;” when we think of His body bruised, His hands, feet, and side pierced and bleeding, and that for us; when we hear Him saying, “Remember Me,” can we deny Him His gracious request?
Both the bread and the cup pass round from hand to hand for the mutual participation of the assembled believers. We are one with Him, and, in the power of the new, the everlasting life which He has given us, we remember Him, as He requested. We are one with Him in the glory, for He has risen from the grave; and we are risen together with Him, and made to sit together in Him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2). “We”—who? A sect—a party? No; all Christians, be they called by whatsoever name. The Lord’s table is the great expression of the oneness of His people; “We being many are one loaf” (1 Cor. 10:1717For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:17)). We are members of His body, and of one another. Nowhere as at the Lord’s table, do Christians enjoy such close fellowship among themselves: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” It is of the utmost importance to bear in mind, that no believer is independent of his fellow believer: “If one member suffer, all suffer with it.”
The very simplicity of the ordinance declares its divine origin; man could never have devised anything like it; and, alas for his wisdom! he even now seeks to spoil its simplicity by the machinery of humanly invented offices!
Who then—if we are one, and if the Lord speaks to us in common—who shall take upon himself to preside at the table? The Lord said, “Take this;” the Holy Spirit records, The disciples met together to break bread, and again, “They continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” “The bread which we break,” “The cup of blessing which we bless.” Evidently, from Scripture and from the meaning of the feast, it is a mutual participation, and none being greater or less than another at that table, the bread and cup pass round from hand to hand to all present. All are one with each other, for all are one in Him.
You look around and are ready to say, “The Word of God speaks of such things, I do not deny, but where in the present day is such simplicity to be found?”
Grievous it is to see such huge human systems in the place of divine simplicity, such division in the place of divine oneness, and well may every faithful heart lament the dishonor done to Christ in these things. Yet what has the faithlessness of His people to do with the faithfulness of their Lord? Has He changed?
No! He has said—and His words are as true this very day as they were when He first uttered them— “Where two or three are gathered together to My name there am I in the midst.” He is where the two or three are so gathered. They need no man-appointed minister to take the Holy Spirit’s place, and to usurp an authority which alone belongs to the Lord. “One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren.” Amid the divisions of Christians, the word and name of the Lord is a sure center around which to rally; to separate to Him (for to make the Lord your center you must of necessity separate from human centers and names) is not sectarianism, for the Lord Himself is the one object of those who are gathered by the Holy Spirit to His name.
Then as to the time and frequency of the feast. By its being called a Supper, and by Acts 20, we should consider that evening was the period devoted to its commemoration in early Christian days; however, all will surely agree that it is only right to devote the best portion of our day to worship the Lord Jesus, which time is unquestionably the morning. In eastern lands it would be otherwise. As to the frequency; doubtless in early Christian days the disciples broke bread each Lord’s day, and also often times in the week; but that their practice was to gather together each Lord’s day for the object is beyond question. (Acts 20:77And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7).) The Lord’s day is so called, because upon it the Lord arose from the dead, and thus became the Head of the new creation. We Christians do not, as the Jews, keep the Sabbath, or rest day (which is the seventh day of the week, Saturday), but the Lord’s day, the first day of the week.
Consider this: The Supper is the Lord’s, the day is the Lord’s; indeed we come now to the marrow of the whole question, namely, What is the object of our gathering together? It is not to pray. It is not to preach. It is to remember the Lord and the result is worship. And the character of the worship will be blessing, thanksgiving, praise. “The cup of blessing which we bless.” “When He had given thanks He brake it.” Surely, if the gracious Saviour could on the night of His betrayal, as He thought of our salvation, bless God before breaking the bread, we should be found praising Him, as we remember His death for us. Meeting around the Lord’s table should not be like a meeting for prayer or for confession. “The day is holy unto our Lord. . . neither be ye sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” may well be applied to this feast.
And now a word upon the question, “Whose is the table?” Is it the children’s, where every child has a right? Is it the Father’s, where every prodigal may seat himself? Is it the Saviour’s? No: it is the Lord’s—the Master’s. The child might be walking disorderly, or be holding some evil doctrine, in which case Scripture denies him a place at the Lord’s table until he be purged. The table of the Lord is by no means a place to exercise one’s own will, for the Lord’s authority is there. It is not only a place of blessing, but also of discipline and judgment. At the table we remember what Christ suffered for sins, and if we remember Him dying for sin, surely we must not continue in it. “How shall we that have died to sin live any longer therein?” We are bidden to judge ourselves that we be not judged, and if we will continue at the Lord’s table without discerning our ways, the severe hand of God’s chastisement will fall upon us.
The principle of the Lord’s table is holiness to the Lord, and in this evil day of carelessness as to the honor of Christ, we should be found exercising the utmost watchfulness that all that goes on around the Lord’s table may bear the stamp of God’s seal upon it. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:1919Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)).
Liberality (as man calls it) may glory in overlooking evil; the Word of God declares such glorying is not good (See 1 Cor. 5). “Purge out the old leaven,” says the Scripture, and bases its exhortation upon the holiness of the saints: and sets the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth against man’s love and the old leaven of malice and wickedness. It is an easy thing to excuse and pass over evil, but it is hard to the heart to judge and put it aside. Beware of the miscalled love of this present evil day, shun its easy going liberality, tremble at that leaven which corrupts the saints. Be vigilant over yourself and over others, never forget that God’s Word knows no such person as an independent Christian; but remember that it teaches exactly the opposite, saying, “Whether one member suffer all suffer with it.” We have seen that the unity of the assembly is manifested at the table in the one loaf, and it becomes a solemn duty for each believer there seated to inquire whether all that goes on around the Lord’s table is approved by Him.
It may be that evil has been allowed to usurp such sway in an assembly of Christians that the authority of the Lord reigns there no longer. In such a case the table is clearly no longer the Lord’s; man having placed his rule over it. It is evident that all believers who continue in fellowship with such a gathering are at one with its naughty principles. Again, if all are obedient to the one Lord, it is clear that they are at one with each other. Oneness is a practical thing: we are not to use the fact of our being one in Christ for eternity, to excuse our disobedience and divisions now, for if all believers were obedient to the one Lord, and the one Master, all strife would cease, but we are to “use diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Quite true, all will be one in the glory, but on that day there will be no more sin and therefore no more striving against it; no more dishonor done to Christ, and therefore no more need of effort to maintain His honor.
Again, as to fellowship, surely we know in our daily intercourse how the look, the dress, the conversation of our fellow believers affects us for good or for evil, just in proportion as Christ is filling the heart or not. And at the table you will find that worldliness during the week will bear its unwholesome fruits in the meeting. But if the power of evil be great, the power of good is greater; and this, let it be observed, is most blessedly manifested at the Lord’s table. Often does the Spirit use a hymn, a word, a prayer, to raise every heart to the highest tone of praise.
The saints are many, but yet one body. It is among them as with an instrument of music, of which if one of its notes be out of tune the melody is spoiled. But if worldliness produce so sad an effect, what must the toleration of evil doctrine? If worldliness allowed will reduce all to the level of the worldly-minded, evil doctrine will, if allowed in the assembly, also leaven the whole lump. And, evil doctrine admitted, as a consequence, evil walk will follow: “Sanctify them through Thy truth.”
In conclusion let us turn once more to 1 Corinthians 11. After the Lord’s words in verses 23-25, the Holy Spirit adds a word (if one might so speak), saying, “As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do show the Lord’s death till He come”—ye announce the Lord’s death till He come.
“Till He come.” It is but a little while, and “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” No man can say when He will come, but He has said, “Surely I come quickly.” Now at His table, by the act of breaking bread we speak out His death who is our life, who is our hope, and who will come for us and take us to Himself, that where He is we may be also.
He died for us on this earth, therefore we are strangers and foreigners here. The world has rejected Him, but He is our Lord and Master, and we expect His coming for us.
Holy is this worship. The gracious Saviour is remembered in all His pain for us, and we remember His death until He returns in the clouds to call us by His own voice to meet Him in the air.
Dear friend, many more words might be added upon this great subject, but we must cease, and with a word of exhortation.
The time is short, the opportunity for loving obedience to the words of the Lord is growing daily less and less. He who went to the cross for you, who now says “Remember Me,” will soon come in the clouds for you and will take you home; for His heart cannot be satisfied until we are with Him. Give then His words, “Remember Me,” a large place in your affections.
We bless our Saviour’s name,
Our sins are all forgiven;
To suffer once to earth He came
He now is crowned in heaven.
His precious blood was shed,
His body bruised for sin;
Remembering this, we break the bread,
And, thankful, drink the wine.
Lord, let us ne’er forget
Thy rich, Thy precious love;
Our theme of joy and wonder here,
Our endless song above.
O let Thy love constrain.
Our souls to cleave to Thee!
And ever in our hearts remain
That word, Remember Me.
(Continued from page 55.)