In this lesson you will learn what it means to “remember” the Lord as you observe the Lord’s Supper. To remember is to relive the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection as much as possible. To remember is to obey the Lord. To remember is to love the Lord. To remember is to recall who He is and what He has done.
Today, we are going to observe the Lord’s Supper. There are a lot of important themes, subjects, and lessons that come from the Lord’s Supper. Lessons that address sacrifice, forgiveness, self-examination, the Lord’s return, evangelism and outreach, thankfulness, community, the blood of Christ, the sinless life of Christ, and unity to name a few. This morning we are going to focus on the theme of remembrance: remembering what Christ as done and who He is.
One of the results of being a fallen and broken human is forgetfulness. Every one of us, regardless of age, has those moments where our memories fail us. We forget where we parked. We forget birthdays and anniversaries. We forget what we memorized for a test. We forget people’s names we’ve known for years. We forget doctor’s appointments. We forget conversations we had last week or yesterday. Some of you will forget what the sermon was about by tonight. Every one struggles with remembering things, even important things. We constantly need to be reminded of things.
One of the areas our flawed memories can reveal itself is in our walk with God. We forget His blessings, benefits, wisdom, character, instructions, and guidance. Perhaps this is why God spends so much time encouraging us to remember in His Word. Let me give you some examples.
- Listen to what Psalm 105:5 tells us, “Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given” (NLT). The Psalmist is encouraging us to remember God’s power and God’s Word.
- Now listen to Psalm 103:2 which tells us, “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things” (NLT). The sad thing is, we forget these things. We need to remember them.
- Look at Colossians 3:13 which says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). What we remember about God affects how we treat others. In many ways, how you treat others is an indication of what you think about God.
- One more: Listen to Colossians 3:23 which says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ” (NLT). There are things that you have forgotten that you need to remember, because those things impact how you face the things you need to get done every day.
Throughout the Bible, God has given His people certain activities and objects to help them remember important things about who He is and what He has done. For example…
- God provided the rainbow to remind us that He would never flood the earth again and that He keeps His promises (Gen. 9:13-16).
- In the Old Testament The Passover feast and celebration was established to remind the people of how God passed over them because of the blood over the doors. Today, the Passover points to the blood of Christ and how God’s judgment passes over us because of the blood of Christ (Exodus 12:11-14).
- Then there was the pile of 12 large stones that was placed on the other side of the Jordan river. They were placed there so that in the generations to come when people were traveling and saw the stones and someone asked, “What’s those stones all about?” The people of God could tell them about the provision of God in helping His people cross the Jordan (Joshua 4:7).
The Bible is full of these physical memorials and object lessons to help us remember and not forget who God is and what He has done. In my opinion, the greatest memorial of them all is the Lord’s Supper. It helps us to reflect and think about who Jesus is and what He has done for us.
Let’s start with Luke 22:14, When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. 15 Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.” 17 Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” 19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (NLT)
This section ends with Jesus saying “Do this in remembrance of me.” Just about every time we observe the Lord’s Supper we remind ourselves to remember. What does that mean? What does it mean to do something in “remembrance” of someone? Today, let’s think about the power of remembering the Lord as we observe the Lord’s Supper. Let me give you a few observations about remembering.
To Remember is to Relive
Number one, to remember is to relive. To “remember” means much more than simply to bring something to mind, merely to recall that it happened. To truly remember is to go back in one’s mind and recapture as much of the reality and significance of an event or experience as one possibly can. It’s like reliving a significant moment.
I remember when our first child was born and walking up to the emergency counter and saying, “I think my wife is having a baby” and my heart was about to come out of my chest I was so nervous and excited. I remember being in the room with the nurses and doctors and overwhelmed with this incredible miracle called birth, when one human being comes out of another human being. This is a God thing. I remember exactly what I thought when I held my son for the first time. I remember thinking about the incredible responsibility of being a good dad to this baby, about providing for him, and how much I loved him. Even as I talk about it and remember it now I consumed with the same thoughts and feelings that I had 30 years ago.
When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me” this is what He was talking about. To remember Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross is to relive with Him His life, agony, suffering and death as much as is humanly possible. You are moved mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by these thoughts as if you were there.
To Remember is to Obey
To remember is to relive. Number two, to remember is to obey. We are remembering something that will cause us to do something. This remembrance Jesus is talking about is a call to action. When you relive the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus it should move you to follow Him. When you relive that moment when you realized you were a sinner and you needed Jesus to save you and forgive you and be the Lord of your life it should stir you up on the inside with thankful obedience.
Look again at Colossians 3:13 which says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.” How are you going to do that? By remembering something. Paul goes on to say, “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). Remembering and reliving the forgiveness of God in your life moves you to forgive others and to make room for their faults. Remember what the Lord has done affects what you do. “Do this in remembrance of me.”
To Remember is to Love
To remember is to relive. To remember is to obey. Number three, to remember is to love. While this remembrance is historical, it is also personal. Jesus doesn’t ask us to remember a date or place. Jesus did not say, “Do this is remembrance of my death.” He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” This is personal. This is remembering the essence of who He is. He is not saying don’t think about His death. Rather, we are to think about who He is in light of His death, burial, and resurrection. We think about how much Jesus loved us to do what He did for us. We think about what He gave up in order for us to gain. He took our sins upon Himself and gave us His perfect righteousness. He took God’s wrath so we could have God’s blessing. He loved us! And because He first loved us we love Him! Remembering who He is and what He has done should move us to love Him even more! “Do this in remembrance of me.”
To Remember is to Recall
To remember is to relive. To remember is to obey. To remember is to love. Number four, to remember is to recall. The Lord wants us to remember and think about some things when we observe the Lord’s Supper. Some of these I’ve already mention, but let’s focus our attention on them more closely.
Remember who Jesus is: “bread”
First, we are to remember who He is. We are told in verse 19 that Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples…. This bread was unleavened bread. Unleavened bread symbolized something or someone who had not been contaminated with sin. This bread is meant to draw your mind back to the unleavened or sinless life of Jesus Christ. In 1 John 3:5 we are told that “Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him” (NLT). When you hold that bread remember that Jesus is the sinless Son of God who came to take away your sin. That bread is an object lesson. It is a memorial. It is to remind you of who He is. “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Remember what Jesus has done: “wine”
We not only remember who He is, but what Jesus has done. Mark tells us in verse 17 that Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.” The wine represents several things, but one is the blood of Christ that was shed for our sins. Ephesians 1:7 says this about our Heavenly Father, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (NLT). What has Jesus done? He has purchased our freedom from sin. He has purchased our freedom from the kingdom of darkness. That’s what He has done. The cup and juice are object lessons of the freedom Jesus purchased with His blood. Think about that as you taste the freedom God has given to you. “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Remember what Jesus will do: “For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
We remember who He is. We remember what He has done and we remember what Jesus will do. Mark tells us in verse 18 that Jesus said, For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come. Jesus is saying the next time you see me drinking wine it will be in celebration of my return. When we take the Lord’s Supper we not only remember who He is and what He has done, but we remember what is to come. The Lord’s Supper is a spiritual appetizer for a feast that is coming for all believers.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which says, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord” (vs. 16-17, HCSB).
The Lord’s Supper is not just about the death of Christ, but about the reign of Christ. Jesus died on the cross so that He could resurrect from the grave. He resurrected from the grave so that He could ascend to the Father. He ascended to the Father so that He could come back again for His people. “Do this in remembrance of me.”
At this time I would like the band to join me.
This morning the Lord’s Supper will be up to you. I want to encourage you to take a moment and pause and talk to God. Praise Him, thank Him, confess to Him, ask Him to help you repent of your sin and ask Him what He wants to do in your life. Talk to Him. Remember.
When the band begins to play in a moment and when you are ready, you can come up to the front to one of the tables. On the tables you will take two cups. One cup with juice and the other cup with bread in it. The bread represents His body and the juice represents His blood shed for you. You can receive the Lord’s Supper up here or you can take it back to your seat. It’s up to you. You can eat or drink when you are ready.
I encourage you to be in a prayerful attitude as you receive the Lord’s Supper. We are not in a hurry. Take some time and slow down. Fix your heart and mind on God this morning.
When you are done you can place the cups in the trash cans on the way out.
When the band begins to play you can begin to come and when we are done I will come back and close out our services. Band you can begin to play.