Uplook Fridays:1 Corinthians 11:24

It is an astonishing thing that we who have been
redeemed need a reminder of our Lord’s death on the cross. Yet it is so! If we
search our hearts and examine our ways, we shall find it is easy to forget. Our
Lord, who knows well the weakness and treachery of our human hearts, has made
provision for us to be constantly reminded. Thus He has established the memorial
feast with this intent, “This do in
remembrance of Me
.”


The Lord’s things
are sublime in their simplicity. This feast is so simple—“simple bread and
simple wine, sweet memorials of our Lord.” Faith alone can interpret these
elements and in them catch the image of our beloved Saviour. Faith has learned
the sound principle that natural things reflect the beauties and glories, even
the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. It is seen in the elements on the table, the
testimony of the true Bread and true Wine, and how He became food and drink for
our souls.

It is most inspiring to read Church history and witness the many
strange places where the saints have set up a table of sorts and used these
simple memorials to remember their Lord. For instance, we find the Lord’s people
meeting in the catacombs of Rome, in the Scottish moors, in concentration camps,
in exiles’ lonely prisons, on battlefields, in fact, in every kind of
place.

A Requested Remembrance
There is the Lord’s own
authority for observing this feast. It is no sentimental arrangement by some
especially devoted believers. In these words of our text, which had been
communicated to the Apostle Paul, the permanence of this service was
established. It was instituted by the Lord Himself in Matthew 26:26-28. Acts
2:42 records the first occasion of believers’ obedience to His command; and in
Acts 20:7, we see that it became the general practice of the church to observe
this on “the first day of the week.

The words, “this do” and “as oft as,” contain the idea of repetition, that
the feast is to be observed again and again. It is a request, as it were,
written by our Lord’s own pen. It is the decree of His own mouth, the fruit of
His own omniscient mind, the perfection of His thought. All His instructions are
surely designed by His wisdom and laid down by His grace. “I have received of the Lord,” said Paul—which means a clear
communication from the Lord. The observance, therefore, is never to be one of
mere impulse or of natural inclination, but observed because the Lord has
ordained that we should keep it.

A
Visible Remembrance
The form of the
remembrance matches our weakness. We need to see something to aid our faith. We
must handle things. It almost seems that pure faith is so feeble in most men
that we need help through the physical senses. The Lord has provided for this
need and given us these elements which can be seen and handled.

The history
of God’s dealings with man, especially in communicating profound truth, is full
of visible and tangible objects for the senses to contemplate: the rainbow, the
Passover meal, the booths at the Feast of Tabernacles, the rod of Aaron, the pot
of manna, the stones of witness from the River Jordan, and hundreds more.

The
bread and the wine are simply emblems—commemorative emblems.
This is My body”—not that the bread is His actual
body, but that it represents His body. “This
cup is the new testament in My blood
”—not
that the cup is the testament, but that the wine in it is a token of the
covenant. It is metaphorical language which all of us use every day. Is not our
Lord’s purpose clear as day? We are not to read mystical things into these
simple emblems, and make them into something other than what they are. They
picture Christ. They are models of His saving work. They are there with one
design: to set forth Christ and proclaim His redeeming love.

A Strengthening Remembrance
This remembrance feast draws
our hearts to God. While the elements on the table are only emblems, the feast
is not a bare commemoration. We rise above the elements. We gaze at our Lord
Himself, and it is on Him that our souls feed. The faith of the believer must
look beyond the elements. All that our Lord is in Himself is the believer’s
portion.

Now that we are in Him, His wisdom is ours to guide; His power is
ours to uphold; His faithfulness and truth are our shield and buckler; His
Spirit is given us to teach, solace, and bless us; His righteousness is ours to
make us walk uprightly; His heaven is ours to be our home. It is meditation on
such blessed realities which is the strengthening portion of this feast.

A Personal Remembrance
This
do ye.
” Our remembrance of the Lord is more
than a mere remembrance of the historical event of His dying. It is the
remembrance that it was for each of us personally—for me, even me! He does not
ask that we remember the date or even the place of His sacrifice, but that we
remember Him. Our eyes must focus, not on the tree (on bits of wood supposedly
from His cross, or bits of the napkin once wound around His head) but on the
Lord Himself. In the same way, we are not to remember the Lord’s Supper as a
doctrine, or a precept, or an event; but we are to remember the Lord Himself.
Our thought must not stray from Him. We are not to magnify a man who distributes
the elements. We are not to magnify the ordinance. We are not to make
superstition out of this feast. We are to remember only the Lord Jesus.

A Spiritual Remembrance
This gathering to partake of
the Lord’s Supper is more than a ceremony. We are to come to it with spiritual
affections. The spirit of the believer must be exercised; the heart must go out
to Him. This means a sense of reverence and godly fear. We are to examine
ourselves and so partake worthily; that is, we are to have regard to the true
worth of the feast. We are not to come here complacently, or lightheartedly, or
with outlandish clothes, but with deep searchings of heart and great
appreciation of the wondrous Lord and Saviour, who is present in the midst. May
God help us so to come.

According to
Thy gracious Word,
In meek humility,
This would I do, O Christ my
Lord;
I would remember Thee.

Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread
from heaven shall be;
Thy blood my peace, this cup I take,
And thus
remember Thee.

When to the cross I turn my eyes,
And rest on
Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember Thee!
—James Montgomery

From
"Worship & Remembrance" by Daniel Smith

Published by Gospel Folio Press


Used by Permission. This
material is protected by copyright. ©
2005 Uplook Ministries.

Facebook Comments

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply