‘This do in remembrance of Me’
“For 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: And 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. After 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. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
Under the Old Testament, God’s people each year observed the Passover, in which a lamb, without blemish and without spot, was killed and its blood shed and smeared upon the doorposts and lintels of their homes. And the people roasted that sacrificial lamb in the fire and ate of it in readiness. They were to observe it each year in remembrance of the Lord’s Passover, when the angel of death passed over God’s people and spared their firstborn sons but killed the firstborn of the Egyptians — all who did not have the blood of the lamb upon the doorposts and lintels of their homes. Read Exodus 12.
It was indeed fitting that, during the observance of the Passover, Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), the holy and righteous Son of God made man (1 Peter 1:18-19), instituted the New Testament sacrament to show forth His death for the sins of the world until He comes again to receive us to Himself.
As, under the Old Testament, a lamb was sacrificed each year so that the people would remember how the LORD God had delivered them from death and brought them out from the land of their slavery, so, under the New Testament, we are to observe the Lord’s Supper often to remember Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross for our sins and to partake of that sacrifice in faith that we might be spared from God’s judgment upon sin and be delivered from death and hell and given a place in God’s everlasting kingdom.
Jesus said: “This do in remembrance of me” and “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”
But, as Jesus said, when we partake of the bread, blessed and consecrated for this purpose, and when we partake of the cup of wine, we partake not just of bread and wine as mere symbols; we are given to partake of Christ’s body and blood, given and shed upon the cross for the remission of our sins. We are given to partake of His atoning sacrifice for sins; and the benefits, through faith in Christ Jesus, become our own.
Thus, according to Jesus’ words, “Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you” and “This cup is the new testament in my blood,” we are given to partake of His body and blood, given and shed for us. We partake of the sacrifice by which God established a New Testament (or covenant) in which He forgives our sins and gives to us eternal life (Cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 9:11-28). How Jesus gives us to eat and drink of His true body and blood
in this New Testament sacrament is beyond our ability to comprehend, but we accept and believe His words.
Those who partake of this sacrament in faith receive the blessings which Christ won for them when He shed His blood upon the cross and died for the sins of the world as our sacrificial Lamb. Those who partake of this sacrament in impenitence and unbelief become “guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.” Instead of receiving the blessings Christ offers and gives, they partake of His sacrifice to their own condemnation, counting the blood of the covenant by which they were redeemed as an unholy and common thing (cf. Hebrews 10:29).
Dear Lord Jesus, Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, grant that we partake of Your body, given into death for us, and Your blood, shed for the remission of our sins, with penitent hearts and with faith in You as our Sacrifice and Savior. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll.
Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version of the Bible.]