Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor, LHBC
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
What do you want to be remembered for in life? This question has been posed to me several times in my life. As I have grown older–though I’m still a spring chicken–my answer to this question has changed. If you were to ask me this question now, I would tell you Jesus. I know what you’re thinking: “Really. A Sunday school answer? What a cop out.” I know. I know. Listen. It’s not that I don’t want to accomplish much with my life. It’s not that I don’t have goals, I have many. It’s not that I don’t want to leave a lasting legacy. It’s simply this: My name will be forgotten. My legacy will be forgotten whether in this generation or the next. My inheritance will perish. I will be buried and go to be with my Father in heaven. But if you forget my name but remember the message I lived, the Gospel I preached, the stories I have recounted about the savior, the lives changed by the power of the Gospel, the redeeming grace at work which sets the captives free; then this preacher has completed his task.
Luke tells us this, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task set before me; the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).” So, as one of my favorite artists says, “forget my name, but please remember my Jesus.”
As we approach the Easter season we typically focus on the resurrection of Jesus. And we should. It’s easy to get caught up in all the Easter stuff: eggs, face paint, games, chocolate bunnies, etc. All of that stuff is fun–best thing to do is go to Walmart the day after Easter and buy the discounted left-over candy–but do we take time to really remember Him? Do we celebrate the resurrection and remember the purpose of the resurrection? Do we reflect on the work of the cross that made the resurrection possible? Do we consider the implications of Christ’s victory over sin and death for our lives? Before we can talk about a resurrection from the grave, we need to talk about the purpose of the grave. Only then can we truly celebrate the resurrection.
When Jesus sat with His disciples at the Last Supper he told them what He wanted to be remembered for. He set a precedent going forward: anytime the disciples gathered together to break the bread and drink of the cup, they were to remember Him. As Mark retells the story, we see Jesus foreshadowing what was about to come. His body would be broken. His blood would be shed for many. His disciples were to remember Him. The Lord’s Supper would be an occasion for remembrance. It provides us an opportunity to remember three things: the past, the present, and the future.
A Backwards Look
First, we remember why Christ came. He came and bore our sins through His death. Though mankind rebelled against God, He would demonstrate His love for us by laying down His life. He paid the penalty of sin and death so that we could have life. Through His sacrifice we can be reconciled to the Father and have a right relationship with God. He fulfilled the covenant and kept His promise to us. The historical account of the cross sets the stage for the historical resurrection account.
A Present Look
Second, we remember our need for Christ. We continually observe the Lord’s Supper. It is a time of self-reflection. The occasion invites us to reflect on our status before God, our relationship with Christ, and provides us the opportunity to confess the sin which Christ died for. It is also a symbol of unity. Christ reconciled believers to the Father through His death. Because we have been united in Christ, we should pursue unity with others. We are also to proclaim His death until He returns. We get the opportunity to tell the greatest story ever told!
A Forward Look
One of the things we miss in Mark’s account of the Lord’s Supper is Jesus’ promise towards the end. He states He will not drink of the fruit of the vine until He drinks it anew in the kingdom of God. Don’t miss this. Even before His impending death He assumes and invites. He assumes His resurrection. He knew He would conquer sin and death and rise on the third day. The resurrection was proof He was indeed God the Son. But not only did He assume His resurrection, He also invited His disciples to be a part of the kingdom of God, knowing He would conquer the grave. He also invites us to be in His kingdom. The resurrection sealed the invitation. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! The future reality for the believer is that the brokenness of this world is temporary. A day will come when there will be no more tears, no more sorrows, no more pain; only eternal joy! This is made possible through the resurrection.
As one preacher tells it, “Satan said ‘take and eat’ because he knew it would bring forth death. But Jesus says ‘take and eat’ because he knew that through His death He would bring forth life.” The resurrection confirms this to be true.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, help us to remember what you have accomplished. May we reflect on the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and savior everyday. May we remember what made the resurrection possible. In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.