Lest We Forget

Scripture’s description of Christ’s establishment of the Lord’s Table on the night before His crucifixion is full of dramatic truths. By tying the ordinance to the Old Testament Passover (Matt 26:17, 26), He signified His redemption of mankind from sin’s bondage and equated Himself with the Passover’s sacrificial lamb, demonstrating that His death would turn away the wrath of God and effectively end the need for animal sacrifice. By stating that the cup was the New Covenant inaugurated with His blood (Matt 26:27–28), He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and marked a distinct change in the way in which God would deal with sinful men (Jer 31:31–34). Finally, He set up a perpetual memorial of Himself, giving us symbols representing His body and blood to remind us of Him until He returns (Matt 26:26–29; 1 Cor 11:23–26).

The last of those lessons is probably the best understood: Christ established the Lord’s Table as a “remembrance.” What we often miss, however, is the startling fact that Christ found it necessary to institute a reminder of His suffering on our behalf. What a devastating indictment Christ made of even saved men! Might we forget that Christ lived a perfect life on our behalf? Forget that He bore our sin on His body on the cross? Forget that He suffered the undiluted and infinite wrath of God that we might enjoy His favor? Forget that He was forsaken by His Father so we might be received? Is it possible we could be so ungrateful and distracted?

Indeed it is. Christ knew the frailty and folly of human hearts. He knew we would forget His saving work, and we have proven Him right countless times. Certainly we don’t forget that these events happened in history, but we suffer a practical amnesia when we act as though Christ’s sacrifice for our sins is irrelevant for real life. Even more amazing than our neglect of Christ is that He saved us although He knew we would so easily forget Him. Knowing that we are “prone to wander,” Jesus set up a beautiful reminder to direct our thoughts toward His saving work, past, present and future. The Lord’s Table is a unique gift to the body of Christ. It is an important part of our sanctification—not because there is any particular power in the elements or in the ritual (the error promoted by the Roman Catholic Church), but because the Lord’s Table seizes the attention of a distracted church and makes us “behold the Lamb of God” anew. And gazing on Christ is indeed a sanctifying practice (2 Cor 3:18)!

The gathering of Christ’s church in remembrance of Christ’s work and anticipation of Christ’s return is precious to God—so precious that He commanded its regular observance: “Do this in remembrance of me.” It should be equally precious to us, lest we forget.


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The OBF Visitor is the official publication of the Ohio Bible Fellowship. Feature articles from past issues of the Visitor are made available here for your use. You may read, distribute, and use this material as long as you do so in its entirety and without modification. All articles © The Ohio Bible Fellowship.


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