‘In remembrance of me’
After a public celebration of a music ministry, I heard a man complain bitterly on radio that he had not been invited to the celebration.
He explained that he played a major role in the life of the gospel minstrels at the beginning of their ministry as a producer or a significant personality. But now he had been forgotten. That, he said, hurt badly.
To feel forgotten and unappreciated is a painful experience.
Ten lepers went to Jesus to be healed, and the Lord, who never turned his back on the needy, healed them. But only one of them returned to Jesus to say, “Thank You!” The rest forgot the Lord.
When the grateful man remembered Jesus and returned to thank him, the Lord asked, “Weren’t 10 of you healed? And only one (remembered) to come and show gratitude?”
To be forgotten and unappreciated is certainly a painful experience. That is why it troubles people whose parents rejected or abandoned them.
The experience is so disheartening that those who have the opportunity explode publicly against whoever rejected them. They can even write a book or compose a song to hit back to express their pain!
One of the key shortcomings of the Israelites whom God rescued from slavery in Egypt was that they soon forgot him and rather turned to idols.
To be forgotten and unappreciated, I repeat, is a painful experience. Maybe that is why God created a tree with a sweet-scented, white-creamy flower known as “forget me not!” This forget-me-not flowered tree is a garden plant used for hedges and for decoration.
What has all this got to do with the Holy Communion that we’ve been discussing? Twice that night when the Lord administered the communion to his disciples, he told them, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
In other words, the Lord Jesus is the focus of the Holy Communion, and remembering and appreciating him is critical to our fellowship with him. His followers are to eat the bread (his body) and drink the wine (his blood) to remember him.
Remember him for what? Remember him for his sacrificial death for humanity. Remember that his body was battered for us; that his blood was poured out for our forgiveness; and that the eternal salvation of our soul can be obtained only through him.
That was why it must have been particularly painful that, just hours after taking the Lord’s Supper, two of his key disciples betrayed him and denied him, and almost all the rest abandoned him.
When it is time to receive the Holy Communion at church and some people fail to take part, the scene is always sad. Refraining from partaking in the Lord’s Supper is like failing to remember Jesus.
You may say, “But I remember Jesus in baptism, in prayer, in Bible reading, in singing and worship, and in church attendance.” But it is not the same as remembering him during communion and being a part of his suffering, death, and resurrection on which Christianity is pivoted.
Therefore, it is crucial that we participate in the sacrament that is administered in remembrance of him. That way, we share in his new covenant.
Now the “new covenant”. When Jesus took the cup, the statement he made was, “This is the new covenant in my blood,” before adding, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
This “new covenant” had been promised centuries back: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31).
Right before their eyes, the disciples of Jesus were witnessing the fulfilment of the promised new covenant. The new covenant in his blood must never be lost on us, for it is what sets Christianity apart.
We must remember that the Lord’s Supper was held during the Passover feast. The first Passover took place in Egypt when the Israelites had to hurriedly leave for the Promised Land.
Generations later, Jesus said, “I have longed to eat this last Passover with you before my suffering.” This last Passover was crucial because Jesus was the Passover Lamb to be killed for the atonement of our sins.
No other Christian duty or activity compares with partaking in the Holy Communion. Anybody who avoids the Lord’s Supper deprives himself or herself of one of Christianity’s greatest celebrations.
It is also the reason why terminally ill people are offered the Holy Communion before they depart to be with the Lord in glory.
Therefore, it should be every believer’s deep desire to clear all hindrances on our way in order to take part in the Lord’s Supper. For it is only by God’s grace that we receive the communion, for none of us is perfect.
The writer is a publisher, author, writer-trainer and CEO of Step Publishers. E-mail: