In Remembrance

Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

Jesus had less than one day to live. The disciples weren’t aware of this even though he had told them. Time was running out for his earthly ministry. As the sun went down Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples. He took the bread, blessed and broke it. He passed it out saying ”this is my body.” He was giving his life for the souls of mankind. The only way to give his life was not through good deeds and miracles but in allowing his body to be broken as we would break open a biscuit and put butter on it. He allowed himself to be opened for us. Everything he did was for us. He didn’t suffer for himself or for the Father.  He did it for us, in our place, so that we’d not have to bear the curse, the debt, and punishment for our sin. He was in our place so that our sin wouldn’t put us in an eternal hell. Because he was broken for us we are free.

He didn’t eat or drink. He passed the bread and then the cup.  He told the disciples to drink all of it. It was the blood of a new testament he was making with man. It was not a testament of judgment and wrath, but a covenant of grace, redemption, and cleansing from sin. It satisfied the justice of God. To receive it is to enter into a covenant with God Almighty. It is made real by the shedding of blood. The only way for it to work is through the shedding of the blood of Jesus. The cup is that. The blood would be shed for many. This bloodshed began in the Garden and continued until 3:00 PM the next day. Then he said “it is finished.”  At his death the veil in the temple was torn in two and the Holy of Holies was revealed. He was the initiator and testator who went through the veil and offered his own blood for our sins.

As often as we participate in this, remember what it stands for and that it was done for us. A service like this is usually the least attended. How far are we willing to go for Jesus? Easter is not about new outfits and hiding eggs. Without the blood of Jesus it has very little meaning. Without Jesus bowing to wash his disciples feet as our example, it’s all in vain. I’m glad to understand what it all stands for and am glad to participate. Jesus knew the crowds would be low at times because we’re told where two or three gather in his name he will be in the midst.  So tonight, let’s eat and drink in remembrance of him. “O the grace that brought it down to man…at Calvary.”

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