Remembering

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19 NIV)

I'm writing this the day after we were watching the moving events remembering the Aberfan disaster. In November we will remember a failed attempt to blow up Parliament and those who have died and been injured in war. Over the last few years, we've especially remembered the events of World War I, as it is now 100 years ago. As human beings we remember. We re
member the tragedies and the triumphs, the sadnesses and the joys.

In the Bible we find that God has created and commanded us to remember. The Jewish people celebrated the Passover, remembering the death of the sacrificial Passover lamb and God's great rescue from Egypt (Exodus 12:43-51). The Christian celebrates the Lord's Supper. Jesus commanded us to “do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19 NIV). Again, this is remembering the act of God, to rescue us, by the work of the Lord Jesus. This time, it was not a rescue from the domination of another country, but a rescue from the domination of sin and evil. The sacrifice was not a lamb from the herd, but “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NIV) – Jesus on the cross, his body broken and his blood shed.

The fact that Jesus takes over the Passover meal and turns it into a meal to remember his death shows how central his death is to Christianity. It is interesting to note in the gospels how much space is given to the death of Jesus. It is interesting that Paul could write:

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2 NIV)

The writers of the New Testament, following Jesus, wanted to make sure that his death was central to the faith. They wanted Jesus to be remembered for his death.

November is a month when we rightly take the time to remember the deaths of many people – often deaths that were sacrifices for others. But when we hear those stories and remember those sacrifices, I wonder if we can also be reminded and so remember the greatest sacrifice of all – the death of Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the world.

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