1 Corinthians 11:24
And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
The Lord's Supper is very specially a feast of remembrance. Is there in it a suggestion that we are very prone to forget Christ? This is, alas! our tendency, and here we are in strange contrast to our Lord. He needs nothing to keep us in his remembrance; he ever thinks of his people. In the institution of the Lord's Supper he thinks of our forgetfulness, of its perils, of its certain sorrows. He remembers that we are prone not to remember him. What should we remember concerning Christ?
I. HIS HOLY SPOTLESS LIFE. What a life that was! The greatest and best of human leaders have been marked by defects, but our Leader was "without blemish." In the lives of heroes there is always something which we should be glad to forget; but there is nothing in the life of Christ. Jealousy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness could find in him "no fault." Many great men have grown small, many holy men questionable in character, many honoured men dishonourable, under the ruthless criticism of modern times; but not Jesus of Nazareth. The fiercest light has been focussed upon his earthly course; the brains of sceptic and of scoffer have been racked in prolonged endeavour to discover the flaw; but it has not been discovered yet! The voices of all the centuries cry, "Without fault!" "Holy and undefiled!" "Separate from sinners!" Well may we remember that life.
II. HIS TEACHING. When compared with Christ, all the other teachers of the world seem to have nothing to teach upon matters of high moment. At best they guess, and often they guess folly. He teaches with the authority of knowledge; all other teachers seem hidden in the valley, imagining what the landscape may be. He alone has climbed the hill and beholds what he speaks about. We need to remember, more than we are accustomed to do, the utterances of the world's great Teacher. Seekers after knowledge should be careful lest after all they miss the richest mine of truth. Learned scoffings and atheistical ribaldries are naught but devil blinds to hide from our view the beautiful form of truth as it is in Christ. In him "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). When God broke the dread silence upon the Mount of Transfiguration it was to exclaim, "This is my beloved Son: hear him." The Holy Ghost was promised as One who would "bring to remembrance" what Christ had declared. Through the Lord's Supper, as a means, the Divine Spirit works now for this end.
III. HIS MIRACLES. These speak eloquently of his power. Nature bows before her God. How weak the mightiest of the earth are compared with this mighty One! When the kingdom of Christ is about to be overwhelmed and shattered and generally annihilated by blatant wiseacre warriors, with their sceptical pea shooters and atheistical popguns, I laugh as I remember that it is the kingdom of Christ which is being assailed! We do well to bear in mind what Christ did when he was upon earth, and then to say quietly to ourselves, "The same yesterday, today, and forever." What he did, he can do; what he was, he is. His miracles illustrated his beneficence. They meant the supply of human need, the binding up of wounds, the restoration of the outcast, the arrest of sorrow, the wiping away of tears, the cheer of lonely hearts. We must remember his miracles; they show so truly what the Christ was. With all his omnipotence, how gentle and tender!
IV. HIS DEATH. This was the grand culmination of his life; it gave to him the great title of Saviour; to it the Lord's Supper specially points. We must remember him as the One who laid down his life for us, who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, who was wounded for our trangressions and bruised for our iniquities, who died the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God. The Lord's Supper leads us to Calvary - through the motley crowd, past the weeping Marys, beyond the penitent thief, to the central figure in the Judaean tragedy, and there we see salvation! "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalm 85:10). Remembrance of Christ's death will mean remembrance of our sinfulness. And when we remember that "he endured the cross, despising the shame," we may ask ourselves the suggestive question, "What would be our present condition and prospect if he had not done so?"
V. HIS RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION. The Lord's Supper was for the remembrance of Christ both after he had died and after he had risen from the dead. We must not forget the dying Christ; but neither must we forget the triumphing Christ. The resurrection of Christ is the counterpart of the cross; one is not without the other, The Lord died, but the Lord is risen indeed. He came to this world in abasement; he lived so, he died so, but he did not depart so. He rose from the dead, and ever liveth. We remember the dying Christ, but we remember also the living Christ, exalted at God's right hand, our Advocate, preparing our heavenly home, looking down upon us, present with us by his Spirit. We remember the reigning Christ, the One who has completed his glorious redemptive work, who has triumphed openly, and we remember him thus "till he come."
VI. HIS MARVELLOUS LOVE. Shown in every incident and every instant of his course. In his coming; in his words, deeds, spirit; and pre-eminently in his sufferings and death. God is love; Christ is God; Christ is love.
VII. HIS PERSONALITY. Not only what he said and what he did, but what he was. All his acts and words of beneficence and love were only expressions of himself. They were but manifestations of what dwells in perpetual fulness in his heart. Remember him. "This do in remembrance of me." This is a dying request. Are we observing it? The dying request of him who "gave himself" for us. - H.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
WEB: When he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "Take, eat. This is my body, which is broken for you. Do this in memory of me."