In remembrance of Me.
Luke 22:14-34 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21 But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22 For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” 23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.
24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. 27 For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
28 “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29 and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” 34 And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”
In today’s text Jesus says: “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Many people today claim the promises of the new covenant; that by the free gift of grace Jesus paid the price for our sins. Many though neglect to remember that grace is not free. Jesus paid with His body and blood. The doctrine of easy grace leads people to be casual about sin. They summize that if grace is free, sin does not really matter? The prevalant idea that Jesus would tolerate or embrace the things that cost Him His body and blood is ludicris. How then can we possibly embrace or tolerate them? Do we fail to remember Jesus, not only who He was, but how and why He died? Though it was from the cross that Jesus said: “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing,” how could we look upon His suffering and embrace its cause?
The text says: There arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” If only we had better retained this principle in the church. How much better would the church be if all those who ministered were truly there to serve? If this model had been better preserved in the church, then perhaps we would see it also throughout our society, our culture and our government. Jesus taught us to pray saying: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. The things of earth are to be like the things of heaven. If the church had better preserved the model of servant leaders, then the other elements of our society, culure and even our government would also reflect that model. Schools, from elementary through university, were founded and established upon Christian principles. Our nation and its government were likewise founded and established as one nation under God. Unfortunately we have allowed the ways of the world to influence the ways of the church, the culture, the society and our government. Rather than aligning earth to the will of God, we attempt to bend the will of God to the ways of the earth. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. There is a familiar song, which was once sung even in our schools, which says: O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea! If we have any expectation that God should continue to shed His grace on our nation, then it is the church, the people called by the name of God who must humble themselves and pray. It is the people of God who must seek His face and must remember the face of Jesus on the cross, as He suffered and died for our sins. We must turn from our wicked ways, no longer allowing the world to influence and dictate the culture, but being those who would bring the realities, the ways and the will of God to earth. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” If we will be light, not only will God be glorified, but He will also heal our land.
Jesus says: “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom.” Amen Lord. May it be that we would truly remember You; that we would embrace the covenant in Your blood rather than embracing the things that You should Your blood to redeem us from. May we never presume on Your grace, but rather may we embrace Your grace, until it truly is that Your kingdom has come, and Your will is being done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.