Jesus said, “do this in remembrance of me…”
I did an informal poll around our house this morning. My question? How many of you have ever asked your mother on your birthday, “What was my birth like? What do you remember about it? What did you go through to have me as your child on that day? What was the experience like?” The answers were almost unanimous… They said, “I cannot recall ever asking my mother that question?” The fact is, I think we’d discover almost no one has ever asked that question to their mother on their birthday! You see we tend to think our birthdays are all about us! And yet, mothers especially, would have stories to tell about the pregnancy, the effort, the pain, the labor, and the challenges of bringing a new little life into the world.
I think “Good Friday” (in fact, all of “Holy Week”) is a little like that. We tend to focus on and celebrate the victory of Easter morning and are inclined to minimize “Good Friday” with it’s pain, its suffering, the anguish, the bloodshed, the death and the grave. Yet it is precisely “Good Friday” that procured our salvation for us… It is “the precious blood of Jesus, as of a lamb without blemish or spot” that “redeemed us from the futile ways inherited from our forefathers.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
That’s why I think remembering “Good Friday” during our Easter celebrations as Christians is such a healthy reminder for us… Why regular participation in the Lord’s Supper (the “Eucharist”) is so important! It’s also why movies like “The Passion of the Christ” can help us understand the costliness of salvation. These things force us to recall what Jesus went through to pay the penalty for our sin and procure our salvation on the cross. After all His cry as He concluded His sacrifice for us on the cross was, “it is finished!” (John 19:30)
So here’s what I read during Easter week in My Bible on “Good Friday”…
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you! Do this IN REMEMBRANCE of Me!’ In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, IN REMEMBRANCE of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (From 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV)
So at the close of this Easter week I’m remembering… I’m reminding myself of “what it must have been like to provide for my salvation (and yours) on the cross.