Vol. 7, No. 5
~ Page 18 ~
It is amazing what difference there is between the concept of God and of man as to what constitutes a great memorial. Man looks toward what represents mightiness, powerfulness, exquisiteness, artfulness, etc. Whereas the two great memorials God instituted to memorialize his efforts to rescue mankind from bondage are of such a lowly design that no man, great or small, would ever have thought of or suggested them.
The first great memorial was the Passover ordinance that commemorated an event that had no precedent or anything like it to follow. Israel saw the mighty hand of God that was visibly manifested throughout all Egypt in the death of the first born of man and beast--the death stroke that liberated the children of Israel. Therefore, they were instructed to "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; ...You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year" (Exodus 13:3-10, NKJV). The Passover memorialized an event so significant that fleshly Israel was never to forget.
But as so often is the case with man, Israel's remembrance waned at times and the significance of that event was corrupted through other devised and/or adopted devotions. In such a time, God had Ezekiel say to them, "Because you did not remember the days of your youth, but agitated Me with all these things, surely I will also recompense your deeds on your own head" (16:43). Very often, the lowly Passover memorial became an established ritual that did not revive their keen remembrance of and appreciation for the days of their youth, namely, when they were delivered from the misery of their physical bondage, and brought into freedom under the mighty providential care of Jehovah God.
About fifteen centuries later, Jehovah God worked another yet greater event when Jesus Christ became a "sin offering" (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21) by which the people of God are delivered from the greatest bondage of all--the bondage of sin that ends in eternal death. As the lowly Passover was given to fleshly Israel by which to remember their deliverance, so the lowly Lord's Supper is given to spiritual Israel (Christians) to remember the means of their deliverance from the bondage of sin.
When Jesus ordained the Lord's Supper, he said, "...do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). "This" refers to the eating of the bread and the drinking of the cup in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ--the body "broken for you," and the blood shed "for the remission of sins" (cf. Matthew 26:26ff). What an event! What a memorial!--a memorial so lowly in its structure but so great in its significance! This event was so great and the memorial so significant that Christians did then (and do now) faithfully observe the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). When the significance of this memorial wanes to where it is neglected, or is "beefed up" with pageantry and/or fanfare, or is subsidized with other memorial observances, then the "days of your youth" are not being remembered.
There were many significant events involving the life of Jesus Christ and the introduction of Christianity, the means by which penitent sinners could be redeemed from the bondage of sin. Among these was the birth of Jesus (God becoming man to be in position to redeem man); the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (qualifying him to be a sinless sin-offering); his "triumphal" entry into Jerusalem (a demonstration of his projected kingliness); his resurrection and Ascension (to be crowned "King of kings and Lord of lords). It is worthy of note that not a single one of these events was done in "pomp and ceremony." Neither did God design nor give instructions for any memorial of any kind (e.g., Christmas, Palm Sunday, Easter, et al) other than the Lord's Supper to be observed by his church.
The Scripture does not present Jesus to us as a "baby" but as a "warrior" whose vesture is dipped in blood (cf. Revelation 19:13; Isaiah 63:1-6). With this in view, Christians faithfully assemble together upon the first day of the week to worship Jehovah God and observe the Lord's Supper in a lowly and solemn way, without any form of pageantry or reverting to other memorial observances. The meaningful observance of this memorial Sunday after Sunday qualifies life day after day.