Summary: As you remember the sacrifice Christ made for you, what sacrifice is He telling you to make for Him?
[This sermon was preached on Remembrance Day (Canada) and was inspired by a chapter in Herbert Lockyer’s book The Man Who Died for Me. It was preached in two parts; for the complete order of service, email me: email@example.com.]
“Do this in remembrance of me.”
1. THE REQUEST: “Do this”
a. It is the COMMAND of a Lord
Scripture does not tell us how frequently we should observe the Lord’s Supper. It is not the frequency that counts but the spirit in which we participate. It is not simply a duty of a ritual.
The Lord’s Supper is not optional or unimportant. It should be observed regularly and in a meaningful way.
b. It is the request of a FRIEND
It’s as if Jesus said, “When I am gone, do not forget Me. As you eat the break and drink the wine, remember Me and all that I suffered for your sake.”
On March 15, 1985, Wayne Alderson—a successful labor negotiator from Pittsburgh—appeared on the Today show. The significance of the date was that it was the fortieth anniversary of Alderson’s being wounded. He was the first American soldier to cross the Siegfried line into Germany in World War II. He had a permanent crease in his head from the wound.
Asked for his most important memory of the occasion, Alderson replied that it was a redheaded friend who saved his life that day. Alderson had come face-to-face with a German soldier. The German threw a grenade at Alderson’s feet, and Alderson shot the German. The grenade exploded almost instantly, sending Alderson to the ground, facedown in the mud.
A nearby German machinegun opened fire in his direction, and he knew that if the grenade had not killed him, the gunfire would. But Alderson’s redheaded friend turned him over, so he could breathe, and threw himself across his body, shielding him from the deadly fire.
“I can never forget the person who sacrificed his live to save me,” said Alderson, tears in his eyes. “I owe everything to him. I can never forget…I owe everything to him.”
Christ showed his love to us on the cross. We can never forget what He has done. We owe everything to Him.—In Remembrance of Me, pp. 157-158
Today, poppies are worn as a symbol of remembrance, a reminder of the blood-red flower that still grows of the former battlefields of France and Belgium. During the terrible bloodshed of the second battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, wrote of these flowers which lived on among the graves of dead soldiers:
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
As Christians, we also have symbols of remembrance. Those symbols are before us: the bread and cup of the Lord’s Supper.
Why do we need Remembrance Day and the Lord’s Supper? Because we are forgetful people. We need to be reminded to remember.
“Lest we forget”
2. THE REMEMBRANCE: “In remembrance of me”
There is a tendency to think more of the Feast than the Friend, more of the Supper than the Savior, more of the emblems than Emmanuel. We must, however, strive to make more of “the Lord of the Feast,” rather than “the feast of the Lord.”
a. He is the LOWLY Nazarene
“…Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature [or in the form of] God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:5-7).
The bread and wine tell us that Jesus, though divine, possessed a human body and human blood, just like ours.
God the Son became human so that he could bridge the gap between God and man. “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
b. He is the CRUCIFIED Savior
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8).
When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He said, “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19). And, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (v. 20).
The broken bread symbolizes the bruised and pierced body of Jesus. The outpoured wine symbolizes His shed blood.
“…the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” The Greek word that has been translated “for” can mean both “on behalf of” and “instead of.” The death of Christ was both personal—He died for me—and substitutional—He died instead of me, in my place.