Summary: Jesus is not just a forgotten name in a Book. He is God. God who took on our flesh. He took on our flesh just so He could suffer and die in it--so He could suffer the penalty of sin in our stead. And He told us to remember. So that’s what we’re going to

1. Urgent remembrance requires the first cup of preparing

2. Urgent remembrance requires the second cup of purging

3. Urgent remembrance requires the third cup of partaking

4. Urgent remembrance recalls the fourth cup of promising

I am tremendously blessed. And one of the ways I am blessed is that I have known and been close to each of my grandparents. I have one grandmother that’s still alive. And nearly every Sunday after church, we get to go over to her house and have lunch. We get to share her favorite meal with her—Little Caesar’s Hot-and-Ready pizza. One of the wonderful things that happens sometimes during those lunches is when she tells us stories. Sometimes she’ll tell stories about how things were when she was growing up. She’ll tell us about her sisters. She’ll tell us about her Mother and Father. I remember going to visit her mother when I was little. The only thing I remember about the visit was it was in one big room. I remember that there wasn’t anything in it except wood benches and a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the floor. And I remember I had to be quiet for some reason. I think that was when my cousin and I were introduced to the quiet game. That’s the way memories are, aren’t they? They fade over time. They are forgotten with age. They pass with each passing generation. Of course I remember each of my grandparents that I’ve lost. I have special memories of sitting on Pawpaw Stanley’s porch playing with his dogs. And I have special memories of sitting on my Papaw Drake’s lap as he sang “Daddy sang bass” to me. And how Mamaw Drake would feed me corn on the cob till I was sick. Like the song says, those are precious memories. Precious memories, how they linger. How they ever flood my soul. In the stillness of the midnight. Precious, sacred scenes unfold. But do you know what? Most of the time those kinds of precious memories only last a generation or two. I’m sad to say that all I remember of my great-grandparents is the pot-bellied stove and playing the quiet game with one of them. The only other thing I remember is how another great-grandmother spit her tobacco. I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but a few months ago, I was able to get a genealogy record back through my Mamaw Drake’s side of the family. It went all the way back to 1745. Back to a man named Jacob Starcher from Harrison County, VA. It was interesting. But not really. Because it was really no more than a list of names. There were no stories or memories attached to them. There were no precious memories because there was no remembrance. Names and dates on paper do nothing to spark the kind of emotion that comes from true remembrance. In our passage this morning, Jesus tells the disciples to remember Him. But not in some sort of sentimental, nostalgic way. He wants them to truly remember who He is and what He was about to do for them. And in doing so, He tells us the same thing. He tells us to truly remember Him. Remember who He is. And remember what He’s done for each and every one of us. Jesus is not just a forgotten name in a Book. He is God. God who took on our flesh. He took on our flesh, just so He could suffer and die in it. So He could suffer the penalty of sin in our stead. And He told us to remember. So that’s what we’re going to do this morning. We’re going to urgently remember. Not with the taking of the Lord’s Supper. But with the preaching of the Lord’s Last Supper. As we do, we’re going to look at the four cups of the Lord’s Last Supper. The first cup was the cup of preparing. Look with me at verses 17-19:

MATTHEW 26:17-19

Urgent remembrance requires the first cup of preparing. The Jewish calendar was full of feast days and celebrations. They had the feast of Purim, the feast of tabernacles, the Day of Atonement, the feast of Pentecost, the feast of Trumpets. But the most important feast of all was the feast of unleavened bread. The feast of unleavened bread was so important to the Jews, that it was one of only three feasts where they were required to go to Jerusalem to celebrate. The feast of unleavened bread is kind of a broad title though. It’s a broad title because it included three feasts that kind of got rolled into one. First was Passover. Then Passover rolled right into the actual feast of unleavened bread. That lasted 7 days. Then they wrapped up the whole thing with the feast of Firstfruits. All three of those put together came to be known as the feast of unleavened bread. But the key event was clearly the one that kicked it off. The key event was the Passover. The Passover was a time when every Jewish family remembered the time when God delivered the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. This is the feast that Jesus was celebrating with the disciples. And they were doing exactly what God had commanded the Jews to do. They were remembering God’s miraculous deliverance of Israel. They were engaged in a ceremony to remember the Lord’s saving work on their behalf. Even though the ceremony was simple, it did require preparation. Since the Jews were required to take the Passover in Jerusalem, there were more than a million more of them in town at this time. That made finding a place to hold the ceremony a chore. But it’s obvious from our passage, that Jesus had already taken care of that. Apparently, He had already picked out the lamb and the place. All that was required for preparation now was the sacrifice and the actual preparation of the meal. This took several hours, as all those people crowded into the temple. Tradition wouldn’t allow any more than two men to bring each lamb to the temple for sacrifice. Then after one of the over 600 priests carried out the sacrifice, the lamb was immediately taken home and the meat was roasted. This was all part of the preparation for the meal. And as Jesus and the disciples gathered there in the upper room, they made the final preparations. After the sacrifice had been made. While the meat was still cooking. Jesus made the final preparations. He made the final preparation by pouring the first cup. See, the Passover meal was structured around the sharing of four cups of wine. The host would pour those four cups at different intervals throughout the ceremony. The actual Passover meal began when the host poured and blessed the first cup. This signified that all the preparations had been made and the meal was now to begin. In Luke’s account of this event, he records that Jesus said, “This do in remembrance of Me.” The reason that we celebrate the Lord’s Supper is because Jesus commanded us to. He didn’t tell us how often we are to do it, but He did say that as often as we do, we are to do it in remembrance of Him. Even though we usually celebrate the Lord’s Supper once every two or three months… urgent remembrance requires that our preparation be continual. Just like He did with the disciples, Jesus has provided the place. He has provided the Lamb. He has provided the blood sacrifice. But we have to be prepared by willingly entering into His fellowship. By regularly gathering together with each other. By continually partaking of what He’s graciously prepared for us. In order to urgently remember what Jesus has done for you, you have to be prepared. Be prepared by knowing Him. By being an active part of His body—the church. And by accepting the gracious gift of salvation He’s provided for you. Then, you can share the first cup with Him—the cup of preparing. After we’ve shared the first cup of preparing with Him, then comes the second cup. The cup of purging. Look with me in verses 20-25:

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