God was big on memorials and memorial days. All throughout the Old Testament there are specific instructions for special feast days (Exodus 12:14), stone edifices (Joshua 4:1) and memorial offerings (Psalm 38:1) all instituted by God so that the people might remember what the Lord had done. This wasn't for Him as much as it was for us. He knows how prone we are to forget.
And when Jesus arrives centuries later, immediately before he offers up his own life he institutes his own "memorial" of sorts. Something the Church regularly practices today:
"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." -Luke 22:19In the same way that Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to remember and honor those that have sacrificed their lives for the freedom we enjoy in this great country, the communion is an ordinance that we practice to remember and honor the One who sacrificed his life for the freedom that we enjoy from sin and death. But communion isn't just about looking back - it's also about looking forward.
"I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom." -Matthew 26:29Communion also looks squarely to the future and the promise is that the next time Jesus drinks from the cup it will be with us in His Father's kingdom. What a glorious day that will be. Godspeed the day.
In His Grace,
Peter & Kim