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1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes.”
The annual Feast of the Passover had arrived. Jews from across the country would have journeyed to Jerusalem to keep the Feast in their holy city. The Lord directed His disciples to an upper room in which they could celebrate the Feast and they gathered there, expecting to go through the ritual with which they were familiar from past years.
But the Lord took the two most common components of the Feast and instilled them with a new meaning. He likened the bread to His body that was going to be broken for them and the wine to His blood that was going to be shed for them. We see from Paul’s account above that in both cases the Lord commanded it to be done IN REMEMBRANCE OF HIM. Obviously the Lord wants His people to keep the cross in mind regularly. The early church certainly did this as we see in Acts 2:46, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and BREAKING BREAD from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.”
We also note Paul’s comment that in keeping this simple feast of remembrance we are PROCLAIMING THE LORD’S DEATH TILL HE COMES. This was not just something for the early church. The Lord’s intention was that this feast should be kept throughout the ages until He returns. He obviously wants His people of all ages to focus regularly on His suffering and death for them.
Two contrasting truths are seen at the cross. The first is very obvious. The cross shows us more clearly than anything else that GOD LOVES US. The second truth needs equal emphasis although we do not think about it so often. The cross shows that GOD MUST PUNISH SIN BECAUSE HE IS A GOD OF TOTAL RIGHTEOUSNESS AS WELL AS TOTAL LOVE. The Lord Jesus had to take our punishment there on the cross in order to make it possible for our sins to be forgiven.
God cannot brush sin under the carpet or pretend that it didn’t happen. Had that been possible, surely God would have allowed His Son to forgo the cross. No! God’s holiness meant that sin had to be punished. There was no other way for mankind to be redeemed back to God.