Have you ever left home for the day and a few hours later, suddenly have a moment of panic about whether you forgot to unplug your curling iron or make sure the stove or oven had been turned off?
I remember one time as a child, my family set off on a road trip to visit grandparents who lived four hours away. Somewhere around hour three of our four-hour drive, my parents suddenly couldn’t remember if they had left the oven on before we left. Not wanting to risk the potential disaster of a hot oven left unattended for days, they made the decision to drop my brothers and me off at our grandparent’s house, then they got back in the car to drive four hours to get back home, only to discover (thankfully) it had not been left on after all.
Apparently, this type of scenario must happen to people somewhat frequently, because I’ve seen a few handy life hacks for ways to confirm, for sure, without a doubt, that you did indeed remember to do all the right things before leaving home. Here’s one of those helpful hints: before leaving your home, take a photo of your unplugged curling iron or of the oven controls clearly turned off – whatever you’re prone to forget – and later when you come to a moment in your journey where you wonder if you forgot to double-check a device or setting, you can go back and see the photo you took as evidence that you took care of it.
It’s so interesting how a physical memory cue like this is so simple, but can help us remember what has already been done so we can have peace of mind and confident assurance moving forward.
While this may be a silly example, it does make me think of how powerful it is that Jesus directed and instructed us in a physical action of remembrance – communion – and in so doing, we bring to remembrance the powerful work Jesus accomplished by going to the cross.
The night before Jesus was crucified, He gathered with the disciples over a meal. As He broke bread and took the cup to share with them, He demonstrated an incredibly powerful picture of the new covenant He was making. In those moments, partaking together with His disciples, Jesus left us with a reminder that we could always go back and remember any time we look at those elements. Jesus modeled a physical action to reflect the sacrifice He was making for us. When we take the bread and break it, we remember that because His body was broken for us, we were made whole. When we take the cup and drink, we remember that because His blood was shed, we have forgiveness for our sins.
Jesus told His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He was reminding us that we can partake of this beautiful ordinance as often as needed. And each time we do, it becomes a moment of remembrance. Remembrance simply means, “the act of remembering.”
When was the last time we took intentional time to participate in communion as an act of remembering? It’s not just an occasional religious action we sometimes experience during a church service. It’s a beautiful and powerful picture of all Jesus did for us. This action of communion, of breaking the bread and taking the cup, was meant to be a reminder we can freely and powerfully partake of as believers. And we are encouraged to do so until the day He returns (1 Corinthians 11:26) to remember the finished work of His sacrifice, the way His body was broken for us and His precious blood was shed for us.
He wanted us to keep this fresh in our minds, to never forget it. Communion is a beautiful reminder of what Jesus has already accomplished. If we ever find ourselves unsure about our standing with God, if we ever wonder if we are seen, valued, or loved, if we ever begin to forget just how powerful the blood of Jesus is and how it was His precious blood that cleansed us of all sin, we have only to come eat the bread and drink the cup and we will be reminded of the finished work He has done. We can be reminded afresh to confidently stand in the truth and victory of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. I don’t ever want to minimize or forget the power of what it represents, what Jesus did for me.
As we receive this communion with Him, until the day He returns, it’s a reminder that will continually strengthen our faith as we remember, reflect on, believe, and proclaim the truth and promise of all Jesus sacrificed for us.
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