“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (7/23/10): Demand #46 “Do This In Remembrance of Me, Baptize Disciples and Eat The Lord’s Supper”

 

 

Matthew 28: 18-20

 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 22:15-20

“And [ Jesus] said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

“Just before he departed into heaven, Jesus gave the command that we should “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). In other words, part of becoming a disciple or a follower of Jesus is being baptized. This is the outward mark of the inward change that has happened to bring one under the lordship of Jesus as a forgiven sinner… Jesus chooses this sign as the mark of his own followers in his absence. When they are converted from unbelief to belief, they are to be baptized. That is, they are to demonstrate in their obedience to this command that they are truly his. My simple point here is that this act, practiced by almost all Christian churches today, was not invented by the churches. Jesus put this in place before he left and demanded that we do it. Therefore a follower of Jesus should be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said. This is part of becoming his disciple and a part of his church.

The other ordinance that Jesus provided for his church is the Lord’s Supper. I am calling baptism and the Lord’s Supper ordinances to signify that Jesus ordained them. That is, he established the pattern of their observance. This is clear with regard to baptism because he commanded it as a more or less formal act in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is also clear in regard to the Lord’s Supper because, in the context of a very solemn declaration about the bread and the cup, Jesus commands us to “do this.” Jesus did not give this ordinance a name. He called the entire meal that he was eating with his disciples that last night the Passover and described it in relationship to his own sacrifice. “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15). The Passover marked the event in Egypt when God spared the Jewish sons from the angel of death because their doorposts and lintel were marked with blood from a sacrificial lamb (Exod. 12:13, 23). Since everything about Jesus’ last evening and the following trial and crucifixion was planned by God and followed obediently by Jesus, it would be folly to think his last supper was only coincidentally a Passover meal. Therefore, it is not surprising that the earliest Christian document that refers to this ordinance not only calls it “the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20), but also refers to Jesus as “our Passover lamb” (1 Cor. 5:7). That was surely what Jesus meant to say: “I am instituting a sacred supper for my people when I am gone, and in it they should see a sacred sign of the Passover sacrifice that I will perform tomorrow morning when I die for their sins (pg. 344-347).”

“What we have seen in this chapter is that the church is not an afterthought created by the followers of Jesus because his message of the coming kingdom did not materialize. No, the church did not replace the kingdom. The church is created and sustained by the kingdom. The church was planned by Jesus, and he provided for her in every way. “I will build my church” is the banner that flies over the gatherings of Jesus’ followers today. He is building his people. He is gathering his flock. He is fulfilling his promise to be with her to the end of the age. He is teaching her by his Spirit and through his word. And he is marking her off from the world through the sign of baptism and by making himself remembered and known and enjoyed in the Lord’s Supper. “Do this” is a demand that calls us today to be not just individual followers but a flock, a gathering, a community, and a church (pg. 349.)”

*** To help you reflect more on the act of Communion, please check out the videos for “Remembrance” and “Carried to the Table” in my Vodpod on this page.  Our church will be celebrating Communion this Sunday at our church and I am looking forward to “re-remembering” Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 8:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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