“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you
Do This in Remembrance of Me (Luke 22:19)
This request by Jesus on the night that he was betrayed, 2000 years later is still being observed by His followers all around the world. They remember the great sacrifice that He made on their behalf in giving His life as a “ransom for all” to be testified in due time.
The night was the 14th of Nisan when He came with His disciples to have the Last Supper with the twelve. They celebrated together the Passover which the Jews were to celebrate each year in remembrance of when the Angel of Death past over the first born of the Jews who were under the blood on the door lintel and posts. (Exodus 12)
After they had eaten of the meal, Jesus then spoke of the fact that one of the twelve would betray Him. It appears that, after Judas had taken the sop and went out, Jesus instituted the ceremony of the memorial of his sacrifice for us to celebrate each year. (John 13)
It was a very simple ceremony, taking the bread and the wine that had been part of the Passover meal and using these to show the importance of the sacrifice that He was about to make. The Apostle Paul writes “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NASB)
Why do Brethren celebrate it once a year instead of the frequency that many Churches hold communion? The fact that the Passover was celebrated once a year sets the frequency. Christ replaced the lambs that were killed at 3.00pm on the 14th of Nisan for the Passover. He was the Passover Lamb that had been slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), and it was at 3.00pm on the 14th of Nisan that He died on the cross.
The early Church celebrated the Memorial of His death once a year. However, they celebrated the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week when they came together to break bread. (Acts 2:42, 46 and 20:7,11) They were celebrating the fact that Jehovah had accepted Christ’s sacrifice by raising Him from the dead. The Apostle Paul states “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NASB)
In no way do we condemn those who celebrate communion more regularly, but the frequency can risk the solemnity of the occasion. The Jews today still place great importance on celebrating the Passover, but it is only once a year and they take time to reflect on the reason for the Passover. We too should prepare ourselves to be sure that we understand the importance of the Memorial of Jesus’s death.
The date of the memorial
THURSDAY 18th April 2019 (14th Nisan) after 6.00pm.
For more details on locations where the memorial will be held email [email protected]
“Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” 1 Co. 11:28
Unable to attend?
If you are isolated or unable to attend, please contact us for a Memorial Kit provided free of charge.
The kit consists of a new 15 page book on the subject of “Our Lord’s Memorial” and a new CD with recordings of 12 different memorial service in MP3 format which will work on computers and modern CD/DVD players
Please send us an email at [email protected]