A Memorial Service

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As I reflect on the upcoming Lord’s Supper service, I wonder what Jesus was thinking the night of the first Lord’s Supper. How was He feeling, knowing that within a few hours, He would be betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, abandoned, accused falsely, and crucified by those He came to save?

In Luke 22:15 is recorded how “fervently” Jesus desired to eat that last meal with His disciples. He was preparing them for His soon departure. The Last Supper was intimate, simple, and yet so profound! It was more than just a meal and foot washing; it was the last lesson before the greatest test.

The Lord’s Supper is a memorial service. The Oxford Dictionary defines memorial as “A statue or structure established to remind people of a person or event.” When you think of a memorial service, you usually think of a special service held for someone’s funeral. Jesus held His own memorial service just a few hours before His death.

The foot washing is beautifully recorded in John 13:5: “He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him” (HCSB throughout).

Jesus proceeds to explain the meaning in John 13:14-16. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you. I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.”

The meal is recorded in Luke 22:19, 20:

And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.

Our Great Master humbled Himself, served His friends, and washed their feet as a memorial for them to remember the day that He was betrayed and crucified for the sins of the world. What a lesson!

Let’s take time to read the accounts of the memorial in the Gospels. Let us pause and truly appreciate the great sacrifice Jesus made for us all. As we take the bread, drink the wine, and wash each other’s feet, let us remember that night when Jesus did this with His disciples. Let us also seriously consider the sobering warning given by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 to examine ourselves so that we do not take the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner. First Corinthians 11:30, 31 says, “This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged.”

So as we partake of the Lord’s Supper may we remember, reflect, repent, respect, and rejoice.

 

Sonya Orr and her husband, Aaron, live outside Houston, TX, and attend CoG7 “The Way” in Willis, TX. Scripture quotations are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

 

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