By Rick Chromey
It’s so easy to forget.
Most often our memory fades with time. We forget how we felt. We forget details and even reasons. Our memory of something can become jaded, biased, foggy, or lost. Sometimes our memory is damaged by age. It’s not that we want to forget, but rather, we simply can’t remember.
God understands the peril of human forgetfulness. Our minds sometimes need a little jogging through a metaphor, object lesson, or visual cue. Sometimes we need to re-create the experience.
The ancient Passover meal was something God used to remind the Israelites of their Egyptian exodus. He never wanted them to forget the feelings, overlook details, or grow foggy about the reasons. In Exodus 12, God gave specific instructions for how to participate in the Passover. It was a meal of unleavened bread, roasted lamb, and bitter herbs. No food could be left till morning. They were to dine quickly, dressed to travel with staff in hand.
The Passover commemorated the “passing over” of the death angel who intended to kill every firstborn of man and beast. The Israelites were saved from this destruction only if they swabbed their doorframes with blood. It was a lasting ordinance, still practiced by Jews to this day. Every Jewish child still asks the question of Exodus 12:26: “What does this ceremony mean?” And to this day Jewish parents recount the story of salvation.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper during this sacred Passover meal. And to this day, we also should be prepared to explain “what this ceremony means” to our children. This bread remains unleavened, just like the Passover bread, and symbolizes the body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His blood, represented in this cup that carries the “fruit of the vine” or grape juice, covers the doorframes of our souls to deliver us from death.
From a human view, this wafer of bread and tiny glass of juice seem insignificant, but from God’s perspective it’s an everlasting memorial to remind us why we are Christians. Jesus is the firstborn of God who died. He is our lamb and his blood is our freedom from slavery to sin.
So as we participate in this memorial meal today, let us never forget the body given and the blood poured out so that we might live free and forever.
Rick Chromey is president of MANNA! Educational Services International (www.mannasolutions.org) in Meridian, Idaho.