His Last Commandment
‘This do in remembrance of me.’—Luke xxii. 19.
HIS last commandment! Do we not desire to obey it in its very fullest meaning, to do exactly what He meant us to do, and all that He meant us to do in it?1 Let us pray that He may open our eyes to behold wondrous things in it, and enable us to rise through the letter to the spirit.*
It is not simply ‘This do.’ We may obey so far month by month or week by week, and yet never once have obeyed our Lord’s dying wish or fulfilled His desire. He said, ‘This do in remembrance of Me.’ We cannot remember what we do not know. We must know the Lord Jesus Christ8 before we can truly remember Him at His table; for He does not say that we are to do it in remembrance of what He said, or even of what He did. That is quite a different thing. We may remember what we have heard or read of Ridley and Latimer, and we might commemorate their martyrdom; but we cannot remember them, because we never knew them,
1 Ps. cxix. 19. 2 John vi. 63. 3 Phil, iii, 8.
except as matter of history. But we know the Lord Jesus Christ as we know no man after the flesh.1 ‘We do know that we know Him,” and ‘the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’3 is our very life; it is the joy with which no stranger intermeddleth.4
Without this personal knowledge of Him, there can be no true remembrance of Him in the Lord’s Supper. Let us seek to ‘know Him,’ so that we may be able to remember Him; then the sweet remembrance of Himself5 and His exceeding great love will include remembrance of the words and ways of the Lord Jesus then it will arouse our love into a vivid reality of personal affection; then He will draw nigh to us:7 for ‘Thou meetest Him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways.’8
Have we not sometimes gone rather to get something for ourselves than simply to remember Him? and may not this account for some of the disappointment, which is no uncommon experience, that we did not run exactly in the way of His commandment ?3 We went to get strengthening and refreshing. We went perhaps vaguely expecting some peculiar manifestation of Himself, some almost sensible consciousness of His presence which is quite outside of His written promise or command. We went expecting something because we went, a sort of reward in and for the outward act. We remembered our weakness, and our wants, and our
1 2 Cor. V. 16. 2 I John ii. 3. 3 2 Pet. iii. 18.
4 Prov. xiv. lo. 6 Cant. i. 4. ^ John xiv. 26, xvi. 4.
7 Lam. iii. 57. 8 isa. Ixiv. 5. 8Ps. cxix. 33.
wishes, and we forgot that He commanded ‘one thing’—the remembrance of Himself. Shall we not ask the Holy Spirit next time to fix our hearts, so that the whole desire of our soul may be ‘to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee ‘ ?l
There was no ‘remembrance’ in that first celebration of the Lord’s Supper, that first solemn evening communion: for He was bodily present as the Master of the feast.2 The very word was a shadow cast before of the time when He should ‘be taken from them.’3 But now ‘the bright light which was in the cloud’4 shines all along the dim waiting time, revealing ‘this same Jesus;’5 for He whom we specially ‘remember’ at His table, is with us ‘alway,’ all the days, ‘the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.’6 He loves us now as He loved us when He prayed for ‘all them which shall believe on Me” in ‘the same night in which He was betrayed.’8 He loves us now as He loved us when He would not come down from the cross to save Himself.*
Love is the link between the remembrance and the anticipation; for the two melt into each other, and form one hallowed radiance of present great delight. ‘For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.TM So perhaps some will be showing it forth at the very moment when He comes! What a transition of unimaginable blessedness! It is almost too dazzlingly beautiful to think of.
1lsa.xxvi.S. 2Markxiv.17; Matt. xxvi. 20; Lukexxii.11.
•Matt. ix. 15. * Job xxxvii. 21, ‘Acts i. 11. « Heb. xiii. 8.
7 John xvii. 20. « 1 Cor. xi. 23. 4 Mark xv. 30. »« 1 Cor. xi. 26.
Luther said: ‘I feel as if Jesus Christ died yesterday.’ So fresh, so vivid, be our love and thankfulness! But may we add: ‘And as if He were coming to-day!’ Then our lives would indeed be rich in remembrance and radiant in anticipation,1 ‘looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.’2
According to Thy gracious word,
In deep humility,
This will I do, my gracious Lord,
I will remember Thee.
Remember Thee, and all Thy pains,
And all Thy love to me;
Yes, while a breath, a pulse remains,
Will I remember Thee.
– James Montgomery.