Observance of the Lord’s Table: “Remember”

A devotional thought from 2 Timothy 2:8-10. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist church on Sunday evening, January 25, 2009.

It is easy to be critical of Old Testament Israel for their ability to forget.  Again and again they were instructed by Moses and the prophets, “do not forget.”  Yet, they did again and again.  They gave themselves to other gods.  Gods of the pagan lands around them.  Why would they do it?  How could they do it?  But before we get too smug with our righteous indignation – maybe we should examine our own lives.  Max Lucado suggests that there is a direct correlation between the accuracy of our memory and the effectiveness of our mission.  He says, “If we are not teaching people how to be saved, it is perhaps because we have forgotten the tragedy of being lost.  If we’re not teaching the message of forgiveness, it may be because we don’t remember what it was like to be guilty.  And if we’re not preaching the cross, it could be that we’ve subconsciously decided that – God forbid – somehow we don’t need it.”

We can become, over time, complacent with truth. Like an old shirt – we are comfortable with it. The problem is – we are not to be comfortable with God. God’s holiness and our sinfulness are not “comfortable” truths!

It isn’t that we turn our backs on God. It isn’t that we are not grateful. It is just our minds have wandered. The “crisis” has past and we’ve moved on to other things. In the busyness of life we’ve lost sight of the truth.

It is buried under layers of relationships, assignments, promotions, children, school, jobs, activities, mortgages, tragedy, disappointments and well…life.  This is part of the “fallenness” with which we struggle throughout our days.  This is why the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to remember.

Text: 2 Timothy 2:8-10

Paul, the aged apostle, from death row wrote to his young son in the ministry.  These are his last words.  These are the things he wants Timothy to remember.  These are the most important things to the apostle – “Timothy remember Jesus… Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David.  This is my Gospel…”

When times are hard, remember Jesus.  When people don’t listen, remember Jesus.  When tears come, remember Jesus.  When disappointment is your bed partner, remember Jesus.  When fear pitches his tent in your front yard.  When death looms, when anger rages, when shame weighs heavy, remember Jesus.

This table is a table of remembrance. It is one of the means by which we recall the price paid for rebellion.

The message was first preached in the Garden, as God took the life of an innocent to cover Adam’s guilt.  The message thundered through the ages as lambs were sacrificed.  The tearing of flesh, the spilling of blood.  All confirming, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Finally on that quiet night, there came the cry of God’s lamb from Bethlehem’s stable.  John the baptizer declared, “Behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”  Then that night in Jerusalem around a banquet table our Lord declared, “This is my body broken for you.  This is the new covenant in my blood.  Take and eat.  Take and drink.”

Tonight we gather to remember.  To remember the price paid for our rebellion.  To remember our substitute who died in our place.  We are to remember our sin and guilt.  Our rebellion and hate.  His love and grace.  This table is about the Gospel.

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