"Do This in Remembrance of Me"

Joel Stephen Williams

The nation of Israel was urged again and again to "remember" all that God had done for them. The prophetic tradition rebuked a forgetful nation again and again when they did not remember God's graciousness.

"Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day....If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed" (Deut. 8:11, 19).

"You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth" (Deut. 32:18).

"They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them" (Psa. 78:11).

"But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel....They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt" (Psa. 106:13, 21).

"The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know" (Isa. 1:3).

"You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the rock, your fortress" (Isa. 17:10).

"Who are you...that you forget the Lord your Maker" (Isa. 51:12-13).

"Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her weddings ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number" (Jer. 2:32).

"One important purpose of Israel's rituals was to keep fresh in the memory of the people the saving activity of Yahweh in their past history" (J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah, NICOT, 184). And since God is the same God today and since people tend to act in similar ways today, God still calls on us to "remember" what he has done for us. In particular, we are to remember Calvary and what God accomplished in Jesus Christ there. This is why Jesus said: "Do this in remembrance of me" (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). By observing his will for us and by allowing our lives to grow in faith and love, we "remember" with the desired results God intended (2 Pet. 1:5-8). If not, then one is "nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins" (2 Pet. 1:9).

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