Our Lord's Loving Request.

"This do in remembrance of me." - 1 Cor. 11:24-25.

We do not go to the gospels for our instruction and authority as to the Lord's supper; for about this He has since then spoken to us from heaven, as was revealed to the Church by the apostle Paul. (1 Cor. 11:23.) True it is that in the gospels we find, after keeping the passover, that our Lord took bread, gave thanks, brake, and gave to His disciples, saying, "Take eat, this is my body," etc.; and so far we may speak of it as the Lord's institution of His supper. But though it is more or less spoken of by all the four evangelists, it is only Luke who records our Lord's special request - "This do in remembrance of me," and he names it only once. Moreover, in the gospels the hope connected with it, as set forth by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, was the kingdom - "I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom;" for the Lord was then looking to the restoration and blessing of the nation of Israel, ere He will know joy in the world, and then His people will share it with Him. When He was drawing nigh to the cross of Calvary, He said to His disciples, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me;" and truly it is the case that since He was taken down from the cross no worldling's eye has rested upon Him. His mission to the earth then closed; and joy on earth, in which He will participate, can only be when He takes to Himself His great power, and establishes the long-looked-for kingdom on earth in righteousness.

With Christ rejected by the world, and hated without a cause by His own nation, but raised by God from among the dead, and glorified as Man on His own right hand, an entirely new order begins. The world being now under sentence of judgment, the Jews dispersed in governmental displeasure because of their sin, the kingdom so often spoken of by prophets is in abeyance until He shall come, whose right it is. Meanwhile the Holy Ghost is received and shed forth by the exalted Saviour, the veil having been rent from the top to the bottom; and the Forerunner having gone into heaven itself by His own blood, the Father's love, counsels, and ways are having their accomplishment in calling out a body and bride for the Son; while we are taught to look for His coming again, at any time, to take us bodily and for ever out of this scene to the Father's house, and so be for ever with the Lord.

It is not difficult then to see why, when Israel for a time is governmentally given up, and a new order of blessing begun in connection with the Son of man being in the glory of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, instead of looking forward to the "kingdom," we are taught by the Lord from heaven to keep His supper "till He come."

As those who know we have redemption in Christ, and by His precious blood, it is surely the delight of our hearts to do what is pleasing in His sight, who said, "This do in remembrance of me;" and observe that in this loving request we have something to do, as well as someone to remember. It is also the expression of one body. "This do" implies an act to be carried out with others. We may have sweet remembrances of the Saviour's precious words and ways and suffering unto death for us when alone; but here it is something to be done. Our Lord took bread, gave thanks, brake, and gave them saying, "Take, eat." "This do in remembrance of me." After the same manner also He took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come." It is not true then that I can remember the Lord at home, when alone, in the same way as when gathered with others to His name to carry out His mind, in thus eating of the bread and drinking of the cup. There is, in carrying out this special request of our Lord, something to be done - "This do;" so that if I do not do it, I do not carry out His mind.

Then there is a Person to be remembered; not what He has done, blessed as it is always to think of it, but Himself. We are to remember Him; not, as is often said, that we come together to remember His death, but to remember Him. And surely the difference is great in its effect on our souls, whether we are thinking of a work done for us, or of the loving One who did it. No doubt when we are occupied with Him in eating the bread and drinking the cup, we cannot forget His death and the love that brought Him there for us - that love which many waters could not quench, nor all the power of man or Satan hinder. But while in doing this we remember Him, we also announce or show forth His death. This should be our employ "till He come." "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." (1 Cor. 11:26.) How soon He may come for us

In our doing this, there is not only the discerning of the Lord's body, but the expression of the "one body" in our breaking and eating of the same loaf. We have our individual thoughts and exercises of faith and love in thus remembering Him; but here believers are gathered together, and because we are "many" we are collectively the expression of being one body in Christ. "For we being many are one bread" (or loaf): "for we are all partakers of that one loaf." (1 Cor. 10:17.) It is important to see this as characterizing the Lord's table, as we are so instructed by the apostle who was specially called to minister to the Church. (Col. 1:25.) We have no such thoughts in the account given in the gospels of the institution of the supper, because Israel had not then been formally given up, nor had the mystery of the Church been revealed; but when the assembly was revealed to Paul, and made known to others by the Spirit, then the fitting time came for teaching those who were members of the body of Christ, that in the act of doing this, in remembrance of the Lord, there is the expression of our being one with all other believers - "one body." Let us not fail to notice also that in the evangelist's account of the Lord's supper only apostles - men, and not women - partook of it; but when the Church is set up on earth, then all believers are addressed as to their great privilege in thus remembering the Lord till He come. May we know more of the Lord's mind as to this, and of our accountability to Him who is in the midst of those gathered together in His name.

H. H. Snell.