July 11 – LD 28, Day 3: Remembering the Suffering and Death of
by Rev Arie den Hartog
Read Isaiah 53
The chief purpose of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is in order that the church might remember the suffering and death of our beloved Savior. This should be the most prominent of all the aspects of our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. There are so many dimensions to this remembrance. So much of scripture speaks of it.
The suffering and death of our Savior on the cross was absolutely necessary. The justice of God required it. Our sins were so dreadful in the sight of God that they could not be atoned for in any other way than by the death of the Son of God on the cross. Rather than allowing our sin to go unpunished, God punished our sins by offering up His own dear Son to the death of the cross. The cross speaks of the awful reality of our sin and the justice of God in punishing that sin. Jesus bore the punishment that our sins deserved on the cross. He died in our place and for us.
Jesus gave Himself as an offering and perfect sacrifice to make atonement for our sins. “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isa 53:4-5
The death of Jesus on the cross involved suffering far greater than we can ever understand. It caused Jesus, in the darkness of that suffering, to cry out in bitter anguish: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
By His death on the cross our Lord Jesus fulfilled all obedience to the law of God for us when we were wholly incapable of doing this ourselves. By His active obedience and willing sacrifice on the cross Jesus fulfilled all righteousness for us. This righteousness is not imputed to us freely by the grace of God. It becomes ours through faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper must be an act of faith.
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the most amazing demonstration of the love of God. For when Christ died, we were yet the enemies of God. We are hopelessly guilty and depraved sinners. We all deserve the judgment of hell. We can do nothing of ourselves to make atonement for sin. We have no strength in ourselves to deliver ourselves from the power and destruction of sin. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10
No one can ever measure the breadth, length, depth and height of the love of Christ who gave Himself for us to the suffering and death of the cross. Every time we stand before the cross of the Son of God we are filled with awe and amazement.
The Lord’s Supper was given to us in order that we might remember the suffering and death of our Savior. There is no greater power to sanctify us and inspire in our Christian life to love God and give Him humble thanksgiving, than the remembrance of His Love in Jesus Christ.
The celebration of the Lord’s Supper must again and again engage us to meditate on the wonder of the sacrifice of Christ. Never should we forget it!