In our religious life, do we lean more on indoctrination than revelation? What about Jesus? Which way did He lean and what did He teach?
As Jesus was instituting the Lord’s Supper, He encouraged the disciples to “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). What does Jesus want us to remember? First, that Jesus came to earth to renew His personal relationship with His children. But Jesus was resisted aggressively by those who insisted on rules and regulations over a personal relationship with God. So, in other words, Jesus is saying remember why I came.
Jesus also said, in effect, remember what I have done. What did He do? He paid the once-for-all sacrifice for our sins to give us a home in heaven. Further, He demonstrated, for us, how to live in a personal relationship with God as opposed to living by a set of rules. Rules do not grow us closer to God but a personal relationship does.
To demonstrate this truth, we see, in the Bible, those who lived by rules were the ones who were threatened by Jesus and plotted to murder Him thinking that they were doing God a favor. Jesus came to change the way that we relate to God and to each other. For how we relate to each other reveals how we relate to God. Herein lies the challenge for us today. The generation aged 18-34 watch how we treat each other and are very unimpressed with Christianity. So much so that approximately 93% of this age group have said, “No” to Christianity, and resultingly, are unchurched.
So, Jesus calls us to remember! Remember what He has done for us! And remember what He wants to do in us. Remember that He is always with us, through His Holy Spirit, to: guide us, daily, into all truth and to bring to our remembrance everything that He taught us while He was still with us in the flesh. The remembering process calls for us to stay in constant contact with God; so that He may continue to nurture us to grow us to be more Christlike. This process of continual connection with Him directly affects how we treat each other which is a powerful witness. And our witness reflects how well we remember.
With this current generation turning away from the Church tells us that we are having trouble remembering what Christ has done for us and in us and what He want to do through us. God wants us to be a visible reflection of the invisible God. In other words, we are to be His love with skin on.
Observing the disciples’ lives before they understood, they lived selfishly. After they understood,, they lived sacrificially. Before Saul understood, He persecuted Christians. After he understood, he became the persecuted. But his new personal relationship with Jesus more than made up or it. In his new relationship, he penned these words. “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NLT). And describing his own life, the converted Apostle Paul said, “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Obviously, the Apostle Paul’s relationship with Jesus transformed him.
As we remember Jesus, may we also be transformed continuously into His likeness.
Your Servant in Christ,
Ron McCaskill, Pastor