Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do This in Remembrance of Me

Thursday would have been Passover for our Lord Jesus.  A time of incredible joy, of looking back at what amazing deliverance God had wrought for His people before.  A time to renew faith and family ties, to rejoice, to remember.

All day I've had this song fragment in my head, from VBS-
"Pass over, pass over; You must pass over me,
for see the stain that's overhead- the crimson stain-
Passover, passover, You must pass over me,
for, see, the lamb has died instead.

And I will live, I will live,
I will live giving glory to the Eternal One.
I will live, I will live,
I will live, because of what He's done."

Something is supposed to be different when someone dies for you.  You can't just go on like your life was never in danger, like no one loved you so amazingly astoundingly much, like no great mercy spared your life in passing you by, yes, Guilty One- you.  We who live must live on-- in remembrance.

I've been thinking about what Jesus must have been thinking all day as He participated in the preparations for Passover, for what He knew would be His Last Meal on earth, His last night with those He loved-- His last night of the bliss of perfect fellowship with the most delightful being in existence:  God the Father.  Did He slit the lamb's throat Himself?  Did He cry as He did it?  Did His gaze linger long on the blood painted on post & lintel?  Did the bitter herbs stick in His mouth as He pondered just how bitter the separation to come would be?  

Surely, there must have been sadness.  Hours later He would be weeping desperately in the Garden.  Yet, even so, Hebrews 12:2 says He went to the Cross for Joy.  Somehow, He looked around at each face in that room (maybe even supernaturally at faces not even yet born?) and He rejoiced that tonight- tonight!- He would bind them to Himself, forever. That tonight, He would seal their- our- eternal perfect Joy and would finish the work that would bring home every lost child.

"But none of the ransomed ever knew
How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through

Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the desert He heard its cry,
Sick and helpless and ready to die.

And all through the mountains, thunder riven
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a glad cry to the gate of Heaven,
“Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
And the angels echoed around the throne,
“Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!
 "There were Ninety-and-Nine" (hear my favorite rendition here)

I am struck by the things that our Christ remembered as He put into motion what He asked us to remember-- not just the meal of blood & body itself, but the crucifixion and resurrection it depicts.  He was remembering all of His Father's & His plan, orchestrated throughout history and countless lives, this plan to stomp on the Serpent's head; the plan to be the Truth that would overturn every effort of the Father of Lies; the plan to "get His people back" (as I told my preschoolers every year). The whole of history had been leading up to this night, this night of agony, this night of flawless execution.  And our Lord knew it.  As He reminded His forgetful disciples just a few days later, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 22:24-27)

I am amazed that somehow, He thought it was worth it.  Yet I know, that because God had bound Himself to it -sworn by His very own name- that His honor would have to be upheld, and that THAT would be worth it.

Lord, help me to remember, not just with my mind and affirming nods as the story is read, but with beating heart and caught breath and flushed cheeks.  Let me live with that memory burning behind my eyes, spurring me to both action and restraint, shaping my will and actions and even my tastes.  Let Your Body and Blood define me.  May we never forget.

2 comments:

KtLw35 said...

We sang that song in the musical that it went along with for music camp one summer at church. I think it was "You Gotta be Joshin' Us" or "Good Kings Come in Small Packages." I might still have the book stuffed in one of our closets.

Eowyn's Heir said...

Hahha! That's funny! What a cheesy name, lol. I had no idea where the song came from; they only taught us that one song from that musical, I guess. So cool that you know it, too!