Every November 11th, the world commemorates the Remembrance day, a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. As the people around the world reflect on the sacrifices made in past and present conflicts, I am reminded of another remembrance day that the Jews have been celebrating under the Old Covenant: the Sabbath.
”’Remember the Sabbath day….On it you shall not do any work, neither you, ..nor any foreigner residing in your towns” (Exodus 20:10).
The essence of Sabbath-keeping was physical REST, not worship attendance or any other thing. God said, ‘On it you shall not do any work’. And the Sabbath rest was to remind Israel how God delivered them from Egyptian slavery.
“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15).
Sabbath is no longer a Christian obligation under the new covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13), with the declaration that the first covenant was obsolete in its entirety. The New Testament writers inspired by the Holy Spirit later reconfirmed to the gentile churches about the weekly Sabbath:
”Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to …a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day” (Col 2:16, NASB)
Does that mean that Christians do not have any thing to remember? No, there is something Christians are commanded to remember under the new covenant. However, it is no longer about a day, but a person. It is about Jesus and His perfect sacrifice on sinner’s behalf:
”And he [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of ME.” (Luke 22:19)
“This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of ME. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:24 )
As the world remembers the sacrifices people have made to protect their countries, let us also remember Christ’s great sacrifice on sinner’s behalf, whenever we celebrate Lord’s supper. It is a reminder of Christ’s finished work on the cross and looking forward to the certainty of the Marriage Supper with Jesus.