Explore the Bible Study: Remembered

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Do you long to make every moment a memory? Or, do you just hope you will be able to keep remembering as you grow older!? If you are like some of us, you might have trouble remembering where you left your keys, parked your car, or laid down the tv remote. Oh, the things we forget! However, there is one memory we should never forget. The Explore the Bible study: Remembered, is going to examine this memory in this week's ongoing study of the Gospel of Luke.

When we forget, we lose touch with our purpose. We quit appreciating all that has been done in the past that has produced blessings we still enjoy.  When we become untethered from history, we drift endlessly toward a future that has no connection to the past, thus creating a future filled with confusion and mistakes that could have been avoided had we just remembered. 

To forget our story is to forget why we’re here. This makes Jesus’ command ,in Luke 22:7-20, to partake in the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him, all the more important. We may be tempted to approach the study of this passage casually since we are so familiar with the event. However, that is just the thing Jesus warns us against. We can't be casual regarding remembering all Christ did for us on the cross and through His resurrection. As you study or guide a study of this passage, focus on the following:

We Should Remember as we Prepare for the Lord's Supper - Luke 22:7-13

The Day of Unleavened Bread was a day of preparation that took place on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month of Nissan, which corresponds to late March or early April (Exodus 12:6). God commanded the Hebrews to make this observance an annual occasion to remind each generation of how He had redeemed them from oppression. In addition, the Passover foretold the Lamb of God who would be slain for their salvation, although they didn’t understand this at the time. Properly preparing for this time of remembrance was vital. It was not to be taken lightly.

  • They had to prepare unleavened bread. The unleavened bread related to Israel’s exiting Egypt swiftly. Leaven also symbolized impurity and sin. Jesus had warned His disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1).
  • They had to prepare bitter herbs. Eating the bitter herbs was to remind them of the bitter slavery they once experienced in Egypt.
  • They had to prepare the lamb that was to be sacrificed and consumed with unleavened bread. It was chosen four days earlier and kept for this occasion (Exodus 12:3,6). In the Exodus, the blood of the sacrificial lamb was a covering for sin as the angel of the Lord passed over each house with the blood on its doorposts (Exodus 12:3-7). Those homes without the blood suffered the death of each family’s firstborn (Exodus 12:13). The Passover lamb usually was slaughtered at twilight on the fourteenth day of the month (Exodus 12:6; Deuteronomy 16:6).

On this occasion, Jesus sent Peter and John to make preparations for them to eat the Passover.  Because they were visitors in Jerusalem Jesus gave them specific instructions as to how they were to go about preparing for this important last supper together. His instructions began with the command to listen!

This is the first step in properly preparing to follow Jesus – we must listen!
  • Jesus first said to look for a man carrying a water jug. This was very unusual because men did not generally carry water jugs. Notice also that the man would meet them. The wording suggests this encounter was not accidental. Jesus had already prepared the man and secured the location for the Passover. The Scriptures don’t explain how Jesus did this.
  • They were to follow him into the house he enters. Jesus did not just say to follow the man to the house but to enter the house. Upon entering they would meet the homeowner.
  • They were to identify themselves and their need by referring to Jesus as the Teacher. By using the title, the Teacher, the man would understand they were speaking about Jesus. 
  • They were not to inquire for themselves but were to speak on Jesus’ behalf – the Teacher asks you. 
  • They were to ask, "Where is the guest room?"
  • They were to identify the intended use of the room as the place where Jesus can eat the Passover with the disciples. 
The second step in properly preparing to follow Jesus is obedience! 

In Luke 22:13, neither Peter nor John asked Jesus for explanations, but they simply obeyed—they went, and they found it just as he had told them. Notice the mystery and the unknowns regarding the disciple’s instructions. 
  • Had you been one of the disciples, how would you have responded to Jesus’ instructions?
  • Can you describe a time when you obeyed Jesus even though you didn’t fully understand God’s Word, or you struggled with knowing what God was directing you to do? 
  • What does this communicate to you regarding obedience and preparation?
Andrew Murray, in his book, The Lord’s Table, challenges us to prepare our hearts for the Lord’s Supper with these thoughts:

“When I am called upon to meet my God and to sit down at His table, I will see to it that I do not approach it unprepared. Otherwise, I should dishonor Him. . . my heart should be occupied and filled with Him who has invited me, and with all the glorious blessing which He is to bestow upon me . . . [and] to consider if I shall be a worthy guest, acceptable and welcome to the Lord of the Feast.”

Next Comes the Privilege of Dining in the Presence of Jesus - Luke 22:14-20

Jesus fervently desired to eat this Passover and share this ceremony with the ones who had spent so much time with Him, knowing that they would be the ones who would take His mission to the world. He was about to suffer. The cross was just hours away. Before that hour, He wanted to spend this time with those closest to Him. 

Jesus revealed that the Passover, which had been part of God’s covenant with Israel (2 Kings 23:21), would give way to a new covenant. This new covenant required Jesus’ blood which would be "poured out for you." The phrase for you emphasizes the personal nature of the covenant. Through His blood, God’s judgment passes over anyone who has repented of sin and trusted in Christ for salvation.

Jesus also told them that He would not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. While the phrase "kingdom of God" can refer to the end of time or to the messianic era, it can also mean the reign of Jesus that results from His victory over sin and death. Jesus’ death is the means by which people receive forgiveness for their sins, experience eternal life, and thus become citizens of His kingdom. When Jesus returns, the kingdom—now a spiritual and internal reality for those who believe—will become visible and universal.

At this point, the disciples had limited understanding. After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, believers would comprehend Jesus’ nature as God’s Son who gave His body and blood in atonement for sin. Believers are to remember the sacrificial death of Jesus when observing the Lord’s Supper. By remembering, we look back to His death. We also look forward to His return and joining Jesus for a great banquet in His kingdom (Revelation 19:9). It will be the marriage feast of the Lamb of God and His bride—the church. Together with Him forever, we will rejoice and praise the One who saved us and made us His own!

How Should We Remember?

Many of our remembrance rituals become casual, sloppy acknowledgements of the past over time.  We go through the motions to give an obligatory tip of the hat to the past, with it having little impact on our present or future behavior. Andrew Murray challenges us not to forget the reason Jesus commanded us to Do this in remembrance of Him. In his book, The Lord’s Table he states:

"Can it be possible that I should forget Jesus? Forget Jesus, who thought of me in eternity; who, indeed, forgot His own sorrows on the Cross, but never forgets mine; . . . Can I forget Jesus? Jesus, my Sun, my Surety, my Bridegroom; my Jesus, without whose love I cannot live: can I ever forget Jesus? . . .

O my soul, be deeply ashamed that thou shouldst ever forget Jesus. . . Jesus always yearns to be with us and beside us, that He may make us taste of His crucified love and the power of His heavenly life. Jesus wills that we should always remember Him."

The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

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