Remembrance Blog 4 New Testament
In the last post, we looked at God’s word which was written on tablets of stone and memorised in festivals, but the prophets foretold a closer intimacy that God desired with His people. Celebrating the first week of Advent, this weekend, is a perfect time to reflect on the fulfilment of the promise, even though, despite the prophesies, it did not come about in the way the people hoped or expected. This part of God’s plan was revealed through the coming of God’s Son – Emmanuel and with Him, the revelation of the Kingdom of God. God wanted us to not just know about Him, but to know Him personally. We ‘remember’ (remind and encourage ourselves with the truth) that God came down to earth and we ‘remember’ that He WILL come again for the complete fulfilment of His Kingdom.
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbour and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Though God does not remember our sins, and though we have His law in our hearts, we are still commanded to remember God in the Eucharist and to remember His words and everything that Jesus taught and did – because we are forgetful and easily distracted.
1 Corinthians 11:24-25
‘…and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.’
‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’
In our new birth into this New Covenant through the blood of Jesus, God helps us to remember, by giving us the Holy Spirit to be our helper, our guide and our ‘reminder’. –
‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.’
‘So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.’
‘And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Just as in the days of old, we are still encouraged to teach, to remember and pass on the words and deeds of God and His love for us. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life.
We are to remember, teach, inspire, honour, instruct and pass-on what we have learned from our Lord. The apostles do this in their written encouragements to the early church and we are exhorted to continue to strengthen one another with the truths and hope that we have through Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:12
‘Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.’
2 Peter 3:1-10
‘This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour spoken by your apostles.’
Isn’t it wonderful how Jesus assured us of how God still remembers His Covenant with us – even the New Covenant in His blood. God honours and remembers our faithfulness, our sacrifices, our love and our good deeds. When we pray, He hears our cries and remembers us and remembers the blood of Jesus, shed for the abundant, eternal life of each of us. Even in His moment of greatest distress, in agony on the cross, the thief asks Jesus to ‘remember’ him and Jesus assures him that He will remember him and has heard his plea for mercy – “today you will be with me in paradise.”
Matt 26:10 -13
‘Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me… When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
‘Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
Is it not truly wonderful that God loves us so much, that He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us, so He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us every moment into all the truth and to remind us of all that we need to know. I’m so glad He reminds me constantly of my complete dependence on Him.
And yet, all the ‘good’ deeds that we do are always ‘remembered’ by God, whereas our sins – these He remembers no more!
“For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”
What an amazing love and such amazing grace!