When Jesus of Nazareth was eating His last Passover Feast with the disciples, He gave true meaning to the memorial. He would become The Passover Lamb. His blood would be the protecting sign for all who would trust it to save them from the night of destruction. In the memorial we call the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded — much like the Israelites were by the Passover — that God has spared us because of His great love. We have been set free from our slavery to sin and are protected by the Blood of the Lamb.
In the years that passed after that first awesome Passover night in Egypt, the fathers rehearsed over and over again the things which they had witnessed. The story was to be told year after year to help the descendants realize the great gift which was given to them.
Unfortunately, the story had less and less impact on many listeners over the passing of many years, until it was little more than a "folk tale" for many of God's people, simply told as a part of tradition. What had been reality to one generation became a faint memory to the next and then little more than a holiday to those who followed.
I would suspect the Lord’s Supper did not survive much better. As the Apostles told the story, there was a deep sense of reality, respect, and remembrance. However, as The Supper was passed down through many generations, it came to mean less and less.
Today, as one participates in The Supper, our wonderfully tragic yet glorious reminder of Jesus' gift of grace, it is easy to forget the reality. We need to touch the Cross once more, to see the suffering body from which flowed that redeeming blood, and to have our hearts broken as we realize our sins were the burden He carried to that cross.
So as we begin this New Year, let's do so with a commitment to remember and honor our Lord who gives us the grace to start new and fresh!
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)