This Do In Remembrance of Me 

Sacramental Meditation X 

By John Willison, Practical Works (London: Blackie & Son, 1844), 255-7; minimally edited 

“And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). 

O my soul, here is a solemn ordinance instituted for keeping up the remembrance of a crucified Jesus and behold, it was appointed by himself, when He was just going to do more for us than all the angels in heaven could have done, even to make atonement for our sins by His death and sufferings; and He twice repeats His dying charge to us, verses 24 and 25, “This do, this do ye.” Men used to regard the commands of their dying friends, and perform their wills religiously; and shall not I with pleasure obey the will and command of a dying Redeemer when the thing is so easy and agreeable, to eat and drink at His table in remembrance of Him? If I forget Thee, O friend of sinners, let my right hand forget its cunning, etc. Our loving Redeemer well knew the worldliness of our hearts, and inconstancy of our affections, that we would be ready to let His death and love slip out of our thoughts, and therefore He would have the signs of His sufferings frequently presented to our eyes. Alas! for the cursed ingratitude of my heart, that is so apt to forget Him that remembered me when there was none to pity me; but glory to Him that takes such pains to cure my forgetfulness, by setting forth Christ crucified so evidently in the broken bread and poured out wine in the sacrament. I look upon this ordinance as a visible representation and commemoration of my Saviour’s death and sufferings for His people. It is like a marble pillar set up upon His grave, with an inscription of His glorious achievements and mighty deeds, His glorious sufferings, conflicts, and victories, for His people. Wherefore, as oft as He calls me, I will go hither, and “put all the honour and respect I can upon my kind benefactor. I will remember His love, proclaim His worth, and publish His praises. I will hereby own myself before the world to be one of His disciples, and a follower of the Lamb. I will declare my abhorrence of sin that pierced Him, and my gratitude to the Lamb for the atoning sacrifice He offered up for me upon the cross. I will triumph in this as the only ground of my hope. I will put the crown on His head, and cast all my crowns down at His feet, and cry, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and has redeemed me from my sins by His blood; worthy is He to receive all honour, power, glory, and dominion, forever and ever.” 

Glory to my dear Saviour, that seeks no greater return for all His labour of love, than a thankful remembrance of it at His table. Had He bid me sacrifice my first-born, and give all I have to the poor, or go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to visit His sepulchre, or go to the top of Mount Calvary where the cross stood, as a token of thankfulness for His love, could I have refused it? But He puts me to no such hard task. Lord, Thou bidst me not go to a bloody scaffold to remember Thee, but to a well-covered table to do it. Thou bidst me not go there to bleed or burn for Thee, but to eat and drink; not the bread of affliction, or the water of adversity, but bread that strengthens the heart, and wine that cheers the drooping spirit, bread and wine which Thou hast sanctified and blessed for me. Surely, O dear Saviour, I owe my life to Thee, nay a thousand lives if I had them; but it is not my life, but my memory and thoughts Thou art calling for; it is not to die for Thee, but to remember Thee. Didst Thou drink the cup of wrath on the cross for me, and will not I drink a cup of blessing at the table for Thee, nay for myself, and for my eternal salvation? 

Let me go then to this holy table, with faith, love, and thankfulness, to remember Christ and His dying love; as He commands me. And while I remember Him, let me also receive and embrace Him as my bleeding High Priest, in the arms of my faith, and at the same time throw my guilty soul into His wounded arms, for saving me from wrath. Let me go and remember the woundings and piercings of my Redeemer, with a pierced and wounded heart for these cursed sins, which nailed and killed the Prince of Life. Let me henceforth be the death of sin, which was the death of my dear Saviour. Oh, shall I suffer sin to live any longer in me that would not suffer my Redeemer to live in the world?

But let me consider my High Priest beforehand, and what of His sufferings I should remember at His table. I will remember how the glorious heir of all things left His throne of Majesty to lodge in a virgin’s womb; yea, to be cradled in a manger, for such a worm as me! I will remember how He was attacked by the devil, contradicted by sinners, and reproached by the world for my sake! I will remember how sorrowful His soul was in the garden, when the bitter cup was put in His hand; and how He sweat, how He prayed, how He fell to the ground, till He was quite overwhelmed with wrath, and covered with His own blood for my sake! I will remember how He was sold for a small price, and basely betrayed by Judas; how He was taken by soldiers, tied as a malefactor with cords, denied by Peter, forsaken by all His disciples, and left alone among His cruel and insulting enemies. I will remember how He was blindfolded, mocked, spit upon, buffeted, and affronted by ruffians a whole night, and patiently suffered all for my sake. I will remember how His lovely countenance was disfigured by blows, and the plucking the hair off His lovely cheeks; and how the sweetest face ever the sun saw, was all besmeared with blood and spitting for my sake. I will remember how He that clothes the lilies of the field, was himself stripped naked, bound to a pillar, and cruelly scourged, till the pavement of Pilate’s judgement hall was all bedewed with His precious blood. I will remember how the crown of thorns was plaited with the sharp points turned inward, put upon His head, and driven into His temple with a reed, till they pierced His skull in many places, and a shower of blood ran down His blessed neck. I will remember how the heavy cross-tree was laid upon His scourged and bleeding shoulders, and He made to carry it through the streets of Jerusalem, forth of the gates, and up Mount Calvary, to the place of execution, until His strength was spent, and He foundered under the burden. I will remember how the cross-tree was laid down and my Saviour stripped naked, and stretched out upon it as a rack; and how He was fastened to it with iron nails through His hands and feet, and the cross lifted up and let fall into a deep hole dug for the foot of it, to the violent rending and widening of His sacred wounds, until all His blood streamed forth at them, and He expired amidst the most exquisite tortures. I will remember, also, how His soul was troubled and nonplussed at the distant prospect of this cup; and how sore amazed He was soon after when it was put into His hand. I will remember how the tasting of it cast Him into a bloody sweat and agony; broken with breach upon breach, till all the billows of divine vengeance went over Him, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah was made to roar under the strokes of the flaming sword. Psalm 22:1. I will remember the dreadful hidings of God’s face He lay under, until He was made to cry, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” I will remember the inexorableness of divine justice, that would not spare Him one stripe, bate Him one farthing of the debt, nor one drop of the cup; so that He drank till He cried, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost. Glory to Him for His love in finishing the work.