The Lord Jesus on the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (First Corinthians 11:23-25).
Humans are monument builders. It’s in our nature to build memorials by which to remember. We hew stone and shape metals meant to outlast time and the frailty of human memory. Whether they be tombstones, statues, or buildings, these monuments are left as permanent memorials to events and people worthy of honor.
Over time, our memorials may become objects of near worship. The Tomb of King Victor Emmanuel, your grandmother’s Bible, a dead child’s bedroom, the American flag, all are monuments of near sacred value in the minds of many. We are prone to the worship of the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).
Yet Jesus, on the night before His crucifixion, did something unthinkable. He established a memorial of things perishable: bread and the fruit of the vine. Left in the elements for only a few days, bread becomes stale and fruit of the vine grows mold. They were not memorials intended by Christ to become venerated objects but perishable symbols of the Eternal One who Himself is hallowed.
Jesus left us to consider: As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes (First Corinthians 11:26). As long as the Church partakes of the Lord’s Supper, the perishable memorializes the Saviour who died, arose, and is coming again.