Monday, May 18, 2009

Remembering Through the Cross

Memory can be a terrifying thing. We often remember things we wish we didn’t. We remember our own failures. We remember sin. We remember guilt. We remember things that others did to us, said to us, and we remember pain, loss, hardships. Memory of course can be a great blessing as well, but in a fallen world it can be haunting. We replay scenes in our mind over and over. We ask, “what if it had gone this way?” “What if I had said this?” And memory often serves to simmer regrets, would-have-beens, and so on. But the work of Christ is for this part of our lives too. Jesus came to save all of us. To save us from our sins, to save us from our failures, our habitual self-destructive ways, and He came to save us from our memories, to save our memories. He came to save us from guilt and the misery of regret. He came to deliver us from the suffocating bitterness that remembers other people’s sins and offenses against us. Jesus died for all of that, and He gave us this meal as a constant enactment of that salvation. He says, do this as my memorial. Do this in remembrance of me. And this does not merely mean that this is one thing to remember along with everything else, or that this is one memorial action along with any number of other memorials in your life. No, this memorial, the memorial of Jesus, is to be how we remember everything else. It is the memorial for all memorials, the remembrance that must shape and redefine all other remembrances. This is the foundation for all remembering. Here we declare to God and to one another that the cross of Jesus affects everything. Jesus is Lord of all, and Lord of all time, and Lord of all our memories and thoughts. Christ crucified changes everything. You may have been abused, mistreated, or hated in the past, but Christ was more so. You may have made awful mistakes and decisions in your past, but Jesus was bruised for your transgressions. You may have guilt that weighs you down, but Jesus suffocated on a Roman cross so that you might be free. You may have regrets, but the death of Jesus insists that God is always right and He will put all things right. So come in faith. Submit your memories to Jesus. See your past in and through the cross and grave of Jesus. And see your future in light of the resurrection.

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