In Matthew 28, Jesus said, “Behold I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” We know, of course, that Jesus doesn’t fulfill this promise by being physically present with us because in Matthew 28 he ascends to the right hand of the Father.
The way he maintains his presence among us is by sending us His Spirit, who is the spirit of Christ, in our midst. The question arises, “How specifically does Christ come in our midst? How does he maintain his presence among us and present himself to us within the context of the Lord’s Supper?” The answer comes through the words of institution that Jesus gave at the Last Supper: “Do this in remembrance of me.”He is there to increase our hunger for the feast we will have in his presence at the wedding supper of the Lamb.
We often think of doing something in remembrance of someone as something we do in their absence. You see stickers on the back of a car, “In Memory of Papa,” but this is not what doing the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Jesus is all about. It’s not about remembering someone who is absent. It is, in fact, a mode of his presence.
In Exodus 20, in the context of establishing the Passover meal, the Lord says, “In every place where I caused my name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.” In every place where he causes a name to be remembered, where he causes the Passover meal to be performed and the meal to be served, he says, “I will come to you. I’ll be present among you and I will bless you.” Essentially, this is the idea that Jesus is taking at the Last Supper.
At the Lord’s Supper, Jesus has promised us that through the act of breaking bread and pouring wine that he himself would be present with us to assure us that by his death all of our sins are forgiven, that by his death all the blessings of the new covenant are ours. He is there to feed us spiritually as we draw upon his saving nourishment through the mouth of faith. He is there to increase in us a hunger for the feast we will have in his presence at the wedding supper of the Lamb when he returns.