In the Old Testament*, God gave his people signs to help them remember important things. Sometimes, he gave them a sign to help them remember something that he had done for them. Or God gave them a sign to help them remember what he had promised them.
In the days that Noah* lived, God sent a flood. The flood covered the whole earth. But before the flood came, God told Noah to build a boat. He was to take his family and many animals with him into the boat. Noah built the boat and gathered the animals. Then, God sent the flood. After the waters from the flood were gone, Noah and his family and all of the animals came out of the boat. God saved them from the flood. And God made a promise to Noah. He promised that he would never again send this kind of flood on the earth. And then God gave Noah a sign of this promise. God put a rainbow in the sky. He told Noah that, every time he saw the rainbow, he was to remember God’s promise.
Many years after Noah, the twelve tribes* of Israel* stood by a river. These tribes were born from the children of Abraham.* And on the other side of the river was the land that God had promised to give Abraham. Before they crossed the river, God made the river stop so that the people could go across on dry ground. But before they went across, Joshua*, their leader, told one man from every tribe to pick up a stone from the dry river. They were to carry these stones across the river with them. When they got to the other side and stopped to rest, they were to put these stones on top of one another. Then Joshua said, ‘When your children ask what these stones mean, tell them that God stopped the river. And we walked into this land on dry ground.’ The stones would cause the people to remember what God had done.
The night before Jesus went to the cross*, he ate a meal with his disciples.* It was the meal that God gave the people of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt.* God had done many great things to bring the people out of Egypt. But before they left there, God told them to make a special meal. They would eat special food and prepare everything just as he told them to. Then, God told them why he gave them the meal. God said, ‘You will eat this meal on this day. For on this day, I brought you out of the land of Egypt. So, all of you will remember this day forever’.
As Jesus and the disciples were eating, he told them that he was going to be handed over to be killed. Then, Jesus took bread. When he had broken it, he gave it to his disciples. And he said that the bread was like his body. And he told them to eat it and said, ‘Do this to remember me’. Then he took a cup of wine and said that the wine was like his blood. And he told them to drink. Then he told them that, when they ate this bread and drank this cup, they should remember that he died for them.
Ever since that time, followers* of Jesus have been eating this meal to remember Jesus. The meal has become known as the Lord’s Supper. Like the signs God gave Noah and Joshua, when we eat this bread and drink from this cup, we are to remember. We remember what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. We remember how much he loved us. He forgave our sins and gave us eternal* life. And we remember the promises Jesus made to those who follow him. He said that he would forgive* all who trust* in him. He promised that he would never turn anyone away who comes to him. He promised he would help us every day. He promised that, if we are tired and carry a heavy load, he will give us rest. He promised he would never leave us alone. And he will raise us up from death and give us a life that lasts forever.