“I (Jesus) made known to them your name (Heavenly Father), and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26 ESV)
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
(1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV).
One of the most intimidating functions for me to perform, yet one of the most rewarding at the same time, is to speak in front of a group of people and discuss our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me.
It is intimidating because I am speaking about the One who gave His life for me so I want to honor Him and properly recognize what He has done. It is rewarding because inevitably the Holy Spirit takes over while I am speaking, and I feel such confidence and joy. I want so much for all who are present to experience the blessings that I have received from the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of these functions for me is at our church. Our pastor asked me to provide a statement to the congregation to help each person prepare to partake of the elements of Holy Communion. The last time the Pastor asked me to provide the Communion preparation statement, I happened to be standing with two friends. When these friends heard what the Pastor asked me to do, they both immediately brightened, saying that they had recently been at another Communion service and the gentleman providing the preparation statement used the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. They said that they were very impressed and blessed by the presentation because they had never noticed the connection between parts of Joseph’s life and Holy Communion. I told them that I had not ever heard of that connection either and that I wished I had heard that presentation.
Unfortunately, before I could ask my friends to provide me with a summary of what had been said, we were interrupted, and I was left without any additional information. I decided I would try to determine the connection myself. I did a lot of praying and reflecting on Joseph’s life.
One thing that becomes clear when studying the people and stories in the Old Testament is that many act as a pointer to, or forerunner of, Jesus Christ. We see circumstances and situations in the lives of the Old Testament figures that parallel the circumstances and situations in Christ’s life. This is especially evident in the study of Joseph, as reflected in the following:
Betrayal. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. Certainly, the favoritism shown by Joseph’s father, Jacob, as well as Joseph’s pridefulness were factors in the betrayal. Joseph’s brothers had learned to hate Joseph. The betrayal was still a painful and life changing event, which required Joseph to cling to his faith in Yahweh. Jesus was also betrayed by someone close to him, Judas Iscariot. Pride was also a factor in Jesus’ betrayal, but it was not Jesus’ pride, but rather the pride of Judas Iscariot and the ruling Pharisees and Sadducees in Israel. The fact that Judas could betray Jesus after spending the prior three years with Jesus during Jesus’ earthly ministry, must have greatly grieved Jesus. Jesus had to cling to the Father’s will and plan, as was clearly seen in the Garden at Gethsemane.
Imprisonment. Both Joseph and Jesus were imprisoned after being falsely accused of crimes. In both cases, though, Joseph and Jesus did not complain or become filled with self-pity. It seems that both men had such a close connection with God the Father which gave them a peace that passes all understanding even in the hard situations of life.
Bread and Wine. During the course of Joseph’s imprisonment, he gained the trust and confidence of his jailers. When two high ranking individuals in Pharaoh’s court were sent to prison by Pharaoh, Joseph was assigned the responsibility and duty to assist and attend to them until Pharaoh determined their guilt or innocence. The two high ranking individuals were the Chief Cup Bearer for Pharaoh and the Chief Baker for Pharaoh. In these two men, we see the elements of Holy Communion—the bread and the wine. Joseph took advantage of “the bread and wine” that were available to him so that he might be remembered and set free. Jesus seeks to give us the bread and wine as a practice by which He would be remembered for what He has done for us, and so that we might commune with Him and be set free.
Two Prisoners. The Chief Cup Bearer and the Chief Baker were important men. On the same night during the time of their imprisonment, each of these high ranking individuals had a dream. They were puzzled by their dreams and wanted to find someone who could interpret the dreams for them. Joseph confidently told them that God was the interpreter of dreams, and that they should tell him their dreams so that God would properly interpret them. After hearing the two dreams and being led by the Holy Spirit, Joseph advised the Chief Cup Bearer that he would be restored to his position with Pharaoh in three days and that all would be well. Joseph advised the Chief Baker that in three days, Pharaoh would sentence the Chief Baker to death by hanging on a tree and that birds would eat his flesh. Similarly, Jesus had two fellow prisoners with whom He interacted. We read in the gospels how Jesus and the two thieves were sentenced to death by crucifixion. During the time of their crucifixion, Jesus interacted with the two thieves, who sought to understand who Jesus was and why He did not rescue himself. Ultimately, the one prisoner is restored to his position with the King of all Kings because he saw and accepted Jesus for who He is, while the other prisoner is crucified and birds eat his flesh; just like the Chief Cup Bearer and the Chief Baker.
Remember. After Joseph reveals the truth behind the dream of the Chief Cup Bearer and knows that the Chief Cup Bearer will be restored to good standing with Pharaoh, Joseph pleads with the Chief Cup Bearer to remember him to Pharaoh. Joseph knows that he has been unjustly imprisoned and is hopeful that if Pharaoh only knew the truth of his situation, Pharaoh would release him. Sadly and unfortunately, we read in the Old Testament that the Chief Cup Bearer did not remember Joseph until a number of years later. We can only imagine how the silence weighed on Joseph during those long years. He had been a faithful attendant to the Chief Cup Bearer during his imprisonment. He had been there to help the Chief Cup Bearer with the dream that clearly puzzled him and intrigued him. Joseph’s interpretation should have been the encouragement that the Chief Cup Bearer needed to maintain his belief in justice, and to seek this for Joseph. All that Joseph did was worthy of being remembered and should have caused the Chief Cup Bearer to remember and do what Joseph had asked.
When Jesus shared the bread and wine of the Last Supper, he, too, asked that we remember Him. He knew He was going to the cross to be the sacrifice to atone for our sins. His death would enable those who believe in Him, to be restored to and placed in good standing with God the Father. We will never be able to fully appreciate the magnitude of what Christ has done for us, but even with what we do know, we should remember Him; and, we will have the joy in eternity to show Him our appreciation.
Unlike the Chief Cup Bearer in failing to remember Joseph, will you remember Jesus and all that He has done? Joseph certainly was very helpful to the Chief Cup Bearer but what Jesus has done and is doing, is infinitely more worthy of being remembered. Further, by remembering Jesus and acknowledging Him as our Savior, we continue to gain as we are led by the Holy Spirit and conformed to the likeness of our Savior.
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (Luke 22:19,20 ESV)
Partaking of the Communion elements is designed to cause us to remember Christ for He purchased our salvation- He paid our sin debts! We are called to remember His great sacrifice: the bread symbolizing Christ’s body broken for us, and the wine symbolizing Christ’s blood poured out for us for the forgiveness of our sins! These are things to remember and celebrate! The Communion ceremony is designed to cause us to remember, to be thankful and willing to share all that Christ has done for us. Will you?
We are called to remember Christ’s great sacrifice and death and its great significance in all four of the Gospels and in many places in the New Testament (Mt. 26:17–30; Mark 14:12-26; Lk. 22:7–39; John 6:53-58; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: Acts 2:42-47 and 20:7; John 6:29-35,40,44,48-51;…)
Heavenly Father, help us “remember Jesus” daily as we live and as we tell our stories. May the words we use to share Christ be in Your power to salvation. (Romans 1:16) May we not be ashamed of the Gospel. May the “saving of the lives of many” (Genesis 50:20) come about LORD. May we remember Jesus, in a special way by placing “the memory of His Love at the Cross,” over all the things we want to forget and really live forgiven! When we do this, Lord, help us give thanks to Jesus for His love and forgiveness, and cause His redemption to trump all the feelings that come with abuse and sin. May the word of our testimony be with the Revelation 12:11 confidence of Christ’s overcoming by His blood. May we be convinced of Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Thank you, Jesus for coming to save us from our sin (Matthew 1:21). Help us celebrate, in our remembrance of Christ, through the breaking of the bread (Christ’s body broken for us) and the drinking of the wine (Christ’s blood shed for the forgiveness of our sin) the greatness of Christ and His forgiveness. May we often partake of communion and proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again, In Jesus Name, Amen.
This is Chapter Twenty-Five in Are You Willing? Sharing Our Greatest Treasure. If you are interested, here is the link: (copy and paste to server. I am not computer savvy...so best I know for now) God Bless You.