In Leviticus there are instructions for many things – ways to approach God Almighty – Laws. It can get kind of technical, seem lengthy, even a bit boring, if we’re not paying attention.
According to Strong’s Concordance, “the Hebrew word for ‘a memorial offering’ is that which calls to memory. It was the name of that part of the meat-offering which was burned with frankincense upon the altar; the sweet savor of which, ascending to heaven, was regarded as commending to God the ‘remembrance’ of the worshipper.’
So, does anything jump out at you about this?
God set up a system by which the people did things, sacrifices if you will, for the purpose of maintaining memory! Who’s memory? Was it so that the people would remember God, or that God would remember His covenant?
I’ll let you theologians work on that, but it surely included that the people would remember God. People tend to forget things; like healing, deliverance, and salvation. You know, the minor stuff.
Not only do we forget that God delivered His people out of Egypt, fed them, clothed them, led them, defeated their enemies before them, gave them children, taught them His Word, water, and a few other things I’m sure, but we also seem to forget that He asks OF US a thing or two.
Or maybe it was so that the people could keep reminding God of His covenant promises. After all, He might be getting forgetful in His old age.
Or, maybe it was a precursor. A foreshadow. A type of something to come. Perhaps God was ‘training’ His people, in preparation for Jesus Christ. Perhaps God was setting the stage for a Communion. Perhaps God wants His people, in the New Covenant, us, to obey the words of Jesus to “remember Me”.
By remembering Jesus Christ we accomplish both possibilities I think. We certainly get our minds back on the right track of faith in Christ’s work on the cross FOR US. That’s good. And we also remind God, every time we celebrate Communion, of what He has done for us, that wonderful New Covenant in His blood. This, I think, is always worthy of our study, for we are always the beneficiary.