From the Pastor’s Pen:
“The Lords Table...”
“I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
On the night when Jesus was betrayed, He prepared a meal. This meal was not the last meal of a death row inmate nor nourishment for the long, long hours of despair ahead. No, Jesus prepared this meal for His weak, cowardly, fear-ridden disciples. With the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine, Jesus illustrated in tangible ways what He would endure for them. As Hans Christian Anderson once penned: “When God made man from the dust of the earth, He gave to His work five kisses, fiery kisses, heart kisses, which we now call the five senses.” Jesus engaged each one of those senses to press into the very fiber of our being the reality of His love for us.
And yet, Jesus looks beyond His sufferings, doesn’t He? He makes a solemn promise not to drink the fruit of the vine until He drinks it with us in His Father’s kingdom. We can say that God bound Himself to us by a great and precious promise. How great is this promise! Paul’s enemies once “bound themselves by an oath to neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.” (Acts 23:12) Their oath was bound by hate to their own harm and the harm of another. However, Jesus, our sweet and gracious Jesus, says: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” (John 17:24) His oath was bound by love to His harm and to our safety, His death and our life. His power, His wisdom, His kindness, His compassion, His grace, His presence, His everything is bound to the keeping of His word to us.
Tell me - can anything shatter this oath? Can any contingency, can any mishap, can any trial on this earth prevent Jesus from keeping this vow to us? Like the disciples, we often come to the Lord’s Table with a myriad of issues. We wrestle against temptation, we fight against sin, we ward off the fiery darts of the enemy, and we are tired. We question if we will make it to our Father’s kingdom. When we come to the Table, when we come with a true faith and interest in Jesus Christ, we should be asking a different question - not “how will I make it?”, but “how will Jesus get me home?” His faithful promise is our sure foundation, and He reminds us of such at His Table.