..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Until That Day: Remembering Jesus with a Smile and A Sigh

But I say to you, I will not drink from
now on of this fruit of the vine, until
that day when I drink it new with you in
my Father's kingdom (Matthew 26:29 KJV)

It is the Lord's Last Passover, and
the first Lord's Supper: just about closing
time on Jesus' earthly journey. Ahead
is the cross, just a few days journey
toward death: the dear Lamb struck down
for us in the fullness of time.

What must Jesus have felt? The disciples,
including the Betrayer, surrounding Him;
all, save Jesus, largely clueless as to
the immensity of the event. A sense of
destiny lingers heavily in the air.

Jesus is leaving. Knowing this, He takes
the bread: blesses it, breaks it, breaks
it knowing that soon He, Himself, will
be broken.

He takes the cup. Soon He will be poured
out wine. He looks past the cup, deeply,
no doubt, into their eyes. "I shall
not drink wine with you again until
we drink the Father's matchless vintage,
together, in the kingdom to come."

You can feel these bittersweet
words spoken with a smile and a sigh.
So much would happen between then and
the then-after. So much that they would not
understand. Only Jesus knew then. Only
the Father knows now.

Oh for that day! How many days have passed
since He spoke that, how many events
have transpired. How many have lived
and died hoping for that day. It is
now our turn to live on the earth
as the Lord's people, it is now our
turn to remember Him and to prepare for
and long for That Day.

Although, in actuality, little is recorded of
all that was spoken at the Last Supper,
that which is truly essential, IS recorded.
Jesus is helping us put our lives
in perspective, helping us put eternity
in perspective, helping us to remember that
there is a great feast to come, the Marriage
Supper of the Lamb.

Across the difficult days of our
lives, and the unknown hour of our
death, we can look to Him, remember
Him: our Brother, our Saviour,
our Bridegroom, our King, our Friend
who has gone before us to get the table
ready. A Heavenly Tea-Totaller awaits
until we come! The Best Wine is kept
to last!

Whenever we eat of Him, we prepare for
that day when we shall eat and drink
of Him continually, face to Face without
interruption, without measure, without end.
How can we wait!

For it is not a table of mere bread and
wine that is important in this kingdom
or the next, but a deep drinking of the
sweet Wine who is Christ and a deep eating
of He who is the Bread of Life. This feast
begins now, but makes us
ever so hungry for more. And more.
And more.

I sit and think of this Last Supper so many
years ago. I sit and think of that great
Supper to come. I long for it, in some
small way, in the same way that Jesus
must have longed for it: with a smile
and a sigh. For it is to this moment that
all of our lives as believers reach, and
it is to this destiny that we have been born.
Much cause to smile, for a grand destiny it is,
and much cause to sigh, since That Day still
may be way too many moments away, (for we know
how the Lord counts moments!), and
we must put our hands to the plow and
break up the stony ground of our hearts.

There is utter happiness at so great
a thought as this: God has remembered us!
Now He asks us to remember Him, for
He is unable to forget us! Has He
not engraved us on palms of His
nail-scarred Hands? (Is. 49:16) What
humility! What poignancy! Is this what
Jesus is thinking at this last
great meal?

In the gospels Jesus tells the story of
the wedding feast were many were invited
but most were unwilling to come. In their place
others were invited and yet one did
not respect the invitation as to
come appropriately dressed :this one
was sorely cast out (Matthew 22).

God is giving a great feast that has cost
Him dearly. Our life's work is to prepare to
attend that feast and to come properly
attired, not just on the outside, but on
the inside.

The Lord's Supper is not just for us,
it is for Him. It brings healing, strength
and comfort to us in the meantime of our
earthly journey. But it points past itself
to a greater Day, a more heavenly
Hour, when we will sit down and dine with
God at a Wedding Supper. We remember not
only what Jesus has done, but what He is
going to do, who He is going to receive,
what we are going to become for Him.
This we cannot forget, this must always
lay on the frontals of our mind.

On that great day the Lamb shall receive
the fruit of His labors. Amen! Prepare for
that day with a smile, and a sigh,
for it is a day of joy unmeasured,
and the ultimate longing of the
human soul fulfilled, a Day when all
sorrow and sighing can finally flee
away. It is His Destiny and ours
fulfilled together, completely, at last.

Eat of Him, now. Drink of Him, now.
Remember Him with a smile and
a sigh. Happy, oh so very, very happy,
are those who are called to His Supper.

But I say to you, I will not drink from
now on of this fruit of the vine, until
that day when I drink it new with you in
my Father's kingdom (Matthew 26:29 KJV)

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