Remembering the King

“When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Luke 22:14-20)

Jesus on the night before His crucifixion gathered His disciples to celebrate the Passover. Jesus knew that in the early morning hour He would be betrayed by one of His disciples, Judas. Yet, Judas was with them to celebrate the Passover meal. He took the cup and gave thanks to His Father in heaven and explained that the wine in the cup represented His blood that would be shed for them. He then took the bread and ask His Father’s blessing and told His disciples that the bread represented His body that would be broken for them. This was the symbol of the New Covenant between Him and His Church. He then commanded His disciples to do this often in remembrance of Him and the sacrifice He was about to make for the sins of the world.

In the Old Covenant the sacrifice would have been a yearling lamb without spot or blemish. The lamb would be sacrificed for the remission of sin and at the Exodus the blood of the lamb would be spread on the doorpost as a sign to the Death Angel to Passover that home. Now in our Lord’s Passion He would become the sacrifice for our sin that we no longer would face complete spiritual death. Jesus was the Lamb of God provided to pay the wage of death for or sins. As John the Baptist had testified, “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) We today are going to celebrate what has been commonly called the Lord’s Supper. Before we do I want to look at a particular passage of our Scripture.

“For I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” (John 22:14) What does this mean that our Lord shall not partake of the wine and the bread until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom? Not wanting to offend our Jewish brothers but this was the last Passover. This was the transitional moment between the Old and the New Testament. It was the very next day, known to us as Good Friday that Jesus cried out from upon the cross “It is finished.” His purpose for coming down from His throne in His Father’s house had been completed. He had once and for all paid the wage of man’s sin. All of it and for everyone. Whether one repents and places their trust in Jesus as the Christ or continues to live in rebellion against God, their sin has been paid for by the blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It saddens my spirit that so many, all too many reject Jesus and therefore suffer the full wrath of God’s judgment. Therefore, even as the Jews to this day celebrate the Passover we as Christians do not as the work of the cross by our Lord and Savior paid our sin debt and we are free from it.

Jesus will never return to the cross of Calvary and no longer shall in this gospel age have need to drink the bitter cup that He so agonized over in the Garden of Gethsemane where He prayed to the Father, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) As Jesus the man He became so distraught that His sweat was as drops of blood. Yet He would not turn back from the will of His Father and He went to the cross for you and me. I am sure, as the nation’s stood there most mocking and jeering the Lord God on the cross, while the few who traveled the narrow path wept bitter tears, Satan and his legions circled about joyous at the victory they thought they had won. Jesus on the third day was resurrected and Satan and his demons suffered their final defeat and mankind no longer faced the wrath of God or the seconded death, if they so choose to accept the grace of God and believe upon the name of Jesus. “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

Neither will He partake of the sacraments in the Kingdom. For on the glorious morning when our Lord, the Bridegroom presents His Church, the Bride, to His Father we shall stand there on the golden streets clothed in fine white linen, spotless and unblemished in His righteousness. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Satan and his demons no longer will be able to temp or deceive, no long to seek and destroy, for they will be in their place locked for eternity. As we shall be eternally with our Savior and His Father. Thus, again His work will be finished, as His saints will be in perfect deliverance from sin, Satan, and the world of the wilderness. There forever in never fading joy, never ending happiness, eternal peace and pleasures in the eternal light of God the Father Almighty, the Most High.

This is the sure hope that we have this day as we gather to take the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him and the love that He has for us. That He loved us so much, that He suffered so greatly that we could be so free. That once we were a lump of leavened dough filled with the yeast of sin that once puffed us up in our selfish pride, has now through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit we now have fully grown into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” (1 Corinthians 5:7) His great love, beyond the comprehension of our small love, He became our Passover Lamb that the Death Angel would not stop at our doorstep.

Let us now pray and prepare our hearts to receive the shed blood and broken body that our Lord sacrificed for us in remembrance of Him. Let us pray, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor March 29, 2015

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