The following are my notes in preparation to presenting the Lord’s Supper:
Others have asked themselves the question: How can God be just and not only let so many innocent people die in catastrophic events, but throw them into hell too? From Hurricane Sandy, Utah flooding, Hurricane Isaac, Washington flooding, about 15 shootings in 2012 in the U.S. alone, almost one every month (including the horrifying but not surprising Sandy Hook elementary shooting), how can God remain silent and remain good?
“Dominion and awe belong to Him
Who establishes peace in His heights.
“Is there any number to His troops?
And upon whom does His light not rise?
“How then can a man be just with God?
Or how can he be clean who is born of woman?
“If even the moon has no brightness
And the stars are not pure in His sight,
How much less man, that maggot,
And the son of man, that worm!” – (Job 25:2-6, NASB)
In other words, the question we ought to be asking ourselves is this: How can God be just and the justifier of sinners?
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written,
“There is none righteous, not even one;There is none who understands,There is none who seeks for God;All have turned aside, together they have become useless;There is none who does good,There is not even one.”“Their throat is an open grave,With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips”;“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;“Their feet are swift to shed blood,Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace they have not known.”“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:9-20, NASB).
“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household….Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it…… The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:3,5-13, NASB).
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which 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 He took the cup also 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. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.”
There is also an eschatological element to the words of our Lord. He said, “for as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” That is, we proclaim the benefits of the Lord’s death, his atonement, that original righteousness he achieved on the cross through his perfection that was lost in the Garden of Eden by our representative Adam, we proclaim the saving Gospel of the Lord, our new federal head, the one who intercedes and represents us before the Father, until He returns in glory “to punish those who disobey the Gospel in flaming fire,” and “to be marveled by all,” and to take up His church unto Himself, “and so we will be with the Lord forever.”
It pleased the Lord to crush His son (Isaiah 53). He was crushed for our iniquities and our offenses against God. He delivered us from the power of sin and from the curse of the law, “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (Galatians 3:10).
A new and living way has been opened to us by the Son of God by grace through faith. Repent of your dead works and turn to the living God in Christ! Come! Come all you who are burdened and He will give you rest!
Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen,
Here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon you lean.
Here would I feed upon the bread of God,
Here drink with you the royal wine of heaven;
Here would I lay aside each earthly load,
Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.
This is the hour of banquet and of song;
Here is the heavenly table spread anew;
Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong
The brief bright hour of fellowship with you.
I have no help but yours; nor do I need
Another arm but yours to lean upon;
It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;
My strength is in your might, your might alone.
Mine is the sin but yours the righteousness;
Mine is the guilt but yours the cleansing blood;
Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace;
Your blood, your righteousness, O Lord, my God.
Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear;
The feast, though not the love, is past and gone.
The bread and wine remove, but you are here,
Nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.
Feast after feast thus comes and passes by.
Yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,
Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
The Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.
“For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.…
After saying above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have not desired, nor have You taken pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time,sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart,And on their mind I will write them,”He then says,“And their sins and their lawless deedsI will remember no more.”
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:1-25).
The Lord’s table does not only point us to eternity past, where the divine eternal decree was made for the Lamb to be slaughtered on our behalf, nor to the past in our world, where the Lord was actually crucified for us, nor to the present, where we enjoy the fullness of God’s revelation in His Son (Heb. 1:1), but also to the future, to our future hope: “all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
John says in 1 John 3:2-3,
“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Let us thus draw near to the throne of grace, boldly. Let us thus hold fast to him who called us, for He is faithful. Let us have our eyes fixed on His return, and thus be purified in His love. Let us thus partake of the Table of the Lord.