One of the things that Jesus does in these words is remind us that he is coming again. He says that he will drink this cup anew with us in the kingdom of heaven. And that means that as we partake of these elements today we should remember that one day we will have opportunity to sup with Christ in a more true manner.
Yes, we believe that we really and truly commune with Christ during this meal. But it is in a spiritual way. Our communion with him is facilitated by the Holy Spirit. One day we will actually dine with him. We will be able, like Thomas, be able to put our finger in the hole of his hand. In other words, he will be present physically at the table.
And that reminds us that someday our sufferings will cease. One day we will be ushered into that glorious kingdom where there shall be no more tears. At that table there will be perfect happiness.
This meal today is a foretaste of that glorious day. It is here to tell us that all who come to Jesus, pleading for his mercies, are guaranteed a seat at that great banquet. You might think of this as an appetizer—the first serving in a full course meal. It is that which tells you that a reservation has already been made.
And it is this gospel truth that should serve to stir you on. If you are weak, find in this your renewal. If temptation has gotten the best of you, come here and be reminded that Christ has cast all your sins away. If you question the truth and legitimacy of your salvation, let this be the anchor that keeps you from bobbing in the sea of doubt.
It is also my solemn duty to warn the uninstructed, the profane, the scandalous, and those who secretly and impenitently live in any sin not to approach this table. You ought not come to this ordinance without discerning the body of our Lord, for to do so would be to eat and drink condemnation unto yourself.
Nevertheless, this warning is not designed to keep the humble and contrite from participating. This meal is set for those who know that they are guilty sinners who no hope of eternal life apart from the saving work of our Lord Jesus.
Let us therefore pray, and in doing so, examine ourselves so that we may partake to the glory of God and our growth in grace
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.