The Lord’s Table (cont)
(Heb. 13: 10, 1 Cor. 5: 7-8)
I am seeing that the Lord has an eternal table always available for communion. We can always come to Him in that sense of sitting at a table with Him. Years ago, having understood and entered a relationship, a fellowship, with Him, I would share meals with Jesus. If I were eating lunch alone I would be aware of His presence. This was in faith; no special sense was felt but I would take a conscious posture that He was right there with me. He is omnipresent, whether we are aware or not. How often then would His presence manifest itself in some way, and I would experience, I would know, that presence. Read Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. It is a classic that keeps us aware that what is new for us, has always been. He is the great I AM.
Paul wrote to the church that the those who follow the law have no right, no basis, to share the Lord’s table. See Hebrews 13, especially verse 10. To those among us who are in some measure following the letter of the scriptures, a greater reality awaits you. An altar exists, where we eat His flesh and drink His blood. This is what Jesus shared with those at that last meal. It is the sprit that gives life. The entire book of Hebrews addresses the coming out of the shadows. We are all still in this process of setting our affections fully on that which is above, which is heavenly. We are pursuing Him as He is continually possessing us to be fit representations of Himself. See Phil. 1:6 and 3:14.
To those at Corinth, Paul wrote that Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. He Himself is the fulfillment of that feast. We are told to do this, share this table and only two elements are used, bread and wine. Where is the Lamb? He Himself is the Lamb. Where are the bitter herbs? He took and ate the bitterness, absorbed all the bitterness for us. Only bread and wine are served. Most important to see that we live in a new covenant reality. The words that I speak to you (rhema) are spirit and they are life, Jesus said. The flesh profits nothing. The tearing of His flesh and His death were to taste death for every man. The death He died, He died once for all. If Christ died for all than all died. We are all (have been) dead in trespasses and sins. He has made us alive in His life. He is bringing a people past this earthly life to overcome death.
My point here with these fragments of Jesus’ own words, and Paul’s, are to emphasize that it is the Spirit that gives life. Jesus shared a most significant meal with those present with Him before that sacrifice was consummated. This is that altar referred to in Hebrews 13:10. Do you see the difference between the altar of the covenant of the law, passing away, and Christ Himself as our altar? It is superseded by a greater reality. It was manifest visibly in this earthly realm that we might know the love of God for us. We are invited to that same table. To those who are lukewarm, or asleep, He invites us to wake up and sit at the table with Him. He knocks at the door of Laodicea, and says if we open, He will sup with us and we with Him.
In the life of David, this welcome to the Lord’s table is exemplified in the story of Mephibosheth. David had promised Jonathan, Saul’s son, that he would always take care of Jonathan’s family. Jonathan’s life is a unique story in itself but we must stay focused. Mephibosheth was crippled and fearful of David because he knew that his grandfather Saul had persecuted him. But David loved him and actually sought him out. Sounds like Jesus pursuit of us, yes? Before we know Him, He loves us and is pursuing, by the Spirit. He is the good shepherd who seeks out the one who is lost. Like Mephibosheth, we are all crippled in some way, unable to pursue Him. That man was the crippled because of trouble in an earthly family, in this present imperfect world. David sought him out and determined he, the crippled one, would sit at his table forever. So it is with Jesus Christ, our David, He sets a table for us and says come and sit with Me in my Father’s house, forever. His covenant is an eternal covenant. His communion table is an eternal table.