All Posts Tagged: Last Supper
Blessed are those invited to the Supper of the Lamb.
Memorial Day was birthed in May of 1865 by a group of freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. They visited a cemetery for Union soldiers, decorating their graves to Remember: FREEDOM is not FREE!
Israel received this instruction for the eve of their liberation: “Each Jewish man is to take a lamb for his family and slaughter it at dusk. He must take some of the blood and smear it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the house in which his family will eat the meat, along with bread. This will be a memorial day for you….” (Exodus 12:1-12) Remember: FREEDOM is not FREE!
“On the eve of his crucifixion Jesus took bread. When He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take this bread and eat it. This is my body which is broken for you. Do this to remember Me.’ After supper, He took the cup. He said, ‘This cup is the New Way of Relationship between God and you via my blood. Whenever you drink it, do it to remember Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25) . Remember: FREEDOM is not FREE!
“Every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again” (1Corinthians 11:26). Jesus will return with the Father’s new production, “a new heaven and a new earth.”(Revelation 21:1) Here’s Act One: “Then I heard the sound of many people. ‘Let us be full of joy, for the time has come for the wedding supper of the Lamb. Those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb are happy.”(Revelation 19:6-10) FREEDOM is not FREE!
Guess what? YOU’RE invited! Just RSVP to Jesus!
My wife’s sewing machine Instruction Booklet has a Troubleshooting section: condition, cause, reference page. For example, “the needle thread breaks.” Six possible causes along with reference pages are listed. The manufacturer assumes two facts: minor glitches may happen and the consumer can be guided to and through a solution.
Here’s a classic troubleshooting section of the Bible: “If we admit our sins, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” Notice—our Father assumes that we’ll screw up. “The Lord is as kind to His followers as a father is to his children. He knows we are made of dust.” Case in point: Peter. In the Upper Room Peter said, “Master, I’m ready for anything with You. I’d go to jail for You. I’d die for You!” However, in the Courtyard a few hours later he crumbled: “I don’t even know the Man!”
“If we admit our sins….” The first step in problem solving is identifying and admitting the problem. Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous is: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol…” If the problem is objective, acknowledgment is rather easy. However, it’s a different story if the malfunction is personal. Did you ever watch a young child in the throes of owning a failure? It can be rather humorous.
“He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.” The Screw-Up in Luke 15 experienced this firsthand. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned ….’ But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. We’re going to celebrate!’”
God is building a dwelling place. He used the apostles … for the foundation. Now He’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. (Ephesians 2:20-22)
With the arrival of Jesus, Father started to build a new home called church. Jesus is the Cornerstone—“The cornerstone of an ancient building served as an alignment stone for all subsequent construction” (Dr. Dan Hayden, A Plumb Line For Truth). The alignment of the twelve apostles to Jesus formed the foundation. All persons, subsequently connected to Jesus, are “living stones that God is building into his spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4-5).
Jesus demonstrated the contour of the foundation a few hours before His death: “He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. Then He said, ‘You address Me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a PATTERN for you. What I’ve done, you do.” “The MODEL for the disciples in their following of Jesus is that of the man who serves at table: ‘But I am among you as one who serves’ (Luke 22:27)” (Hans Kung, The Church).
Jesus, therefore, intended the church to be a service center of sorts. Here are some of its services:
I was thirsty and you gave Me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave Me a room,
I was shivering and you gave Me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Today I filled out a customer survey (hopefully I’ll win the $2500 sweepstakes!). The purpose of the survey was obvious: to determine the level of customer satisfaction with services rendered. From history we know the church scored high in services rendered. As defined above it conquered the Roman Empire in two centuries without investing in any bricks and mortar. Tertullian, a third century author, observed: “The Christians’ deeds of love were so noble that the pagan world confessed in astonishment, ‘See how they love one another.’”
“Diakonia (Greek word for service) means an activity which every Greek would recognize at once as being one of self-abasement: waiting at table, serving food and pouring wine. The distinction between master and servant was nowhere more visually apparent than at meals, where the noble masters would lie at the table in their long robes, while the servants, their clothes girded, had to wait on them. Diakonia always implied inferiority.
“Jesus, however, gave this notion of service a radically new meaning; at the heart of His message lies His commandment to love one’s neighbor, a love in which the love of God is manifested. For Him diakonia becomes an essential characteristic of discipleship. It is clear that Jesus is not merely concerned about service at table, or care for the bodily needs of others; nor is He simply concerned about certain special acts of love, which can also be summed up in the word diakonia. His fundamental concern is with living for others (Mark 9:35; 10:43-45). This is an essential element of being a disciple: a man is a disciple of Jesus through service of his fellow men.
“It is not law or power, knowledge or dignity but service which is the basis of discipleship. The model for the disciples in their following of Jesus is therefore not the secular ruler and not the learned scribe, nor even the priest who stands above his people; the only valid model is that of the man who serves at table: ‘But I am among you as One who serves’ (Luke 22:27). [Envisioned here] is a total existence of life and death service for others. ‘If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him’ (John 12:25-26).
“The root and goal of service is love (see Manner of Life). Service occurs out of love for others as John indicates in his account of the Last Supper. ‘Having loved His dear companions, He continued to love them right to the end. So He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. After He had finished washing their feet, He took His robe, put it back on, and went back to His place at the table. Then He said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as Teacher and Master, and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life”’ (John 13:1-17).” —Hans Kung, The Church (emphasis added)