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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
We will one day gather at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb in heaven. Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper, "I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom" (Matthew 26:29).
"The Lord's Table"
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"When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (Luke 22:14,15). "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons" (1 Corinthians 10:21). "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are true words of God" (Revelation 19:9).
Last night we visited with longtime friends, Jeff and Lois, along with their children, who joined us for dinner and fellowship around our old oak dining room table. The oak table has quite a story and Jeff had a part in it.
Nearly 30 years ago Brooksyne purchased an old 48”x48” oak dining table for $50.00 at an estate sale that included five 12” leafs. At the time it was an absolute mess with deep scratches etched in the laminate top, along with multiple colors of stain. It had black stain on the carved legs and the leafs had ancient linoleum glued over the oak which looked hideous. In addition the table was in poor structural shape. But like the message in the song "The Old Violin"* Brooksyne saw promise in that old table.
I saw little hope for the bedraggled piece of over-used furniture and told Brooksyne so. Who knows, we probably had some words over it at the time. In my view it was a waste of money but Jeff carefully studied the pitiful table and gave a nod in Brooksyne's favor. He saw potential as well so she made the purchase. After a good month of stripping, sanding, and staining I finally saw the underlying beauty of the table. Jeff assisted her with the structural restoration and even I got on board by drilling new holes and inserting better fitting dowels for the leafs.
We later found a table very similar to ours advertised for $14.25 in a 1906 Sears catalog, so our table has actually appreciated in monetary value over the past century and has seated many, many people! Fully extended it comfortably seats 12 people and on many occasions we've had more than that. We are quite sure some of you reading this have sat around our table and through the years we've shared many photos taken from around this table, including two from yesterday's message.
The table has served us very well as we've dined with people from all over the globe. It's a place where many of our memorable conversations with friends and family have taken place. You surely have a dining table of special significance in your home as well where you've built memories, whether it's that roast beef dinner Mom made every Sunday or the times relatives joined for those special holidays. Perhaps you've had group Bible studies and gleaned important spiritual truths as you've studied together at your table.
Today, let us consider a special table in the Bible, known as "The Lord's Table". This table should prompt a solemn memory of Christ's sacrifice.
The setting is the final hours of Christ's life before His atoning death and a Passover meal He had with His disciples we call "The Last Supper". "When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table."
"When the hour came" is deeply significant. As the time approached for Christ's ultimate demonstration of love He declared, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" (John 12:23). A few verses later He bore His heavy heart, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour" (John 12:27). He began His high priestly prayer, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You" (John 17:1).
"Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table." Although this was a literal physical table, early in the life of the church it became figuratively known as "the Lord's Table" in relation to the ordinance of Communion as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 10:21. Surely we can recall many occasions of thankfulness and joy around this table. This week, on Maundy Thursday, many congregations will gather around the Table of the Lord and recall the spiritual significance of His broken body and shed blood.
But there's a future table in heaven that will be set up for "the marriage supper of the Lamb." There are many mysteries in the Word that make us wonder how it will all take place, but most of us can identify with sitting around a large table with an abundance of food amidst family and friends. We can be assured that all the words of the Scripture are true but in this case it’s reinforced in the text itself, “These are true words of God."
"Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The opening photo is a common depiction of the table set for this marriage supper of the Lamb. The extent of God’s hospitality is in His ultimate invitation, “Whosoever will, may come." And even more familiar to many of us are those wonderful words from the Golden text (John 3:16), “whosoever believes in Him."
We have received many invitations and attended many weddings. These joyful occasions are very memorable events and the reception to follow provides great opportunity to celebrate with the family and friends of the couple. But nothing in this life will compare with a future marriage supper at the ultimate table.
Brooksyne and I expect to see you there and, by all means, please stop by so we can visit with you around that Table!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, salvation belongs to You who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb! Words are inadequate to express our joy in knowing that one glorious day we will attend the Wedding Supper of the Lamb because You sent Jesus to be the sacrifice Lamb who provided for our salvation. Though words cannot adequately express our joy, the way we conduct ourselves is an expression of thanksgiving to You. We look forward to that glorious day when we shed these mortal bodies and take on immortality, when we receive our wedding garments which will be robes of white. Until then, we prepare ourselves by praying in the Holy Spirit and keeping ourselves in Your love as we wait for the future wedding supper of the Lamb.
Keep on watching: Jesus said this to His disciples and for all who believe, that He is waiting for that Supreme Wedding Feast when we are joined with Him in heaven to partake again of this fruit of the vine. He has refrained, all these years, from His rightful privilege of enjoying the fruit of the vine that He created since that eventful Last supper. Can you imagine the Love Feast that will be celebrated on that appointed day when He invites all His followers to sit at the Master's Table! Perhaps He will call us together using similar words from an old hymn, "Come and Dine! You may feast at Jesus' table anytime."
Here are several representative photos of a groups gathered around our table:
A Russian youth group who visited last fall for a meal.
Or a home Bible Study from about eight years ago.
Or a family gathering over 25 years ago
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
* "The Touch Of The Masters Hand (The Old Violin)" Video Wayne Watson
"There's Always a Place At the Table" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"The Table" Video Chris Tomlin
"Come To The Table" Video Marty Nystrom
"Come to The Table" Video Michael Card
"Remembrance (Communion Song)" Video Matt Redman
Correction! Yesterday we posted several video editions to "And Can It Be" which I mistakenly credited to Isaac Watts. Susan, a thoughtful reader from Long Island caught my error that this song was actually written by Charles Wesley. Actually the song lyrics I should have used at the conclusion was "When I survey the Wondrous Cross" by Isaac Watts since the phrase from our message title, "Love So Amazing, So Divine" actually comes from this song! Video GVB
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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