Summary: Includes 7 things we ought to bring with us as we approach the greatest dinner table of all time. Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.
Come To The Table
On Thursday of this week we all had one thing in common: we couldn’t wait to be told: “Come to the table!” This morning, Jesus has set the table and is inviting us, “Come to My Table.”
John 6:27 Jesus is speaking to a group which followed Him because He just fed them. He points out the fact that there are better reasons to follow Him than just for a temporary fill.
Ill.—what do you call a stray dog that you give a little food to? “Pet!” You own him now! He’ll stay right beside you. But will he find more in you than that? Will he find love and a place in the family, or will he be dropped off in a better neighborhood or fall victim to an unfortunate “accident”?
v. 31 They wanted the Lord to top that miracle.
v. 32-33 Their mouths are watering, they cannot wait…oh hurry, they said, licking their chops. Don’t tease us…when will this bread get here?
v. 35 It is here! You’re looking at it!
“Oh,” they said sadly. “Really?” What a let down they felt.
v. 41-42 They aren’t thrilled with His claim, and they don’t believe. They aren’t getting the picture here, but we must make sure WE understand:
v. 48-51 Jesus announces the main course, and it’s Him! It’s a spiritual analogy, but they don’t get it.
v. 52 They’re thinking He’s like Dracula telling the young couple to come over because He’d like to ‘have them for dinner.’ Well, it’s not cannibalism Christ is advocating, it’s true Christianity, realizing His body and His blood are the real spiritual sustenance that will sustain a Christian life.
v. 53-58 It’s not very physically appetizing, but spiritually speaking, it’s the best eating you’ll ever experience.
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Bread sustains life, and His body is the bread, so we must trust in the sacrifice made by that broken body.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
Blood is life. And when Jesus’ blood was shed, His life was being poured out, and all who kneel at the foot of that cross receive that life in a sin cleansing, life giving bath. Are you washed in the blood?
They didn’t get it in Jesus day, but we do now! It’s not about really eating that flesh and drinking that blood. Jesus said these elements before us today are SYMBOLIC of His body and blood. There’s no saving power in these elements, and none will be saved today by partaking. This is a time of remembrance. This is only for those who HAVE been saved by that sacrificial body and that redeeming blood, and want to obey the command to remember and be thankful.
But first, there are several things we need to bring to the table:
1. Before we sit down to a meal, we need clean hands. You don’t work in the garden or garage and then come inside, sit down, and eat dinner. You wash up first. This is why the Bible tells us to examine our lives before receiving Communion.
Turn to I Cor. 11:28
We may see something that needs to be confessed and cleaned up. When we were kids, we occasionally had to go to bed without supper because we did something bad. When we come to Jesus with remorse and repentance, we find forgiveness, restoration, and an invitation to His table. Some people get so burdened by their sins, that instead of asking forgiveness, they figure they’re too unworthy to participate, and they pass the tray without partaking. None of us are worthy, but if we’ve trusted Christ, we are eligible. He invites and authorizes us to come to the table.
2. Also before dining, we need a good appetite. What would happen if you were invited to someone’s house for dinner and an hour before the meal you ate a bag of chips, a Coke, and a package of Twinkies? After all this junk food, you’d have little appetite for the good stuff! Paul tells us, “you can’t drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you can’t have a part in both the Lord’s Table and the table of demons”
That’s in I Cor. 10:21, look at it: God offers us a substantive meal—the Bread and Cup won’t fill us up physically, but they will satisfy our spiritual hunger. When we stuff ourselves with the junk food of sin we lose our appetite for the banquet God has prepared for us. We need to “taste and see” the satisfying goodness of the Lord (Psalm 34:8).