Summary: As we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, let us remember the PROMISE, PROVISION, and PLAN of God for us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Congress is debating a new immigration bill. Proponents of both sides of the issue were demonstrating in the streets of major cities. In the center of it all are the 11 million illegal immigrants. What should be done with them? Deport them? All of them? President Bush says, “Give them a guest worker visa.” Those who are opposed see it as another amnesty program. They strongly argue that amnesty is not the solution.
What is amnesty? This is a transliteration of the Greek word “amnestia” or “amnesia.” Both words mean “forgetfulness” or the selective loss of memory. However, the word “remembrance” is anamnesin which literally means “not to forget.”
So, what shall we remember about the Lord Jesus?
In v.16 He already knows that His enemies are going to kill Him. He also knows that this passover is going to be His last one with His disciples. Knowing this, it is amazing that in v.16 and v.18 He sets His sight to celebrating the Passover again with them in the future.
He reminds His disciples that this future passover celebration will be when the Kingdom of God is already here on earth. This expression “Kingdom of God” means the reign of God. It will be a one-world theocracy. He, the Lord Jesus, will be the king.
Vv.16 & 18 make it sound like His second coming is a done deal. It is a statement of a fact. It is a sure thing. It is a promise.
Dr. George Sweeting once estimated that "more than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy." He said that there are 1800 references to the second coming in the Old Testament and 300 in the New Testament. One thing is certain--the second coming is a central teaching of the Scriptures.
G. Campbell Morgan, a preacher from the last century, said “To me the second coming is the perpetual light in the path which makes the present bearable.” Titus 2:13 calls it the "blessed hope" of the believer. Paul exhorts us to encourage one another by reminding each other of our this hope (1 Thess. 4:18).
V.19 speaks of God’s provision. The Lord Jesus gave His life as a ransom for our sins. John 1:29 says that Jesus Christ is God’s sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world. In short, God provided for our salvation.
V.20 speaks of God’s covenant with us. It is a unilateral covenant. In other words, He committed Himself to love us unconditionally. It is not based on our merits or performance. Romans 8:31-32 says, “What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?”
V.22 says that the death of Jesus Christ is part of God’s plan. God has a master plan that includes us.
Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Minnesota’s former governor, is reported to have made the following statement: "God has a plan and a destiny for each one of us. I wasn’t always a believer, but through my wife and a couple of close friends, in the last couple of years, I have come to believe in God and that He has a plan and a destiny for my life. I challenge you to find your destiny. It’s the most important thing for each of you to find." How about you? Do you know God’s plan for you? Is that important to you?
Let me close with this illustration that I read on sermoncentral: A small country church in Wisconsin has a special tradition that they have used at the close of their communion services for a number of years. It is adapted from an ancient Jewish closing of the Passover meal. Since it is the hope of every devout Jew to celebrate the Passover at least once in David’s city, the Jewish custom is to end the meal with a toast. Passover participants raise the cup and say, “Next year, in Jerusalem!”
We, Christians, can emulate their example not by looking forward to celebrating the next Lord’s Supper in Jerusalem but in the Kingdom of God with our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. So, let us all stand, raise the cup and make the toast, "Next time in the Kingdom of God!"