AS HE came to the time of His last Passover, our Lord knew plainly from the storm that was gathering about Him in old Judea that He was moving rapidly toward the climax of His earthly career, and He desired to have a special meeting with His disciples. Luke records, "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:15,16).
"With desire." "With an eager longing" is also suggested in the root of the phrase. And just as He earnestly desired to observe the Passover with the twelve who had been with Him during His earthly ministry, so He desires to meet with His disciples today.
We know very well that the final world storm is gathering, and God's people are facing great tests. Are we earnestly desiring to meet with our Lord in the communion service? To participate in it is a high privilege. I would like to suggest three thoughts for our consideration in connection with this service that are often not appreciated to the extent they should be.
1. It has remembrance value. Jesus said, "This do in remembrance of me." It is both divine and human to desire to be remembered. Just as we desire to be remembered by relatives and friends, so the Lord longs to be remembered by His redeemed people. He appointed this service that we may be reminded keenly of His death, His resurrection, and His wonderful declaration: "I am alive forevermore." How much these words mean to us! We love to remember them, for they as sure us of eternal life. We keep alive the remembrance of our Lord's death for us by observing this important service, and one of the blessings received through it is the blessing of humility. Let us remember the words, "This do."
2. It has fellowship value. There may be differences tomorrow when one man goes to his conspicuous place of leadership and another goes to his place of menial toil, but in this service such differences have no place. We are all sinners redeemed by grace, and we are all one in Christ. True humility banishes all differences and gives us unity and fellowship together and with the Lord. Let us regard this blessed fellowship as a precious thing.
3. It has prophetic value. Christ's statement that He will neither eat thereof nor drink thereof until the kingdom is come teaches us to look forward to the grand consummation of all things. Thus our Lord took occasion to say twice in these verses that victory and triumph are ahead for His people. Indeed the best He has to offer is still before us. We belong to a conquering cause, and if we serve and suffer with Him here, we shall also reign with Him hereafter.
We are blessed, then, with the remembrance of the past, fellowship in the present, and prophetic fulfillment in the future. What a wonderful heritage to us in this service! Let us ob serve it with "great desire" as did our Lord when on earth with His disciples. Let us perpetuate His service faithfully in the church and perpetuate His character in our daily living. As He enables us to live out His life and honor Him here, He will make it possible for us to share with Him in the glories of the future.