THE LORD’S SUPPER.
The Bible Treasury, New Series, vol. 6 page 331
WE should, on divine authority, and in spiritual, scriptural intelligence, hold to it, that the Lord's supper is the due characteristic expression of the Lord's day—that which should then be made principal.
If we read Luke xxii. 7-20 we shall learn that the Passover of the Jews and the Supper of the Lord being then exhibited successively, the one after the other, the latter was henceforth to displace the former. The Passover, with other meanings attached to it, was the foreshadowing of the great sacrifice which was in due time to put away sin.
The Supper is now the celebration of the great fact that that sacrifice has been offered, and that, for faith, our sins are put away.
After the Lord's supper, therefore, is instituted, it is for us impossible to return to the Passover. It would be apostasy, a giving up of God's Lamb, and of the atonement.
But if the Supper has thus displaced the Passover, we may then inquire, Is anything to displace it? We may read our answer in 1 Cor. xi. 26, and there learn that the Lord's supper is set as a standing institution in the house of God till the Lord's return. The Holy Ghost, through the apostle, gives it an abiding place all through this age of the Lord's absence.
I conclude, accordingly, that we are not to allow anything to displace the supper. It is of our faithfulness to our stewardship of the mysteries of God, to assert the right of that supper to be principal in the assembly of the saints. It has displaced the Passover by the authority of the Lord Himself; but we, on the authority of the Holy Ghost, are not to allow anything to displace it. It is the proper service of the house of God. The Lord's supper, with its attendant worship, is the principal thing for the Lord's day.
This comes out naturally in the progress of the story of Christianity in the New Testament. We read in Acts xx. 7. "And upon the first day of the week, when we came together to break bread." And again, in I Cor. xi. 33, "Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another."
If we abandon the supper for a sermon, or for a large congregation, or for any other religious scene or service, we have given up the house of God in its due characteristic and divinely appointed business and worship. So far we are guilty of apostasy. We have not, it is true, returned to the displaced, or superseded, Passover, but we have allowed something or another to displace, or supersede, what the Holy Ghost has set as principal in the house of God. And, were we right-hearted, we would say, What sermon would be more profitable to us? What singing of a full congregation more sweet in our ears than the voice of that ordinance which tells us so clearly, and with such rich harmony of all kinds of music, of the forgiveness of our sins, of the acceptance of our persons, and of our waiting for the Lord from heaven? And all this in blessed and wondrous fellowship with the brightest display of the name and glory of God!
Yea, the table at which we sit is a family table, though more. In spirit we are in the Father's house. We are made by the table to know ourselves in relationship, and that lies just outside the realm of glory; for "if children, then heirs." If we be in the kingdom of God's dear Son, we are next door to the inheritance (Col. i.). And there the table is maintained until Christ comes again.
J. G. B.