Reformed Reflections

The Reality of Heaven-Study

A Foretaste of Heaven.
No Eighteen

By giving the church the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, God did put a crown on the blessings of the covenant. In this sacrament heaven and earth draw near. The past, the present and the future join hands. In the overwhelming darkness of the night in which our Lord was betrayed, when all the forces of evil were gathered to destroy Him, He told His disciples to take bread and eat and to take the cup and drink in remembrance of Him, and He commanded them to proclaim His death until His coming again (1 Cor.11: 26). Our Lord intended the sacrament to continue from the very time of its constitution until His second appearing.

Thus that dark betrayal night
With the last advent we unite
By one long chain of loving rite,
Until He come.

Each time we partake of the Lord's Supper we "proclaim the Lord's death." We remember the wonder of reconciliation with God through Christ's atoning death. His death is an accomplished fact of the past. We glory in the cross. We become strengthened in our faith. The Lord's Supper also concentrates on the present. It is the supper of the covenant, whereby God and His people meet each other. We celebrate our unity in Christ and rest together as pilgrim's people in Christ's finished work. We become strengthened in our love for one another. I believe that the early church had a better understanding of fellowship that we have today. In the early church the Lord's Supper celebration followed the social gathering of the church, which was intended to express their fellowship. G. Campbell Morgan suggests that when our Lord joined Himself to two disciples on the way to Emmaus and came in their house, they offered Him hospitality, and He accepted it; He sat down to eat with them their social meal and followed it, for those troubled hearts, with the observance of the Lord's Supper. And the Lord's Supper points to the future. It is a prophetic meal. It confirms our hope. The great expected fact of Christ's coming again is proclaimed by every participant of the Lord's Supper. We are looking forward to the great day when the Bridegroom will come for His Bride so that the marriage feast can begin. And we even have a foretaste of the feast the Church triumphant is celebrating in heaven right now. As we partake of the bread and wine, we long to be re-united with our brothers and sisters in the Lord who have gone before us and are rejoicing in His presence. "Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9). "Our future happiness is, in this sacrament," wrote Matthew Henry, "not only sealed to us, but shown to us; and we here taste something of the pleasures of that better country."