‘He is risen!’ – Part 25
(2) The present significance. (a) The Lord’s Supper is a fellowship (Gk koinōnia) with Christ and a participation in the benefits of His sacrificial death, as well as a fellowship with the other members of the body of Christ (10:16-17). In this supper with the risen Lord, He, as the host, becomes present in a special way (cf. Mat 18:20; Luke 24:35). (b) It is a recognition and proclamation of the new covenant (Gk kainē diathēkē) by which believers reaffirm the Lordship of Christ and our commitment to do His will, to remain loyal, to resist sin and to identify ourselves with His mission (v. 25; Mat 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20).
(3) The future significance. (a) The Lord’s Supper is a foretaste of the future kingdom of God and the future Messianic banquet, when all believers will be with the Lord (Mat 8:11; 22:1-14; Mark 14:25; Luke 13:29; 22:17-18,30). (b) It looks forward to Christ’s imminent return for His people (v. 26) and dramatizes the prayer, “They kingdom come” (Mat 6:10; cf. Rev 22:20).
At the Lord’s Supper all the above significances are made meaningful, only if we come before the Lord in true faith, sincere prayer and with commitment to God’s Word and will.
JESUS RESURRECTION VALIDATES HIS PROMISE “I WILL COME AGAIN”
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (Jn 14:3)
(1) As surely as Christ went to heaven, so He will return from His Father’s presence and take His followers to be with Him in heaven (see Jn 17:24), to the place prepared for them. This was the hope of NT Christians, and is the hope of all believers today. The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s return is that believers may be with Him forever (see articles on The Rapture below).
(2) The words “receive you unto myself” refers to the Rapture, when all living believers “shall be caught up……..in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thes 4:17).
(3) Christ’s coming for His faithful will enable them to escape the future hour of trial that will come upon the world (see Luke 21:36; 1 Thes 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10). The Future hour of trial shall be discussed later.
(4) This glorious and eternal reunion is a comforting doctrine for all followers of Jesus, who desire to forever “be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thes 4:17-18).
The Rapture: An Overview
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”. (1 Thes 4:16,17)
The word “rapture” is derived from the Latin word raptu, which means “Caught away or caught up.” This Latin word is equivalent to the Greek harpazē, translated as “caught up” in 1 Thes 4:17. This event described here and in 1 Cor 15, refers to the catching up of the church from the earth to meet the Lord in the air. It involves only the faithful of Christ’s churches.
(1) Just prior to the rapture, as Christ is descending from heaven for His church, the resurrection of the “dead in Christ” will occur (1 Thes 4:16).
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