#749 – Looking Back and Looking Forward (Matthew 26:29) - Radical

#749 – Looking Back and Looking Forward (Matthew 26:29)

Jesus said, “I tell you, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom.”
(Matthew 26:29)

Oh, these words from Jesus after instituting the Lord’s supper. He takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, gives it to his disciples, says, “Take, eat. This is my body,” and he takes a cup, gives thanks, gives it to them, says, “Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which has poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The Lord’s Supper compels us to look back and remember what Jesus has done for us. It also causes us to look forward with great anticipation of the day when we will see Jesus face to face.

This bread and this cup, a symbol, a picture of his body, his blood that we’re about to be given for our sins, that have now been given for our sins so that we now celebrate as a central part of our worship as the church, this meal. We take bread, we take a cup, and we remember when Jesus prepared to go to the cross, took a piece of bread, broke it, gave it to his disciples and said, “This is my body. Do this in remembrance of me. This is my body.”

And when we take that bread, we remember how he gave his body for the salvation of our souls. And we take this cup and we drink it. And when we do, we remember that our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus, that we have entered into a covenant relationship with God that is based on his mercy poured out for the many for the forgiveness of our sins. And then, so then we get to verse 29, and Jesus says, “I tell you, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my father’s kingdom.”

This Lord’s supper. Oh, the Lord’s supper is a meal of anticipation because we celebrate this meal now, but we know there’s coming a day when we will see Jesus’ face and we will drink this cup with him in his father’s kingdom. This is why Paul, when he’s giving instructions about the Lord shopper, in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 says, “When we take this supper, we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” The picture is, this is not the end. Jesus is going to the cross here in Matthew chapter 26, but he knows there’s a feast that’s coming. There’s a banquet that’s coming in the future for all who’ve trusted in him. He is coming back eventually and we are going to feast with him in his father’s kingdom.

So how does that change the way you live today? Well, I hope today, and especially on Sundays when you celebrate the Lord’s supper in worship, this text causes you to look back and to look forward, to look back today to what Jesus has done, to pay the price for your sin to free you, forgive you all sin, and to look forward to the day when we will see his face. We will join him in his father’s kingdom and we will drink this cup with him.

Oh, God help us today to look back, to remember. So much in your word is about remembering God. Help us to remember today, in a fresh way, the love that Jesus, you expressed for us on the cross in dying for the forgiveness of our sins in giving your body and shedding your blood that we might have life. All glory be to your name today for what you did on the cross and we pray in anticipation of the fact that you are coming back. Jesus, we say together today, we look forward to seeing you. We long to see you, so help us to live today and be ready for that day. So much of what we have read about in Matthew 24, 25 is being ready for that day.

God, help us to be ready for that day. Please find us faithful on that day. Help us to live today like it could be the day when we see your face. Help us to, in our thoughts, in our desires, in our words, in our actions to make today count in ways that glorify you, in ways that honor you, in ways that spread your love to people who are not ready for that day, who have not trusted in you to be forgiven of their sins. God, use us today to make this gospel known with urgency, realizing that today could be the day when you return. So help us to live looking back and looking forward today with our eyes fixed on you in both directions. In your name, we pray, Jesus. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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