Today we celebrate communion, which is the highlight of our month. We have also been studying Revelation. It is amazing that Revelation and the Celebration of Communion have a very big connection. What is also amazing is that the very same big connection can also be found in the Lord’s Prayer. Today may be one of the most amazing connections of the Bible to our every day life.
The Big Connection of The Lord’s Supper & God's Kingdom
First, please open in your Bibles to Matthew 26:26 where we see Jesus initiating communion as an ongoing reminder of:
- Christ's Death on the Cross for us
- Christ's Burial that forever removed our sins from God’s wrath upon us
- Christ's Resurrection that declares the triumph of God’s plan, God’s Kingdom and of us His children
But there is one more element about communion. Communion also has an element of prophecy in it.
Have you ever noticed how Jesus ended His first communion with His disciples? Jesus promised that He was returning to establish the Earthly rule of His Father’s Kingdom.
Connection One: Communion & Christ's Return
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is to be a regular reminder to Christ's Church of His Return. In fact when Paul recounts Christ's words to him in explaining the Lord’s Supper for the local churches he used the words: “till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).
Read Matthew 26 and see the scope of what the Lord’s Table was meant to be and what it can be to us each time we remember Him at this Table.
Matthew 26:26-30 (NKJV) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Communion is to be a constant reminder of Christ's return. But that’s not all. Christ is coming to rule. That is:
Connection Two: Communion & Christ’s Rule on Earth
Look back in your Bibles at Matthew 26:29.
Matthew 26:29 (NKJV) But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
Jesus promised His disciples that they were going to join Him in a special celebration in His Father’s Kingdom.
It is a promise that Jesus is Himself waiting to partake of the cup until He has safely brought each one He has invited to the Table. Jesus was saying “No matter what happens, no matter how bad it gets, I am coming.” Jesus will win and His disciples will join Him safely in His future celebration of His Father’s Kingdom.
My Father’s Kingdom Speaks of Victory & Security
One of the big promises Jesus made was that He was going to come back and rule over the Messianic Kingdom promised to Israel all the way through the Old Testament. Listen to exactly what He said as we turn back to Matthew 19:28.
Matthew 19:28 (NKJV) So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
So in Matthew 26:29, Jesus ends communion with those words about “My Father’s Kingdom”; and inMatthew 19:28 Jesus had told the disciples they were going to sit on thrones in a kingdom that was coming in the future. What exactly would Christ's disciples have understood that kingdom of His Father to be? The answer is that:
Jesus Had Already Explained the Coming Kingdom
We have written down for us what would have been on the minds of Christ's disciples as Jesus said those closing words of Matthew 26:29. The context of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is fascinating.
A quick way to understand the coming Kingdom is by using the exact record of what Christ said and taught and to trace the words that tie to this closing statement in verse 29.
In other words, what is Christ's Father’s Kingdom and what had Jesus clearly taught His disciples about that Kingdom?
Just before the Lord’s Supper in Matthew 26, what did Jesus teach about in the two previous chapters? Of course, we all have seen over the past few weeks that Matthew 24 & 25 are all about Christ's Coming, the Tribulation and giving an account for how we lived our lives. So the direct context of the Father’s Kingdom is all the teaching that Jesus had done.
Jesus Preceded the Lord’s Supper with a Summary of the Future
Look at the incredible message about Christ's coming to bring in His Father’s rule on earth. Look at how much Jesus says as we survey Matthew 24-25.
The essential points Jesus gave to His disciples, and to us, were:
First, the trouble leading up to Christ's Coming Kingdom Rule will start with one man’s actions in Jerusalem’s “holy place” (Matthew 24:15). There is a real place that is central in God’s plans: the earthly, geographic place called the city of Jerusalem.
Each time the term “holy place” is used in the Old Testament (54x) and the New Testament (5x), it is always the Temple (or Tabernacle). So, there is a real person coming to that literal place: the human that Satan empowers to become the Matthew 24:15-20 “Abomination causing Antichrist.” The Antichrist heads a future Revived Roman Empire (Daniel 9:26-27).
Look back at the source of Christ's reference to this person in Daniel 9. Here we see the Antichrist is from the Roman Empire (the people who destroyed “the city” (Jerusalem) and “the sanctuary” (Herod’s Temple)). This coming Antichrist confirms a covenant with the Jewish nation of Israel. Breaks the covenant, and brings in an “abomination.”
And all of that happens in Jerusalem in Judea (Matthew 24:16).
Second, Christ's Coming Kingdom Rule will follow the Great Global Holocaust known as the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22). Jesus makes it clear what precipitates His return has not yet happened. The events prior to Christ's return are so catastrophic, they will only happen once.
Note the extreme, apocalyptic, superlatives Christ uses: “great”, “not been nor ever shall be” and “no flesh” survive.
Third, Christ's Coming Kingdom Rule will be seen by every one of us, every saint that has ever lived, and by every human alive on Earth at the closing moments of the Tribulation (Matthew 25:31-32).Note that Jesus says: “all the holy angels” come with Him. This is also described as the second coming inRevelation 19, surrounding the events at Armageddon.
Just for a moment think how vast a sight this will be. There are billions of angels, plus we know all the saints are with Him. Jude 1:14 quotes Enoch from before the Flood prophesying a prophecy from God that tells us that Christ returns with “myriads” of His saints (that is the literal words, an incomprehensible number, the largest number they had in the Greek language). There may be as many as a few billion saints from Adam & Eve onward. That is quite an awesome sized cloud coming to the skies of Earth at Christ's second coming.
Global population think tanks estimate that there have been between 46 and 110 Billion humans that have ever lived on Earth over the past 50,000 years. They are probably off by almost one zero in the duration of humanity’s existence on Earth (closer to 6,000 years); but they may be right that 50 plus BILLION souls have been born, and lived, and 7 billion are still alive this moment.
But Christ's coming to rule His Father’s Kingdom will be as He is surrounded by every angel, and by every saint; and every human that has survived the Tribulation will see that return.
Every time we celebrate communion we should remember this promise. Jesus is coming to set up His father’s Kingdom. But there is even more.
Inescapable Judgment Arrives with Christ's Coming to Rule
Jesus spoke about the ramifications of His Coming Kingdom Rule all the way through His ministry.
He started by inviting people to enter His Kingdom by personal salvation.
Matthew 4:17, 23 (NKJV) From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heavenis at hand.” And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.
He warned that there would be those who were word only followers, not those who did the will of the King
Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Then He said that when the Kingdom comes there will be an accountability time.
Matthew 13:38-43, 49-50 (NKJV) The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Communion reminds us that Christ is coming. Christ is coming, to set up His Father’s Kingdom to reign on Earth. Christ is our King and every time we celebrate communion we are saying that we are His.
It is a promise that all who are true partakers of this meal will make it safely home to our Father’s House, and to participate in all the glories He has promised in Heaven. It is a promise that Jesus will return as King of Kings, overthrow Satan and all his followers, and set up on Earth His Father’s Kingdom.
The final insight comes from the longest sermon of all, that we call the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught that:
Connection Three: Thy Kingdom Come is to be our Daily Prayer
At the launch of Christ's ministry, He commanded all of us His followers to ask every time we pray for something specific. Turn back again to Matthew 6:9-13.
As I read this so familiar prayer, remember the exact pattern Christ left for us.
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
How does the prayer that Jesus left as a pattern for each of us open and close? There is a clear and distinct reference to the Kingdom, or rule of God the Father.
Thy Kingdom Come Means to Ask for Christ's Coming to Rule
We are to start each time we pray by pointing our prayers (and our hearts and minds) above. To exactly where above? To our Father in heaven.
Where is our Father in Heaven each time we pray? Seated upon the Throne as the Almighty God the Father.
That scene around the Throne is what we just saw last time in Daniel 7. That scene is what we extensively studied in Revelation 4 & 5. That Throne Room of the Universe is where every single prayer of each of us believers throughout all the ages is directed, and is received.
What does the Lord’s Prayer remind us about?
Thy Kingdom Come means Satan’s Plan will fail
Thy Kingdom Come means God will Win
Thy Kingdom Come means I must surrender to His Reign
Hallelujah. Our God reigns.