Anticipating Eternity (a meditation)

“For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” ~Jesus, Luke 22:18

In Luke 22, Jesus was spending his final hours with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion. During this time, he shared with them a Passover meal and took from it the bread and wine and gave them something new: a memorial supper. Some call this The Lord’s Supper others Communion—whatever our term, ever since in the church we have taken the bread and the cup and remembered what Jesus did for us in offering up his body and pouring out his blood on the cross.

Though we gather as Christians and partake of this Supper regularly, Jesus said that he would not eat the bread or drink the wine again until he could do it with us in his Kingdom (Luke 22:16, 18; cf. Matthew 16:29).

In his statement we should sense an anticipation of eternity. When we eat of the bread and drink of the cup, yes we look backward in time to when Jesus hung on the cross and suffered for our sins, but we should also look forward.

In Revelation 19, John spoke a marriage supper to kickoff eternity. This supper is a coming celebration meal when the church, the bride of Christ, is gathered for the first time as its whole—the day where Jesus-followers from all across the globe and all throughout history gather with each other and with our Savior-King to ring in the new creation and begin the age of eternal joy.

That feast will only be the start. In the new heavens and new earth: “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit…my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isaiah 65:21-22); and, “In that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water” (Joel 3:18).

Though we join to eat and to remember, looking back and looking forward, Jesus said he would wait. Looking to him, we see a patient longing. The dawn of eternity is far off yet soon enough, and when it comes then we will celebrate with him.

In the meantime, though, we keep looking forward. We keep yearning and waiting as we share the broken bits of bread and drink from the cup, ready one day to do it face-to-face with our Savior-King who made it possible for us.

This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.

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