What does your kitchen table look like? Mine isn’t new, or pristine, or fancy, but rather it has years of love and “gunk” in it/on it and yes, even carved into it! We have sat there and cried, laughed, listened, argued, collaborated, and prayed. That table has hosted Bible studies, game nights, celebratory meals, overflowing buffets, simple coffees and projects for small and large events.
For the last few weeks, my table has been wedding project central. There is new sticky stuff, glitter, cuts, and imprints that love has embedded, just this week. As a fun side note, a wedding gift to the couple getting married was, in fact, a kitchen table. It came with lots of memories attached and will be the center of many to come.
As I was thinking about the iconic gathering spot of the kitchen table, I thought of another table that hosted our Savior on the very night that He began His journey to the cross. We often refer to this table as the place where the Last Supper took place.
At the Last Supper table, Jesus had just shown His disciples His love for them by washing their feet, and then charging them to love others with that same servant mentality. John said that at that table, Jesus “showed them the full extent of His love.” (John 13:1)
Jesus’s heart was heavy. He knew these were some of the last moments He would spend with His inner circle. He had fully equipped them for the future. He had poured almost all of Himself into these guys. He would empty the rest of himself in the next 24 hours, by pouring His blood out in order to pay for their sins. And ours. He knew their past sins, and the ones they had yet to commit. But still, He loved them. And was willing to go to the cross to prove it. He knew that one who was seated at the table would betray Him. He knew that the one most adamant about dying with Him would deny Him. He knew all but one would desert Him. These things didn’t sway His love and commitment to make sure they were with Him for eternity. As they were seated here, He gave them instructions to take a cup of the fruit of the vine as a memorial of His blood shed for them, even though they didn’t yet understand. He gave them bread to remind them that His body, from His first human breath in a stable, to His last on the cross, was given for them. For us.
As Jesus and the disciples sat at the table celebrating the Passover, He told them of gifts yet to come.
He told them to stay connected to Him as a branch does to a vine so that they could impact people for eternity, and through this, their joy would be complete. (John 14:5,8,11) Jesus warned them that not everyone will be a fan of the message they bring. But after all of the somberness, He gave them a bright focal point – to remember that He has overcome the world and is victorious! (John 15:18-16:4, 33) To conclude their feast time together, He prayed over the disciples who were with Him as well as future followers (that’s us!).
Jesus pushed back from the table and went to complete His mission. This was a heavy time, with an excruciating 24 hours to come. But Jesus had the end in mind! Victory! Sin and death defeated! Heaven’s gates open wide for all who follow Him! “Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. Since we have been united with Him…, we will also be raised to life as He was.” (Romans 6:9-10, 5) Can I get an AMEN? Woohoo! THIS. Is. Easter. Jesus broke through DEATH! That is our standard, our banner that goes before us saying “My King did it and promised that I will too!”
I hope for Easter you gathered around a table to celebrate this joy, this victory that we have in Jesus. It is the ultimate celebration of magnificent proportion! So if you are in Christ, even if you dined alone for THIS Easter celebration, remember that one day, we will all celebrate together with Him at His table in heaven! “And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God”!! (Luke 13:29)
PS. I invite you to listen to the song by Sidewalk Prophets: Come to the Table.