Understanding the Kingdom & the Lord’s Supper
Our Lord promised those disciples in the first century that the kingdom would come in their lifetime. Read the following words carefully as though you were standing in the presence of Jesus. What would you have understood when He said, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1)? Those who believe the kingdom is still future and will be established when Jesus returns to reign for a thousand years have no explanation of Jesus’ word. They also have another problem and that is what Jesus said about the place of the Lord’s Supper in the kingdom.
Jesus taught the Lord’s Supper would be part of the kingdom. It was in the upper room that Jesus promised He would eat the Lord’s Supper with His followers when the kingdom came. Jesus said, “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” (Matt. 26:29). He and eighty-three other Divinely sent messengers had proclaimed that the kingdom was about to be established. Now in the upper room, what Jesus said placed a time limit on the time it would come. He said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say to you I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God . . . I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes” (Luke 22:15-18). His words clearly state that the cup with the fruit of the vine as part of that feast was ending and was about to be fulfilled when Jesus would assemble with the disciples at His table, His supper—the Lord’s supper. The Passover, as a God-appointed feast, was within a year of coming to an end.
The Lord’s Supper became part of the promised kingdom for He made it part of His kingdom, the church. Within two months of His words in the upper room the church began. Peter proclaimed that Jesus ascended on high as an exalted king (Acts 2:20-33). His promised kingdom had come and notice what immediately happened. “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Jesus had become part of the communion at His table in His kingdom!
The Lord’s Supper will end when Jesus returns. “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He come” (1 Cor. 11:26). The words “till He comes” proclaim that at His coming the Lord’s Supper will end. Those who see the establishment of the kingdom as a future event cannot reconcile these Divine words with their teaching.
The kingdom has come, as He promised, and He meets with us every week at His table “till He comes.”