The Memorial Supper According to John
The Memorial season brings special thoughts regarding the sacrifice of Jesus. While much of the drama of the last week of Jesus’ life is spread throughout the four gospels, John’s gospel gives an intimate look into the last night Jesus spent with his disciples. This record according to John is the special consideration of this year’s Memorial issue.
We open this issue with What the Memorial Means to Us. It encompasses a wide array of thoughts around the annual celebration of our participation with Jesus in this most important night of the year.
Before the Feast is a consideration of John 13. While it seems that our Lord’s awareness of his impending death was with him throughout his entire ministry, he here tried to bring special awareness to his disciples of his impending suffering and death when he stated that it was “for this cause that he was born.”
In Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, a consideration of the 14th chapter invites you to imagine yourself as one of the Twelve invited by Jesus to share the Passover meal on his last night on earth, and to respond to Jesus’ solemn tone as he said, “I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me.” Then you are reassured by the words “Let not your heart be troubled.”
Preparing the Apostles discusses the illustration of the Vine and the Branches in John 15 and 16. Jesus knew that the path ahead for his followers would be difficult, compounded by his absence. He planted a seed of understanding that would later sustain them, for they had not yet received the holy Spirit and could not understand why Jesus was leaving them. The beautiful priestly prayer of John 17 is examined in The Fellowship of Father and Son. The three themes of Honor or Glory bestowed upon Jehovah’s first-born children, Oneness with God which results in separation from the spirit of sin, and Eternal life which comes from personal knowledge of God, are important parts of Jesus’ message.
Resurrection Hopes and Joys is edited from an article that appeared in this journal in 1925. Two great lessons were to come to our Lord’s followers from Jesus’ resurrection and appearances: first, that their Master was no longer dead, but alive, risen from the dead; and second, that he was no longer the man Christ Jesus, but Jesus “changed,” glorified.
The final article, The Hope of Glory, considers John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” This article considers the glory and sweetness of the heavenly home awaiting all who become part of Jesus’ bride.
The directors of the Pastoral Bible Institute, and the editors of the Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, pray that this issue will be a special blessing to you in your own meditations on our Lord’s Memorial.