In recent times, there has not been a darker season throughout the world than now, given the current covid-19 pandemic. These dark times are surely not easy to tread through alone, but with God they always have a purpose and a place in our lives to edge ever closer to Him.
The devil might have planned to use these dark times for evil but in God’s hands they would only serve as a catalyst for having a fresh revelation of our Lord!
The Bible captures several night (dark) times, their implications and their results in quite dramatic ways. One of which is the darkness from the sixth hour (noon) till ninth hour (afternoon three o’clock) while Jesus hung on the cross and the sun’s light failed as if the heavenly bodies couldn’t witness anymore what humans were doing to the Creator.
“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Luke 23:44)
Just before the final plague of Egypt, God commanded the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb for each household, put its blood on the two doorposts and lintel of the houses and stay inside until the destroyer had “passed over” at night, which came to be commemorated as “Passover” to this day.
That was the night that paved the way of escape for Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. They ventured on a long journey for 40 years and the night before they started, they partook of what we now observe as Holy Communion, that is being joined one with the Lord.
The land of Egypt was referred as “Mizrahim” in Hebrew meaning a “tight spot / narrow place” and Israel’s final deliverance from Egypt through the observance of Passover seemingly denotes for us that Holy Communion might be the way out of any tight spot or narrow places we may come to find ourselves in.
To this day, Israelites observe the Passover true to the law. Unlike them, we have a greater reason to partake of the Holy Communion, having been delivered by the true Lamb of God who was offered as the Passover sacrifice two thousand years ago for our deliverance.
The Holy Communion is God’s divine provision for us during our night/dark seasons quite literally and we fail to emphasize its significance especially during such times.
Out of the many revelations that Paul had, he emphatically stated that he received the “first-hand instruction about Holy Communion from the Lord Himself” – that on the “night” in which He was betrayed He took bread.
Jesus knew He would be delivered unto the cross and the last act He did on that “night” and also asked His disciples to continue to observe from then on, was to partake of the Holy Communion in remembrance of His death.
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24)
Paul said that, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)
The Holy Communion is an act of remembering His death and the blood that He shed on the cross that washed away all our sins, making us now to stand righteous unafraid of any dark times that may come our way.
Bible theologians say that there are seven night scenes mentioned in the book of John, and one such was when Judas Iscariot left to betray Christ.
“So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.” (John 13:30)
It seems the author tries to elucidate Judas’ forthcoming betrayal in a poetic manner by saying “And it was night”.
That very same night turned out to be different for Judas from the other disciples. For the other eleven, it was a prelude to cementing their calling as Apostles in Christ whereas Judas’ high calling as an Apostle went unfulfilled ending abruptly that very night.
That last supper was a decisive turn of events in the history of the world as we know it.
Just after a span of three days, Christ in His resurrected form appeared to two of His disciples going on a road to a village named Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem.
The Bible clearly states that Jesus went in with them to their house after their request to spend the night, but eventually they recognized Jesus and had their eyes opened “only” when He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
“but they urged Him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So, He went in to stay with them. When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:29-31)
To summarize, Israelites’ deliverance was sealed after Passover, the apostles’ calling was etched after the last supper, and the two disciples’ eyes were opened with their belief strengthened in the risen Christ, while breaking bread.
It can’t be stressed enough of the Holy Communion’s significance, as Jesus promised: “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)”
What a glorious true “Koinonia” (Communion/Fellowship in Greek), with our Lord is awaiting us!
There is something truly significant, when we observe and partake of the Holy Communion in remembrance of our Lord and His death.
One pastor quipped that, this past Passover commemorated on April 8th 2020, might probably be the first Passover in over 3500 years that Israel as a nation had observed confined within their homes just in true essence of the very first one, while they were in Egypt.
We can only speculate, but God knows best what these dark times are for, and what we need to be truly delivered from.
But we as Christ’s beloved have already been provided for with a way to be joined with Him in a more tangible way through His Holy Communion and what a better time than now on this very Maundy Thursday. Have a blessed Good Friday in Christ!