“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
For many years, sin had stained us. Altars were built and sacrifices made to cover our many sins. No amount of blood was sufficient, and God remained, separated from man’s heart. For how could something so righteous and pure ever mix with something so wicked and dark?
And then Jesus came.
Where the altar covered our sins (temporarily), Jesus erased our sin FOREVER! He destroyed the altar, and by his carpenter hands, had crafted the table.
We no longer have to present a sacrifice, bowing lowly to the ground in fervent prayer for forgiveness…now, we need only pull up a seat at the table and be with God. Like the prodigal son, our Father has prepared a feast for us, overjoyed because we once were lost and now we are found!
The religious spirit doesn’t understand this, much like the brother of the prodigal son who had followed his father’s rules faithfully and had never wavered. He couldn’t fathom such an everlasting love, nor did he see that his father loved him just the same. You see, he had worked for his father but never knew him.
Though Jesus shared many tender moments with the 12 disciples, none stands out so clearly as the Last Supper. It was a somber moment, but it also was full of compassionate love. As they ate, gathered around the table, talking and laughing, I’m sure Jesus watched and savored every moment, remembering the deep love he had for each of them and why he had to sacrifice himself to save them.
He washed their feet, like a servant, and passed the bread and wine, commanding them to do this as often as they come together like this, in remembrance of him. That way, Jesus would always have a seat at the table, surrounded by his friends. And we would honor and remember that without Jesus, we would not be sitting here, but still sacrificing and pleading before an altar. Reaching for what we could never attain, and what Jesus had freely given.
I believe there is a table in heaven, and that we each have a seat around it. Every child of God is welcome at the Father’s table, and He has prepared more than enough for those who love Him.
Will you leave the altar and come to the table?