“Where wilt Thou that we go and make ready, that thou mayest eat the passover?” “He will himself show you a large upper room furnished and ready, and there make ready for us.” “If thou set thine heart aright, then stretch out thine hands toward Him.” —Mark 4:12, 15; Job 11:13.
The greater a work is that a man undertakes the more important is the preparation. Four days before the Passover the Israelite had to make his preparations. The Lord Jesus also desired that care should be taken to obtain an upper room furnished and ready where the Passover might be prepared. When I am called upon to meet my God and to sit down at His table, I will see to it that I do not approach it unprepared. Otherwise I should dishonor Him and lose the blessing which is destined for me, and cover my soul with heavy guilt.
For a right preparation two things are necessary. The first is this: that my heart should be occupied and filled with Him who has invited me, and with all the glorious blessing which He is to bestow upon me. Great thoughts of Jesus and large expectations of what His love will do will set the heart aglow and be the best preparation for meeting Himself.
The second part of preparation is to consider if I shall be a worthy guest, acceptable and welcome to the Lord of the Feast: that is if I am really an invited guest willing and prepared to come to the table according to the law of the King in such a manner as He will approve of. To cherish mean thoughts of myself, and no more expectation from myself or of any good in me, and out of this to have deep-rooted renunciation of myself in order to be willing to live through Jesus alone—this is the attitude of soul which leads to a blessed observance of the Supper.
Man obtains nothing without laying out time upon it. Even where free grace is to do everything apart from our working, we must give it time to carry out its work in our hearts. It is only when in secrecy I resolve with myself to look to Jesus until my desires become truly operative within me, that I shall be really prepared for the banquet. It is only when I deal trustfully with Him in the ordinary converse of the hidden and the daily life, that I can expect extraordinary blessing from public communion with Him at His table. Yea, hunger and thirst cannot be awakened simply when I see the table. It is in the conflict of the preceding life that hunger and thirst are aroused. Only for such is the table a feast. May this quickening not be wanting to me in this preparation.
But, alas! just as little as it was my work to prepare the table with its food, am I in a position to prepare myself as a guest for the feast. The Lord who says, “All things are ready,” has also prepared the wedding garment. He Himself will clothe the guests and prepare them for His feast. Therefore I will ask Him for this also. It was of the Lord that the disciples asked: “Where wilt thou that we prepare the passover?” Of Him also I may and will ask: “Lord,how wilt thou that I prepare the passover?” This week I will continue in quiet meditations and prayer at His feet, with eye and heart fixed upon Him. I know assuredly that I shall find what is needful for me in celebrating this feast.
Lord, deliver me from all superficiality and light-mindedness in drawing near to Thy table. Too often have I supposed that it is self-evident I must use again the Lord’s Supper. I have considered too little how needful it was to take the stones out of the way, when the Lord Himself shall come to prepare His way and make His path straight. I fancied that it was a light thing to receive blessing. Lord, forgive me this error. Do Thou Thyself enable my soul to understand what is meant by saying that sinful man shall meet his God. Do Thou Thyself work within me true conscientiousness and eagerness to lay bare and to lay aside every sin, and trust myself wholly to Thee with a real surrender of the whole soul and of all its powers.
Lord Jesus, hear, I beseech Thee, this my petition. O Lord, grant that I may not lose the blessing by thoughtlessness or idleness. O my Lord, how much has it cost Thee to prepare the table for me, and now even this is not enough. I must still ask Thee to prepare me for the table. I thank Thee for the joyful assurance which I have that Thou wilt do this. Therefore I place myself for this week in Thy hands, in order that by Thy working in me a right condition of soul may be brought into existence.
Precious Lord, grant me the broken and contrite heart. And grant unto me to look up unto Thee with a living, active faith as my Friend, my Saviour, my All. Grant, Lord Jesus, that I also may be able to say: I have but one thought, one desire, and that is Jesus. So shall I be prepared with honor to the Father to glorify Thee by my cheerful confession that I desire nothing but Thee, and Thy wonderful love.
My Saviour, I depend upon Thee throughout this week. Work thou in me a true preparation for the Supper. I expect it from Thee. Amen.