When I think of the concept of "table", which is the topic Leah Adams is presenting for her The Loft bloggers today (leahadams.org), I think of the Lord's Table and how, in Matthew 26:17-30, the Lord at that time held the first "service" of His Church. In my study and exposition of Hebrews, today's verses are a beautiful mesh with that topic:
3how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Yesterday, I meditated on the consequences of neglecting this incomparable salvation, through which the Lord Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and the Prophets (the Old Testament). Today, I want to focus on Hebrews 2:3-4 's verification, attestation, endorsement of the gospel message.
Do you think that it is any accident Jesus used the communion table as the setting of His first church service. He could have "declared" it on a fishing boat, or on a hillside under a tree, or in a garden, like Gethsemane or Olives. But, He chose a table. Why do you believe that is?
Elsewhere (John 6:63b American King James version), He spoke these words...
the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Food, which we commonly eat around a table, sustains our physical life.
Jesus' words, the gospel, give us spiritual life - - life which goes on past forever.
In the ordinance of The Lord's Supper, Jesus inexorably connected His message with our very existence, by connecting the physical elements of bread and wine with our spiritual sustenance.
Over at a friend's house yesterday, I sat at her table. When I arrived they had just finished a meal. My friend wiped off the table to prepare a place for me to sit and talk, as we worked through a task together. I noticed the table at which I sat. It was neither pristine, nor new. It showed signs of use and wear since, over the past couple of decades, it has been gathered around almost daily.
When we bring ourselves to God's spiritual table to feast on His Word, whether we physically partake of communion elements or not, we always enjoy blessed spiritual communion with Him. And, the church is meant to worship corporately, as a Body of believers, as well.
Our spiritual tables will not remain "unmarked" as we move through this earthly life as individuals or as groups of believers. Satan will continue his diabolical efforts to destroy the cause of Christ, the spread of the gospel, by deception, pride, lack of repentance, fear and other such nefarious means. In the process, our table will receive some scratches, perhaps even some gouges. The paint may come off in places, as we fight the good fight of faith.
There may be times, even, when we ask, "Is it worth it?" But, we see here in Hebrews 2 that the disciples certainly believed the gospel was worth it all, even their very lives, because most of them died horrible deaths as martyrs. People don't give up their lives for something they don't know in their hearts to be true. People won't deliberately die to perpetuate a deception.
Then, God Himself, in all Three Persons, worked many signs and wonders. The first was the appearance of the angel to Mary, followed by the immaculate conception, and on and on. The New Testament is full of signs and wonders surrounding the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The final miracle is the gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each believer, to equip him or her to gather around God's table and share the faith, then to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Dear God, we shout "Hallelujah!" for these three beautiful "amens" to the gospel! Your ways are indeed perfect and beautiful in our sight! It is earth's greatest privilege to love and to serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! In Jesus' name, AMEN!