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WE WILL celebrate the Memorial Supper on the evening of Friday, April 10. We trust that all of the Lord's consecrated people everywhere will avail themselves of their privilege of memorializing the death of the Redeemer for our sins and—as the Apostle points out—our participation with the Redeemer in His sufferings and death to human conditions. As our Lord and the Apostles met and symbolized His death in advance of the event, so it is appropriate for us to meet on the anniversary to celebrate His sacrifice.
The doing of this annually, in harmony with the evident purpose of the Lord in establishing this Memorial instead of the Jewish Passover, makes the occasion a very impressive one, much more so than any celebration which ignores the anniversary feature and celebrates occasionally—monthly, weekly, quarterly, etc. Let us not find fault with others who do differently; but, as opportunity offers, let us inform them of our reasons for observing this great event on its anniversary.
As often as we do this (yearly) we do show forth the Lord's death until He come. While we believe that our Lord has been present for a number of years—during the Harvest—this does not hinder us from continuing the blessed Memorial of His death. Our thought is that our Lord meant that we were to continue celebrating His death until, at His Second Coming, the full Harvest work of the Age shall be completed, and the entire Body of Christ, the Church, shall be received into glory. Then, as He declared, we shall drink of the New Cup with Him.
Whereas now we drink of His Cup of suffering, shame, ignominy, reproach, the world's derision and opposition, His New Cup will be a Cup of joy, blessing, glory, honor, immortality—the Divine nature. The Father, who poured for our Lord the Cup of suffering, has already poured for Him the Cup of blessing and glory. As we are privileged to share with Him in this Cup of suffering, so with our resurrection "change" we shall be privileged to share with Him the Cup of glory and blessing. Yea, ours is a mingled Cup now, a bitter-sweet; for by faith we already enjoy many of the things which He has in reservation for them that love Him.
In the Lord's arrangement the moon symbolized the Jewish prospects, while the sun symbolized the prospects of the Gospel Age. The Law Dispensation was a shadow, or reflection, of the things future, as the moon's light is the reflection of the rays of the sun. We are near the time of the rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His beams, to flood the world with the light of the knowledge of God. Seeing this, we lift up our heads and rejoice, as the Master directed. Since all the overcoming members of the Church are included in that Sun of Righteousness, according to our Lord's parable (Matthew 13:43), it follows that the Elect Church must all be gathered, and her glorification must be completed before the full light of the Millennial glory will shine forth upon the world.
In partaking of the Memorial we may look forward with the eye of faith to the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, in contrast with the conditions which prevailed at the time when the first Memorial was observed. Then, the Moon (the Law Covenant) was at its full; and immediately after the rejection of Jesus and His crucifixion the Jewish polity began to wane. It is worthy of note that the very day on which Jesus was crucified the moon was at its full, and the waning began at once. So this year, on April 11, the moon will be at its very full, and will then begin its wane. The 11th, therefore, corresponds to the day on which our Lord was crucified; and the evening of the 10th corresponds to the night of the first Memorial Supper.
As from the intelligent appreciation of the fact symbolized by the Memorial Supper a great blessing comes, and a joy proportionate to the participator's faith and obedience, so also a condemnation attaches to an unworthy, improper participation in the Memorial. None are to participate except those who have come into relationship with the Lord by consecration of their hearts—their all—to Him and His service.
None can come into this consecrated condition except as they have recognized themselves as sinners and the Savior as the Redeemer from sin, whose merit is sufficient to compensate for the defects of all those who would come unto the Father through Him. All such should partake with a great deal of joy. Remembering the sufferings of the Master, they are to rejoice in those sufferings and in the blessings that these have brought to their hearts and lives. None are to drink of the fruit of the vine on such occasions except those who have appropriated the merit of the sacrifice of Christ and who fully realize that all their blessings are through Him. None are to drink of the Cup except those who have given up their all to the Lord, for this is what the Cup signifies—it is the Cup of suffering, the Cup of death—a full submission [R5420 : page 84] to the will of God. "Thy will, O God, not Mine, be done," was the prayer of the Master, and is to be the sentiment and petition of those who partake of the Memorial Supper.
For others to participate in this Memorial Supper would be a farce, would be wrong, and would bring more or less of condemnation, disapproval, from God and from their own consciences—and that in proportion as they realized the impropriety of their course.
But let none think that they should remain away from the Memorial because of imperfections of the flesh. This is a great stumbling-block to many. So long as we are in the flesh, imperfection of word, deed and thought are possible—yea, unavoidable. St. Paul says that we cannot do the things that we would. It is because we need Divine grace to forgive our daily, unintentional, unwilling trespasses that all whose sins have been forgiven and who have been accepted into fellowship with Christ are encouraged to come to the Throne of Heavenly Grace in prayer. The Apostle says, "Let us come with courage to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16.) It was because of our needs that God opened up the way and made this arrangement for us.
By God's provision for the forgiveness of our sins, of which we have repented, and for which we have asked forgiveness in Jesus' name, we may realize ourselves as no longer sinners under condemnation, but as clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness. This is the thought behind St. Paul's expression, which applies to every day: "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."—Romans 12:1.
All Christians should keep their accounts squared with the Lord. If they come short, they should lose no time in getting the account squared, in obtaining forgiveness through the merit of the Savior's sacrifice. Such accounts with the Lord should be settled promptly at the time of their occurrence, or not later than the day of their occurrence. They should not be allowed to accumulate; for they will rise as a wall between the soul and the Heavenly Father. But whatever has been the condition in the past, the Memorial season, above all others, is the time for making sure that no cloud remains between the Lord and us, to hide us from His eyes.
Thus forgiven, thus cleansed of any defiling spot on our robe of Christ's righteousness, let us keep the feast—the Memorial of our Lord's death. In it let us afresh acknowledge and impress upon our minds the importance of the merit of His sacrifice and death, and how it represents the grace of God to us, as it will by and by represent the same grace extending through the Millennial Kingdom to the whole world. Let us remember also our devotion of ourselves, our consecration to be dead with our Lord, to be broken as members of His Body, parts of the One Loaf, and to participate in the drinking of His Cup of suffering and shame and death. "For if we suffer [with Him], we shall also reign with Him."—2 Timothy 2:12.
We trust that the celebration of the Memorial this year may be a very deeply impressive one, an occasion of rich blessing to all of the Lord's consecrated people everywhere. "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast."—1 Cor. 5:7,8.
We trust that each little class, or group, of Bible students celebrating the Memorial together will appoint one of their number a secretary to write a post-card to THE WATCH TOWER office, stating briefly the interesting facts connected with the celebration, the number present, and the number participating, so far as can reasonably be estimated.