The Same Night
-- A. J. P. (from "Simple Testimony")

1 Cor. 11: 23

WHAT a depth of meaning is often expressed in two or three words in the Scriptures! The three at the head of this paper are most touching in the connection in which they are found. 

You will find them in 1 Cor. 11: 23: "For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread," etc. The whole subject is familiar to every Christian--the Lord's Supper. What do these three words specially teach us? 

We might have conceived that the work the Lord Jesus was about to do would have occupied all His thoughts, and engaged all His attention. But no; He thinks of the love of His disciples, and would fain recall that love, so prone to wander, back to Himself, again and again. 

So He institutes that feast of remembrance--the emblems so touching, speaking of the wondrous sacrifice of Himself for God's glory and our need. 

And He did not underestimate the ordeal He was just about to pass through. After the Supper was ended, He went to the mount of Olives; and as the dark shadow of the cross fell across His pathway more deeply than ever, and the thought of being forsaken of God pressed upon Him in all its near reality, we read, "And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22: 44). He knew that darkness, which no human eye could pierce, would thicken round Him; that suffering of untold bitterness, which no human mind could gauge, would be His in its terrible intensity. Yet He yearned for the answering love of those for whom all these things would be endured. Thus He gathered His loved ones round Himself for their last meal {together}. 

Saints of God, is this not enough to melt us to tears? Can it be possible that any blood-bought one can lightly esteem this privilege? Does not the Lord look for the answering love of our poor hearts as we gather around His table? Ah! surely there is a simplicity of language, and an exquisite pathos in those portions of Scripture which give us the institution of the Supper. 

As He sits at that table, He speaks words of loving counsel and encouragement which must have burned in the souls of His disciples. Read John 13: 31 to the end of chapter 17--Scriptures which we would delight rather to ponder and meditate upon, than attempt to discuss or expound. He said in the garden, "Now is My soul troubled, and what shall I say?" yet a few moments before He had said to His loved ones, as they clustered around Him at that last, sad meal, "Let not your heart be troubled." He was just about to be forsaken of God, and exposed to the cold blast of judgment, yet to His disciples He could speak of the Father's house, and the place He was going to prepare by His presence there for them.  

He goes out into the night, and is dragged through scene after scene of revolting cruelty and high-handed injustice, till at length the darkness closes around that central cross, and all God's judgment upon sin is dealt out upon Him.

But now He is in the glory, with redemption and resurrection glories crowning His brow, once wreathed with thorns. Afresh from the glory does He tell out His desire that His own should remember Him in the appointed way. 

Ponder these things; let our hearts dwell upon His matchless love; and then in some feeble measure, there will be the answer from our poor wayward hearts. "We love Him because He first loved us." 


(1 Cor. 11: 26) 

Again does the Holy Spirit express a world of meaning in a little compass. The Lord's table is the link between the cross and the glory. 

As we sit around His table, the three precious words, "The same night," carry our thoughts back to the cross; so the three words, "Till He come," carry our thoughts on to a future which may be ours at any moment. 

It is well-nigh 1900 years ago since the Lord Jesus said, "Surely I come quickly," and the eager response was given, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Empires have risen and crumbled into decay; generations have come and gone; and still that promise is unfulfilled. 

It is now more than fifty years ago since God was graciously pleased to revive in a marked way the truth of the Lord's coming. Sleeping Christendom was aroused by the cry, "Behold, the Bridegroom." Matthew 25 says of the foolish virgins, "While they went to buy, the Bridegroom came." The Lord is very near. Christendom is restless, as if expecting something. Satan is raging. The flood of wickedness is rising on every hand. 

Oh, may the divine hope of the Lord's near return burn brightly in our hearts! As we gather around Himself, and at His table whereon are set those emblems which speak so forcibly of a Savior, once in death for us, may our hearts be carried forward to the time when we shall see and be like Him who is now living and glorified. Then these remembrances, blessed as they are, will forever cease. Faith changed to sight; hope to glad realization; and love dwelling supreme in that scene of ineffable bliss. 

May these six words command our heart's attention: "The same night," and, "Till He come."