Jentezen Franklin - The Power Of The Lord's Table
If you have your Bibles, you can open them with me to Psalms 23. It's where I want to start. Let's all read it together. We're going to take a moment, read. It's a very short chapter with six verses. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".
I want you to notice particularly, because that's what I'm preaching on this morning, verse five. "You prepare a table before me". That table that He prepares is the Lord's table, holy communion. And all that is in holy communion is contained in the 23rd Psalm. The 23rd Psalm is the same table as the Lord's table. And I want to share with you today the power of the Lord's table, the power of communion. When I come to the Lord's table, I need to approach it with a fresh appreciation. It must never become common. This table that is before me today, the Lord's table, the fruit of the vine, the bread.
The last supper that Jesus had with His disciples is so significant to our faith that I think, if we're not careful, we will approach it in a common manner... and it should not ever be approached without full revelation of what is involved in this meal. And I want to show you the power of the Lord's meal today. When I think about the fact that the 23rd Psalm is centered around a shepherd, "The Lord is my shepherd", and then of course, in the 23rd Psalm is implied sheep. If you have a shepherd, and the sheep are going to lie down in green pastures, there are sheep.
And when I think of the Lord's table, when He said, "Thou preparest a table before my enemies", there's a shepherd, the great Shepherd, Jesus, who is always attracted to this table. This table cannot be partaken of without the Shepherd's appearance. As a matter of fact, when they took the Passover meal, your Bible said that God moved down from, through the mountains to the camp of Israel.
There is something about the Lord's table that requires a bringing of a close presence of God. That's why sometimes you feel something when you do communion, and it's not just an emotion. There is a guaranteed presence of God. I know God is everywhere, but He does not manifest His presence everywhere. But He said, "Anywhere this is entered into with full knowledge of what you're doing, My presence", the presence of the Shepherd, "is there". The presence of the sheep are at the 23rd Psalm and they're at this table, because you and I are the sheep of His pasture.
Notice that in the 23rd Psalm, "Thou anointest my head with oil", and that has a reference to healing. And there is an anointing at this table for healing. In the Passover meal, the Bible said, "After they ate the meal, there was not a sick or feeble one among them". When they left Egyptian bondage, something they ate in the meal, it became the meal that heals. And when we enter into this meal, there is an abiding healing anointing on this meal. Not only that, but in Psalms 23, there is a cup. "My cup runneth over". And we have the cup of the wine of the New Testament. And not only was there a cup, but there is restoration. "He restores my soul", in Psalms 23, and this is a meal where God says, "I restore things". This is the meal of restoration.
And then, he said, "Goodness and mercy", in Psalms 23, "will follow me" and at this table is the goodness and the mercy of God. And here's the point: when you partake of this meal with faith, it activates... that's a big word... it activates all of the promises of God. There were seven blessings that God told Israel He would put on them after they partook of the Passover meal. For example, He said things like "you'll have long life". He said, "I'll send My angel before you". He said, "I'll cause healing to come to you". He said, "Prosperity would come on you and you will become fruitful". He said, "If the enemies come at you one way, they will flee another because", seven ways, "because you will be under My protection".
That was under the Passover meal. But Jesus, on the day of Passover, purposely had the Last Supper with His disciples so He could institute this meal, the Lord's table. And all of those blessings are activated when we partake of this meal in faith. I want you to you think about what I'm saying. The Passover meal came about and - You remember what God told them to do? He said, "You are to slay a lamb for your house", and He said, "you are to take the blood of the lamb and you are to place it on the side posts of your door", paint it with blood on the side post of the door, "and over the top post of the door. You are to have blood". So you would be covered in the blood. You would be surrounded by the blood.
But He did not say, "Put blood on the threshold" because the blood is never to be trampled. And here's the power of this. And God said, "When My angel", the death angel - It was not a demon. It was an angel. And the death angel, when he sees the blood on your door post, he, the death angel, will pass over your house. In other words, when you put this meal on you and in you, there is an application of the blood. The most powerful avenue of prayer - Listen carefully. The most powerful avenue of prayer that you can ever learn to pray is when you approach heaven this way, "Father, I come in the name of Jesus and I plead the blood of the Lamb".
There's something about pleading the blood of the Lamb. And listen, if a death angel could not cross the blood line, then I know one thing for sure. If an angel couldn't cross the blood line, the devil cannot cross the blood line. And there's power, there's supernatural power at the Lord's table. I plead the blood. He commanded them. He said, "I want you to eat the lamb at Passover". And He said, "Eat all the lamb", in Exodus 12. Not bits and pieces. Some acknowledge Jesus as Savior, but they have not made Him Lord. Savior's only found 33 times in the Bible, but Lord is found 400 times. And there's a difference between Savior and Lord. Savior means I've got fire insurance; I know I'm not going to hell. But He's not Lord of anything in my life. I do whatever I want to do and I still have Him as my insurance blanket or my insurance clause.
But listen to me. If you want joy, He said, "Eat all of it". I don't just want Him as Savior. I want Him Lord of my life. I want the open doors and I want the closed doors. I want the yeses and I want the nos. I want the people He brings and I want the people He says are not good for me. And when you say, "Jesus", this is not the Savior's table. It's called the Lord's table. And it's because He must be Lord. "Eat it all". I don't just want salvation. I see baptism in the Holy Ghost on that table. I see deliverance from every addiction on that table. I see purity and integrity on that table. I see prosperity on that table. I see freedom on that table. And don't take bits and pieces of it. Eat it all. Eat it all.
Think about this: the Lord's table, the communion meal, is the only thing of faith that we're told to physically touch. Every other thing in that Bible, He says, "You walk by faith", not by what you can see and touch. But when it comes to this table, God says, "There's something different about this table". It's the only place He makes active faith visible. "I want you to come and I want you to hold the bread and touch the bread", and it is a physical thing that you are touching that will activate these blessings when you partake of it. "I want you to hold the cup. I want you to drink the fruit of the vine. And when you drink it, I want you to understand what you are touching and what you are seeing".
Every other thing, you walk by faith; but this is a moment when your faith actually is to be connected to physical things that you can see that represent His blood and His body. And really, what He's saying is "just as I was the Word in the beginning, and the Word became flesh, blood and flesh, and dwelt among us, when you take this meal, you are". He is being reincarnated in you through the blood, through the body and the only Jesus that people see is the One who comes through you. And you are to expect, "when you eat this bread, which is My body, and you drink this wine, which represents My blood, then you are", Christ is being reborn, reincarnate - I'm not afraid of that word because that's really what He wants.
The Bible said, "Your epistle is read of all men". Your friends will never read this book, but they're reading you. And you're supposed to be projecting Jesus. And He said, "I want you to physically take Me in so that I will project out of you wherever you go". Say amen, somebody. He said, "This do", told His disciples, "This do in remembrance of Me". So it's supposed to invoke memories, that when I enter into this meal, I remember how lost I was, I remember how low I was, I remember how messed up I was without Jesus, how blind I was, how conceited and arrogant. But "at the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light, and the burdens of my soul".
And you don't understand that line if you've never felt the burdens of your soul. You couldn't get out of the pit. You couldn't get out of the darkness. You couldn't get out of the night of your soul. But suddenly, "at the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light, and the burdens of my soul". The addictions, the bondage, the shame, the guilt... Listen to the words, "were rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I'm happy, and now I'm happy all the day". Is anybody still happy about Jesus? This is a joyful meal. It'll give joy to you if you'll let it. Be not sorrowful. The joy of the Lord is your strength. If you're running out of joy, you're running out of strength, come to this table. It's a joyful celebration. Hallelujah.
I know I need to calm down. I know I need to, but I just feel like shouting. I still am thankful that my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Whoo! When Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 26, He said, "I want you to on". It says these words. Just to point it out again, He said on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, which is Passover, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Where do You want us to have Passover", and He said, "You're to go to a certain city and you'll see... Go to Jerusalem. You're to see a certain man on the street. He'll be carrying a pitcher of water on his head". Isn't that amazing? "And you tell him I need his house. He's got an upper room. He's going to give Me that house and we're going to have communion up there before", they didn't know it, but He was thinking, "before I go to the cross and die". Sure enough, they found this guy.
Notice that He said, "This communion meal that I'm about to cut with you is going to happen in a house". Jesus made communion a your house experience, not just a church house experience; that whatever we do in the church house, He said, "It is not over here, but you're carrying it back to your house...the victory, the joy, the peace, the goodness and mercy, and all the anointing and the cup that's running over and the blessings of this meal that are activated. It's not just in this house, but it's coming to your house". This is a your house blessing. It says in Exodus 12 that "this is the beginning of the year".
When they started and had the Passover meal, it began a new year. This is the beginning of the year. This is the first month. In other words, when we enter into communion on God's calendar, He wipes everything out and He says, "This is a brand-new day, this is a brand-new beginning. You cannot partake of this". And it just simply means that after you've had this meal today, it's the first day of the rest of your life. The other stuff is over and "you can have whatever I told you can have", and it starts here and now. The past does not control you. The ghost of guilt cannot haunt you anymore. This is a brand-new beginning. Clap your hands and praise God if you believe in the power of the Lord's table. He said, "Get full of the lamb".
This is interesting. And when they served them, in Exodus 12, the Passover meal, I should have put one out here... they had a side dish. The Bible said the lamb is to be served, under the old covenant, with bitter herbs. Bitter herbs. It was a side dish of bitter herbs. And that represents the bitter things of life; that whatever life sends you that could stain you and leave you bitter the rest of your life, the sweetness of the lamb is supposed to even out the bitterness of life. And notice, the bitterness is a side dish. It was put in a little side dish and they would put salt water and certain herbs that they would put in there, and they would put it in salt water, representing the tears that they cried in Egyptian bondage.
And the point is this: the bitterness of life are real and they come to all of us, the bitter things that happen that change everything in your life, but they're just a side dish. And the key to overcoming the side dish is to eat the main meal, which is the lamb, and the sweetness of the lamb will even out the side dish of bitterness that life serves you, that whatever bitter thing that could turn you mean and ugly or just hard and cold, instead, you keep eating all of the lamb. You get full of the lamb and the bitter things get evened out with the sweetness of the lamb. That's the power of the Lord's table. He said, "Now, there's going to come generations on down the road who weren't there at the Passover when you came out of Egypt. And the children are going to ask, What does this meal mean"? And he said, "You are to, you are to take them back and teach them how you were brought out at this meal".
This is a generational meal. I want families to have this meal together. Listen to this. And Jesus said a powerful thing right here. "As often as you do this, you do this in remembrance of Me". Now, watch this. The opposite of the word remember is dismember. Dismember means to be pulled apart. So if there is anything that has happened in a family that was united and one together, and maybe a disagreement happened and there is a dismembering, when you come to this table, there is a supernatural power to remember what has been dismembered. Whatever disagreements, whatever things that have hit your family, that are tearing your marriage apart, tearing your family apart, tearing your relationships that you care so much apart. He says, "When you come to My table, there is a mysterious power on this meal that it can take things that are dismembered and it can remember them".
I'm talking to backsliders watching me by television and all over this room and at every campus who have been dismembered. You've fallen so far away. But if you will, in humility, approach this table today, God says, "I will remember those who have been dismembered by shame and guilt and sin". He says that all that they had in that upper room with the disciples, when Jesus had the last supper, all that we're told is bread and wine, the fruit of the vine. That's it. No lamb. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John... no lamb is mentioned. There was no lamb in the meal. But the Passover had lamb. Why? Where was the lamb?
The lamb was not on the table, the Lamb was sitting at the table. But 24 hours from that moment, they would drag Him out and hang Him on a cross. And the Lamb would be crucified. And any time, let me tell you the mystery of this meal, any time you come to this table, you cannot approach it without the Lamb being on the table and at the table. He is here. I know He's everywhere, but He doesn't manifest everywhere, but wherever you approach it with revelation of what I'm sharing with you, He is here. Not only that, there's a mysterious recipe in the wine, because if you've ever busted your nose and had it drip on a white shirt...
There's a crazy verse in John that says, "If you confess your sins, He's faithful and just to cleanse you of all your sins". The precious blood of Jesus will cleanse you of all your unrighteousness and take your stain of sin away. If you know anything about blood, if it drips on a white shirt, that doesn't cleanse that shirt. It stains it. Blood stains. It doesn't cleanse. But the blood of Jesus is different, because it said in the book of Revelation, when everything's over, we'll be wearing white robes. And He said, "These are they whose garments are white, washed in the blood of the Lamb". How do you wash something in blood, and it becomes white and the stains are removed? There's a mysterious ingredient in the blood of Jesus Christ, and it removes the stains of sin. And this is the power of the Lord's table.