And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast.' ISAIAH xxv.6.
There is here a reference to Sinai, where a feast followed the vision of God. It was the sign of covenant, harmony, and relationship, and was furnished by a sacrifice.
I. The General Ideas contained in this Image of a Feast.
We meet it all through Scripture; it culminates in Christ's parables and in the 'Marriage Supper of the Lamb.'
In the image are suggested: --
Free familiarity of access, fellowship, and communion with Him.
Abundant Supply of all wants and desires.
II. The Feast follows on Sacrifice. We find that usage of a feast following a sacrifice existing in many races and religions. It seems to witness to a widespread consciousness of sin as disturbing our relations with God. These could be set right only by sacrifice, which therefore must precede all joyful communion with Him.
The New Testament accepts that truth and clears it from the admixture of heathenism.
God provides the Sacrifice.
It is not brought by man. There is no need for our efforts -- no atonement to be found by us. The sacrifice is not meant to turn aside God's wrath.
Communion is possible through Christ.
In Him God is revealed.
Objective hindrances are taken away.
Subjective ones are removed.
Dark fears -- indifference -- dislike of fellowship -- Sin -- these make communion with God impossible.
At Sinai the elders 'saw God, and did eat and drink' Here the end of the preceding chapter shows the 'elders' gazing on the glory of Jehovah's reign in Zion.
III. The Feast consists of a Sacrifice.
Christ is the food of our souls, He and His work are meant to nourish our whole being. He is the object for all our nature.
The Sacrifice must be incorporated with us. It is not enough that it be offered, it must also be partaken of.
Now the Sacrifice is eaten by faith, and by occupation with it of each part of our being, according to its own proper action. Through love, obedience, hope, desire, we may all feed on Jesus.
The Lord's Supper presents the same thoughts, under similar symbols, as Isaiah expressed in his prophecy.
Symbolically we feast on the sacrifice when we eat the Bread which is the Body broken for us. But the true eating of the true sacrifice is by faith. Crede et manducasti -- Believe, and thou hast eaten.