Welcome to the Lord’s Evening Meal
DO YOU believe in the existence of the Creator, the God who made heaven and earth? Do you have respect for his Word, the Holy Bible? Do you appreciate that God ‘loved the world so much that he sent his only-begotten Son to earth to lay down his life, so that whoever believes on him might not be destroyed but gain everlasting life’? (John 3:16) If so, then you are most welcome to meet with Jehovah’s witnesses at one of their Kingdom Halls on Tuesday evening, April 1, 1969, to commemorate the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why do Jehovah’s witnesses commemorate the death of the Lord? How do they commemorate it? Why on this date?
Because Jesus’ death made possible the salvation of humankind it is most fitting that it be commemorated. Furthermore, by Jesus’ faithfulness to death he vindicated his Father’s name, clearing it from the reproach heaped upon it by Satan the Devil, who taunted that he could turn all men away from God. And it is also most fitting that we commemorate his death in view of what it cost Jesus to accomplish these things. He left heavenly glory and “took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men.” He then “humbled himself and became obedient as far as . . . death on a torture stake.”—Phil. 2:7, 8; Job chapters 1 and 2; Prov. 27:11.
Surely such a noble, unselfish course, resulting in such great benefit to humankind and honor to his heavenly Father, deserves to be commemorated. More than that, Jesus Christ gave explicit instructions that his followers should memorialize his death, telling them, “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) This being the only festival or celebration that Christians are commanded to observe, surely none of Christ’s followers would want to slight it!
How should the death of our Lord be commemorated? More than one Bible writer gives us the details. On this occasion there will be fine instruction and admonition as to the meaning of Christ’s death and the example he set for his followers. There will also be fervent prayers to Jehovah God and the singing of appropriate songs of praise. And there will be on hand unleavened bread and pure red wine. Why unleavened bread? Because unleavened bread was used when Jesus instituted the memorial of his death. Most fittingly it pictures Jesus’ sinless body, just as the pure red wine is a fitting symbol of his blood.—1 Cor. 5:7, 8; 11:23-25; John chapters 13 to 17; Matt. 26:26-30.
Among other things, the speaker of the evening will make clear who are to partake of the emblematic bread and wine. These are the ones who not only are Christians, dedicated to the doing of God’s will, but have been begotten by God’s holy spirit to a heavenly hope and so have the witness of the spirit that they are the sons of God. All such are in the covenant for a kingdom that Jesus made with his followers, even as he indicated on the night he instituted his evening meal. (Luke 22:28-30; Rom. 8:14-17) Furthermore, these, to partake worthily, must be living up to their dedication vow, both as regards faithfully fulfilling their preaching commission and as regards their own personal conduct.—1 Cor. 11:27-34; 2 Cor. 5:20, 21.
Last year 2,493,519 attended this celebration of the Lord’s supper in association with Jehovah’s witnesses, but only 10,619 partook of the emblems. Why did all these attend even though they did not partake? Why should you attend? For more than one good reason. You should attend so as to comply with the Bible’s command not to forsake assembling together with the people of God. (Heb. 10:23-25) Moreover, on this occasion there will be a rehearsal of what Jehovah has done for mankind and in particular of what Jesus Christ accomplished by his coming to earth. Highlighted also will be the fine instructions he gave and the fine example he set for his followers. So by your attending you will benefit greatly in a spiritual way.
But you may ask, Why should this celebration of our Lord’s death take place on April 1 this year, and that all over the earth on the same date? Because that is Nisan 14, according to the Jewish calendar, on which date Jesus instituted the celebration of his death. That date calls to mind the night 1,545 years earlier when the nation of Israel was set free from Egyptian bondage at the time of the death of all of Egypt’s firstborn. That deliverance certainly deserved being memorialized, and so Jehovah God commanded that it should be. How fitting that Jesus’ death, which makes deliverance from bondage to sin and death possible for all humankind, should take place and be memorialized on this same night!—Ex. 13:1-16.
The Christian witnesses of Jehovah are especially interested and concerned that all those with whom they are studying the Bible associate with them on this evening in their Kingdom Halls. If you are one of these persons you are to be commended for being conscious of your spiritual need and making progress in understanding God’s Word and purposes. Attending on this occasion will increase your appreciation of what Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have done for you, and you will also find it a happy occasion. In fact, all who have ever studied the Bible with one of the Witnesses or who enjoy reading their Bible literature are urged to attend. Fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates we are living in the “last days” and that opportunities to demonstrate where we stand in the matter of pure worship are running out.—2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rev. 18:4.
So, welcome to the celebration of the Lord’s evening meal at one of the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s witnesses on Tuesday evening, April 1, 1969. Come and increase your appreciation of what Jehovah God and Jesus Christ have done. Learn also about what they are now doing and will yet do for humankind. Yes, come and learn how you can gain God’s approval and everlasting life.—John 17:3.