Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley…….”
These opening words of the passionate novel “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier, and they are well-rehearsed in the ears of literary lovers. We all have many ‘Last Nights’. Times of past hurt – times of disappointments: times we call “Last Night”. Times of past joy – times of delights – times we call “Last Night”. “Last Nights” in childhood. “Last Nights” in adulthood. “Last Nights” in relationships – always moving forward to the next joyful or disappointing, “Last Night.”
Sometimes a “Last Night” is a memory of utter bliss – of precious joy, but more often those memorable “Last Nights” …are times of anguished hurt.. followed by seasons of deep pain. Pain for self, oh yes – but how much more, pain for the other. Pain when you find yourself tormented and in deep sorrow… Stunned into disbelief, paralysed by grief, when you thought your heart would break. “Last Night” when you found yourself betrayed – betrayed by a friend you love.
Where love is wounded to its core.. where trust is tried to its bitter limits.. where hope seems dashed to the stony ground.. where joy seems ground to the dust of ashes – where patience screams forgive!! forgive!! forgive. The subject of a breach of trust.. the object of a cruel joke.. There are many “Last Nights,” when hearts break. “Last Night” has been played out many times over. “Last Night” has been the experience down through the ages.
But what of that One Last Night – that holy, “Last Night”? That last night that He was betrayed.. betrayed by one He knew.. betrayed by a friend He loved. Friend, why have you come? Judas are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss? Luke 22:48. That ‘Last Night’ – where love was wounded to its core. Could you not watch with me one hour? Matthew 26:40. That ‘Last Night’ trust was tried to its bitter limits.. and they all forsook Him and fled. Mark 14:50. That ‘Last Night’ hope seemed dashed to the stony ground. There they crucified Him. John 9:18. That ‘Last Night’ He was a subject of a breach of faith: “I find no fault in this Man”…. “Crucify Him”. Luke 23:14
That ‘Last Night’ He was the object of a cruel joke.. they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head, and when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to be crucified. Matthew 27:30-40. That ‘Last Night’ – patience screamed forgive!! forgive!! FORGIVE?? Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34. That ‘Last Night’ joy seemed ground to the dust of ashes.. and Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, John 20:11
But on that night.. that holy, “Last Night”.. the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” for as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason, many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:23-31
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