We have said that worship is a kind of tryst between Jesus and his bride. We must also add that it is a tryst at which Jesus expects to find his bride faithful to him. Every Lord’s day is implicitly a day of the Lord. Days of the Lord are a time of inspection and judgment upon the whole world, but particularly a time of inspection for Jesus’s church, because judgment always begins at the house of God.
We see a clear example of this in the book of Revelation, which takes place on the Lord’s day (Rev. 1:10) and which commentators have observed follows the structure of a worship liturgy. Very early in this book Jesus inspects and evaluates seven churches in Asia, and the book itself constitutes an inspection and prophesied judgment upon an eighth church, the apostate house of Israel in Jerusalem.
Such inspections follow the pattern of the jealousy inspection in Numbers 5. The bride brings a tribute offering, which consisted of bread (Leviticus 2) and which we know was also typically offered together with wine (Exodus 29). In addition, the bride drinks, and her drinking reveals her faithfulness or faithlessness. While this ritual seems strange, and there are no human examples of its practice, there are many times when Jesus inspects his bride according to this pattern. One clear example is the case of the golden calf (Exodus 32), where Israel is made to drink water with gold dust and those who were unfaithful to Jesus were put to death. Apostate Israel drank the blood of prophets and saints (Matt. 23, Rev. 16-18), which had the result that “their table became a snare and a trap” (Rom. 11 quoting Ps. 69).
In the same way, the Lord’s supper serves as a jealousy inspection of Jesus’s bride. It is a bringing of bread and wine before Jesus that discriminates between those who fellowship with him and those who fellowship with demons (1 Cor. 10). It distinguishes between those who eat in unity and those who eat in disunity (1 Cor. 10–11; Gal. 2), even to the point of bringing about sickness and death.
A faithful church need not fear Jesus’s inspection, his walking among the lampstands; she can confidently enjoy free fellowship with him at his table. And even a faithless church ought to welcome Jesus, for he brings discipline and restoration for those who repent.
Thus, weekly communion: every Lord’s day is inescapably a day of the Lord; as his bride, we must present ourselves for his inspection together with bread and wine. But we do so in eager anticipation of his blessing (even if it arrives through his discipline) and table fellowship. The inspection ends with the tryst.