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The Lord’s Table

Well it has been a joyous and I’m sure trying time for everyone here as your search for a pastor has taken a long time. For everyone out here I’m sure there has been much anticipation.
As Clary had mentioned earlier there are in the coming days many transitions that are taking place. I don’t want you to think of this as something where the leadership of the Church is handing over reigns to me but instead where we are running in a marathon race together for the Glory of God and the edification of His bride.
The responsibility of preaching week after week will now fall upon me, which is something I will prayerfully manage with great responsibility.
The joyous challenges of pastoral counseling will transition over to myself and over time I am overjoyed at the great ministry that is going to take place here.
Yet this ministry does not happen where it falls on the back of one individual but jointly as an entire body of God’s redeemed people seeking after His face.
And it is with those things in mind I thought it fitting for us as a congregation to come together and to rejoice over the Lord’s Supper.
This message today might not be what you would call a sermon but more of a time of celebration and rejoicing as God’s people for the way that He providentially works all things together for His Glory.
There are a couple things that I would like to focus on as we come together for the Lord’s Table and as we together start this new journey for Kirkwood Baptist Church.
One thing that was illustrated and talked through and prayed through was those cultural differences.
Yet in Christ we know there is neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, neither male or female for in Christ we are all one.
So cultural differences aside, we are beautifully brought together through the Gospel.
The Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself every division that came from sin entering into the world and removed that burden for us so that as we look at one another we no longer see remnants of cultural background, ethnicity, gender or social class.
Instead what we see is a world full of those who resemble the Imago Dei but have been marred by sin.
Sin that is dealt with at the foot of the cross where the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ made the one and only perfect atonement.
We are starting this journey together as people made in the Image of God but marred by the fall and that wretched sin nature that overtakes us all.
We begin this journey with many things that have changed within this very body.
These are things recognized by prayerfully every single one of us in this room.
And I am no different than anyone of you in this beautifully painted masterpiece of God’s salvation story.
I do not come here with high hopes of winning souls on the basis of my abilities.
I am not here to win your hearts by some personality traits that you may like.
I and the rest of the leadership within this body are here serving right along side one another for the fullness of the Gospel as ungdershepherds to the one Great Shepherd.
And knowing this reminds me that there is no better way for us to start this journey together than to come together in remembrance of the very one who unifies us together.
The One who brings all of us together, equal before the foot of the Cross.
The One who is truly guiding this great work and revival within the hearts of His people.
And we do that in a form of remembrance of who He is at the Lord’s Table.
A time where our souls are brought to a place where we recollect the atoning of the Lord Jesus Christ and through remembrance have our spirits nourished in reflection of Him.
With all that in mind I want to give you a short sermonette if you will where we recognize the introduction of the Lord’s Supper by Christ and see our need for it as a Body of believers.
If you have your Bible’s with you which I pray you do, please turn with me to and we will read through verse 25.
What we find here is the account of the Lord Jesus instituting the Lord’s Supper as a replacement for the Passover.
Now I am sure that each of us are familiar with the Passover story found in the Exodus account.
There is probably no need for me to recount it but for the sake of context I find it’s vital for us to have it in our minds.
Israel was held captive in slavery for 400 years in Egypt and upon God’s demand, Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go.
Warning after warning ensued in the building up to the first account where the passover actually took place.
9 Separate plagues came upon the people of Egypt and with each one, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened a little more making the demand to free God’s people less likely.
All the way up until the point that within the heart of Pharaoh was found such a hardness of heart that when God spoke through Moses and Aaron of the last plague that would come about, Pharaoh had no concern for the life of his very own son.
You see that last plague was one where the first born in all the land would die should there be no repentance.
Should Pharaoh’s heart not soften to a point where he would release God’s people, the firstborn male of every family will die.
This is where we find the Passover for the first time in Scripture and when you look at it, it seems atrocious.
God’s people were commanded to take a spotless lamb without blemish and slaughter it, putting the blood on the doorpost of their home as a sign of who they were in God.
They were then commanded to cook and eat the meat of the passover lamb leaving none of it to remain until the morning.
That night as the whole community of Egypt slept, the angel of the Lord descended upon all of Egypt and regardless of who you were, should your door not be marked with the sign and the seal of the blood, the Angel of the Lord would visit your house removing from this earth the life of the first born son.
Now understand me for a second, this blood on the door post was there for a sign.
It wasn’t a sign for God but it was a sign for the people of God to be reminded of a need for atonement.
A need to be marked and set apart .
It represented the need for an atonement.
This same symbolism is seen in the desert many years later when Israel needed to look upon the brazen serpent to be healed.
You see this symbolism on this text and that is not to make it sound as if these are stories for that is not the case.
The Exodus out of Egypt was a very literal event.
Much in the same way that the passover that the Lord Jesus Christ celebrated was a very real occurence.
Not only did He celebrate this for all of his life growing up as a Jew but Jesus in this very passage of Scripture shows how He was and Is the fulfillment of this atonement.
You see the blood on the lintel of the door represented much more than what initially catches a readers attention.
It signifies mankind’s need for a covering.
One who would be the perfect and spotless lamb.
One without blemish.
One that would pay the ransom for all those who would ever come to HIm.
For all those who would have their lives marked by the blood.
And those in the first century would have had no confusion about what Christ was saying when He said that this was the blood of the covenant.
They had been celebrating passover for countless of thousands of years and it signified a covenant of God’s fulfilling promises to His people.
So when Jesus said this is my body and it is broken for you, they understood His symbolism in contrast to the Passover Lamb, not the passover feast.
Let me say that again to make sure it’s clear, although they celebrated the passover meal, what Christ was saying represented the lamb slaughtered for the passover.
The Lamb who was spotless and yet broken for the people.
When He said that this was the blood of the covenant, there was no confusion of what graphically poured into their minds.
They would see a spotless lamb at a young age who was without blemish having it’s throat cut so that it’s blood may be poured out for the purpose of redeeming Israel.
The way a first century Jew would have understood Jesus saying this would have came across clear as day.
The idea of Jesus being broken and pouring out His life blood as a covering explodes from this passage of Scripture.
Although this idea of the Lord being poured out in this way at first seems horrid, as Christians looking back almost 2000 years later we have the ability to see the absolute beauty of what was being said here.
Christ was being offered up as the spotless lamb for God’s people.
The covering that is necessary for fallen man is found only in the one being poured out.
It is not found in the celebration of the feast.
It is not found in the elements themselves.
It is found in Christ and in our remembrance of His work at Calvary.
I normally don’t do analogies as you get to many people out there that like to take stories like David and Goliath and say that you are David and you need to slay your Goliath.
But there are times when analogies help an audience to understand the correlation of something and this case, I’ll make an exception as I’m pretty confident I can defend it from Scripture.
Imagine with me for a moment that you, and all of fallen humanity are the firstborn held in captivity in Egypt.
Pharaoh and Egypt is not merely the ruler and the land but he is the king of your heart!
Pharaoh is the sin nature that binds your heart and Egypt is sin in which you live.
And you have an impending judgment coming your way and the only thing that will keep you alive is the body and the blood of the lamb without blemish.
You have a need for this atoning blood to cover over you
Are you seeing a little clearer here what the disciples of Jesus would have been hearing him say?
They were understanding this to say that Jesus, their Lord would be handed over and that His body would be broken.
He would be marred by the punishment inflicted upon Him.
And at the foot of the Cross, His lifeblood would run down to the ground as a covering for all who would come to Him.
To take this passage a little bit deeper and to shore up what Jesus was saying as representing His impending death, one need only look the use of the word SOMA.
The word SOMA in the Greek has a multitude of meanings but is generally used for the literal word body.
That’s why in 14:8 we see that exact word being used to reference His body being anointed prior to burial.
Had there been any difference of understanding, Mark could have very easily substituted the word for something different.
But instead he transcribed exactly what the Lord said so there would be no confusion of what was to come.
As I have said many times over, what was being said here by the Lord left no room for the disciples to think that something else was going to happen.
They knew that the Lord was going to be poured out as the blood covering, and I’m sure that in their minds they were not sure how to take that.
In much the same way, when we think of the work that Christ did upon calvary, our minds can quickly become muddled in the depths of what took place.
That Jesus Christ, the spotless lamb of God would be led to the slaughter and upon the cross have the full weight of the wrath of God poured out upon Him for our sake.
Those thoughts in their fullest are beyond our deepest ability to grasp.
Yet we have the ability to understand the most basic premise that tells us that it should have been us upon that cross.
It should have been us had the full wrath of God poured out upon us for our sin and to have that continue for an eternity in hell.
Yet should that be the case, there would be no payment ever made that would truly satisfy.
No amount of time nor amount of suffering on our parts could ever cover the enormity of our sins before Holy God.
So instead, the Lord Jesus Christ offered up Himself in our place.
That perfect and spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
And it is that which we come together to celebrate today.
We celebrate in remembrance the beauty of the work that Jesus accomplished.
We take time to feed the spiritual side of our soul and have it nourished by rejoicing in this great love.

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

This is also why we find Christ saying
Augustine stated this about the bread of the passover:
With that in mind I would like our four ushers to come forward please as we prepare our hearts to go before the Lord for Communion.
“How is the bread his body? and the cup, or that which the cup contains, how is that his blood? These are, therefore, called sacraments, because in them one thing is seen while another thing is understood”
The Lord’s table is open to anyone has professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is not under discipline at either this Church or another.
The Apostles sitting with Christ would have heard grac
As the ushers come by would you please pull a piece of the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine come around, please hold them until we can in unity partake together.
Please pause for a moment and take the time to give thanks and praise to God for the forgiveness of your sin.

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

Closing prayer.
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