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Communion - Sufficiency of Christ's Sacrifice

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Recap of the End of Passion Week

Over the last several weeks we have been reminded of some of the events in the last week of Jesus life
The four gospels record significant details of the last 24 hours...
Jesus and his disciples shared the Passover meal together
Jesus gives the Upper Room discourse -
his is where Jesus instituted communion… the bread points to/symbolizes the broken body of Christ, the cup symbolizes the blood of Christ
At some point, Judas leaves the group to work out details of the betrayal
At some point, Judas leaves the group to work out details of the betrayal
At some point, Judas leaves the group to work out details of the betrayal
Perhaps while the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest is the point Jesus gets up and starts to wash their feet
Jesus and disciples leave the city - crossing the Kidron Valley - going up toward the Mount of Olives… stopping at the Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus agonizes in prayer… sweating blood… surrendering his own will to God’s
The disciples fall asleep several time
Judas leads the Roman soldiers to Jesus and betrays Him with a kiss
Jesus is taken to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, for a preliminary hearing
Jesus taken to the Sandhedrin
Jesus taken to Pilate
Pilate sends Jesus to Herod
Herod sends him back to Pilate… who washes his hands of Jesus guilt
throughout this process, Jesus suffers excruciatingly… as He is beaten, scorned, spit upon, thorns put on his head, etc.
The pain he endured was the worst endured by any human who ever lived
Barabbas, a known “terrorist” is released…
Jesus can barely walk to Golgotha where he is crucified… nailed to a wooden cross under a sign stating he is king of the Jews
It becomes dark in the middle of the afternoon
When Jesus declares “It is finished” and takes His last breath the earth quakes and the curtain in the temple is ripped from top to bottom
A Roman soldier admits “Truly this was the Son of God”

It is finished!

Jesus washes feet
Gethsemane
Caiaphas, the high priest
Peter denies Jesus
Pilate, the govenor
Herod
Pilate
Galatians 2:20–21 ESV
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
gal 2:
Ephesians 2 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Eph 2
Hebrews 10 ESV
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Hebrews 10:19–24 ESV
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
Hebrews 10:1–19 ESV
1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:

It is finished!

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ”
8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
The significance and the magnitude of what Jesus accomplished is difficult for us to even comprehend
We have never needed to make one animal sacrifice for our sins
When Jesus came and died, this was a never-ending ritual for the Jews… sacrificing an animal for the sins they committed.
the sacrifice didn’t bring forgiveness of the sins… it didn’t bring peace… it didn’t perfect or change a person
It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin… yet, under the law, animals were sacrificed again and again out of obedience
It was a constant reminder of the inadequacy of the animal sacrifices
Jesus changed all that - not a little, but monumentally!
When Christ came into the world… he pointed to the inadequacy of the animal sacrifices…
Jesus did the will of His Father - and because of that, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE AND FOR ALL
That is why we partake in the bread tonight… to commemorate Christ’s broken physical body for our spiritual sanctification
When Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cruel cross, he FOR ALL TIME made a SINGLE and ADEQUATE sacrifice for sin…
When He ascended, He sat down with the Father - indicating the work of redemption was fully accomplished
no longer are any temporary animal sacrifices required… Jesus sacrifice was complete and fully sufficient!
With that ONE sacrifice, Jesus perfected for all time those who are being sanctified
The Holy Spirit has been given to us and He engraves His laws in the hearts and minds of believers…
Because of Christ’s PERFECT, SUFFICIENT, and COMPLETE sacrifice on the cross… what is our response? What should it be?
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:19–25 ESV
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Do we respond in a way that gives appropriate honor and appreciation to Jesus Christ?
Heb 10:19-
OR do we act in such a way that brings dishonor?
Do we respond in a way that honors Jesus Christ?
Do our lives and lifestyles communicate indebted love to Jesus for what He has done on our behalf?
Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we can confidently enter the most holy place - the holy of holies
Jesus sacrifice and death LITERALLY opened up a new and living access to God… opening the curtain
We drink of the cup as a reminder of this incredible privilege… to boldly and with confidence (and no fear) come right into the presence of God
Jesus sacrifice and death LITERALLY opened up a new and living access to God… opening the curtain
Prior to Jesus death, there was no direct access to God by anyone (except the high priest once per year)
In Juan’s devotions this morning, the widow CRIED OUT to Elisha… which is a picture of us crying out to God… directly, in person, not through an intermediary
THREE COMMANDS as a response… since we have direct access to God
Let us DRAW NEAR with a true heart in full assurance of faith...
Let us draw near with a true heart...
Come closer to Jesus… move toward… approach
Jesus opened the curtain and we have direct access to God Almighty
In order to draw near, it means we are moving toward God… moment by moment, day after day
We don’t arrive… we can always draw nearer to the heart of God
If we aren’t closer to God today than we were yesterday it reveals something about our heart… it is not truly centered on Christ
My desire for you and me is that we can continually move closer… be drawn nearer (song: Draw Me Nearer) to Gol
Let us HOLD FAST the confession of our hope without wavering …
Hang on tightly… continue to believe and act accordingly… continue to believe and practice...
Refuse to compromise the truths of the message of Jesus Christ and the Word of God
We live in a culture and environment that is frequently at odds with orthodox Christianity… true, authentic, historical, biblical Christianity
Our willingness (or unwillingness) to acclimate to current social pressures on what portions of scripture are applicable today reveals whether we are holding fast
We need each other - we need the church - we need strong brothers and sisters - to identify and warn us of potential areas of compromise
Let’s hang on tightly… let’s continue to BELIEVE and PRACTICE… it takes both (neither one is adequate by itself)
What we believe matters!
Relativity where each of us can believe what we want is not an option for true believers… we must HOLD FAST to the message of scripture!
Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed (#722 in Mennonite Hymnal) have been around almost 2,000 and they summarize well very core beliefs about Jesus Christ
Let us STIR UP one another to love and good works...
stimulating a change in motivation or attitude… to cause… KJV=provoke
… not neglecting to meet together
… but encouraging one another
How do we motivate each other to love and good works… to meet… to encourage?
One of the key aspects of this command is that we can’t live the Christian life alone
We are not designed that way… we don’t have what it takes within us… we need other people...
We need each other… I need you… you need me…
Meaningful interaction is necessary and essential for our survival and growth
We all want to love and do good works out of love for Jesus Christ
the desire is there… there is a bed of coals lying within believers
Our brothers and sisters recognize our desire and the potential and stir up the coals in our heart to bring life and fire to us
We need the encouragement and motivation from each other to maximize our lives for God
We can’t do that well if we don’t see each other… getting together as friends, as brothers, as sisters, is important
it can be formal… it can be informal… but in person interaction has a way of stirring up and motivating us to live more wisely
We are doing this very thing in several ways this evening...
We are gathered in the same location commemorating what Jesus did on that cross for us…
We are sharing testimonies of God’s work and grace in our lives
We will be partaking of the bread and the cup TOGETHER (not alone)
We will be washing each others feet as a way of demonstrating love and service for others… and love and service to Jesus Christ for what He did on our behalf
We will be given opportunity to share financially … the Benevolence Fund is used for unanticipated needs both within the congregation and those in the community
All of these components convey something of the value and appreciation we have for each other…
For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Hebrews 10:26–31 ESV
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb 10:
As remarkable and amazing as Jesus sacrifice is for each and every person...
The perfect sacrifice is useless if we reject Him!
Rather, we become an accomplice in the crucifixion
Jesus sacrifice for our sins will transform us
Jesus is the only way to salvation…
to assume or pretend or believe there are other options… beyond the transforming work of Jesus Christ in our lives…
is to join the Roman soldiers, the Jews, and the mob in beating him, mocking him, and driving the nails through his hands and feet
is to join the Roman soldiers, the Jews, and the mob in beating him, mocking him, and driving the nails through his hands and feet
is outright rejection of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world,
it is placing oneself in the judgement of a holy and living God
Ephesians 2 ESV
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him [Jesus Christ] and seated us with him [Jesus Christ] in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself [Jesus Christ] one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body [the church] through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him [Jesus Christ] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom [Jesus Christ] the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him [Jesus Christ] you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Conclusion

What is our response to the redemptive and sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross?
DRAW NEAR… HOLD FAST… STIR UP
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