Faithlife Sermons

A Look at the Lord's Supper

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Scripture Lesson

Romans 5:16 ESV
And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
1 Corinthians 11:23–32 ESV
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 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.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:23–34 ESV
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 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.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

Introduction

Introduction

Forgetfulness in the human mind
It has been said that we ought to study history OR we are doomed to repeat it.
I remember
My observation has been that we out to study history BECAUSE we appear to be certain to repeat the same mistakes of the past.
An observation of history demonstrates that we make the same mistakes as nations, as people, and even as churches as were made previously.
To combat forgetfulness, great effort is taken to setup reminders in our lives.
Recent visit to the 9/11 Memorial — Reminds us of the painful and difficult truth that there are those in the world who desire to take the lives of innocent men, women, and children, in the name of their twisted idea of what a god who is no god has told them to do.
Our nation is full of memorials…to remind us of those who have come before us who have paid dearly for the peace and prosperity we enjoy.
This idea of memorials…is a Biblical one…God had men set up memorials many times in Scripture.
Noah after leaving the Ark - Jacob - Stones in the Jericho - Passover - etc.
Today…we observe the Lord’s Supper…an ordinance of the church that the Lord gave us to remind us of what we are all about.
It is very easy in our day to forget what a church is supposed to be about.
Doing good things - Feeding the Poor - Counseling husbands and wives - Instructing young people.
These are good things…but they are not the BEST thing…or the PRINCIPAL thing the church is supposed to be engaged with.
The church has been given what is to be its primary focus and central animating truth…the shining of the light of the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection.
To remind us of this fact…the Lord provided for His church the observance of the Lord’s Supper
Yet…there is a great danger in religious exercise…to see only the exercise, and not that which the exercise is supposed to reflect.
There is, and probably always has been, a LOT more religious ceremony than true religious conviction. It is far easier to light a candle, than it is to submit yourself to Christ in such a way as to have your heart lit on fire for Him and His cause in the world.
As we gather today and observe the Lord’s Supper…we want to be sure we are looking at the right things, and in the right direction.

Body

(1) A Look Backward (v. 23-25)

A look backward to THE pivotal event in all of human history
True that complete forgetting was unlikely
All that Jesus endured on the day He died.
The pain and the shame
A look back to our salvation
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Matthew 27:24–50 ESV
24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. 32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
mat 27 24-
A look back to our salvation
A look back to our salvation
A look back on our lives since then and all that the Lord’s death has meant in the hard times of our lives
But “practical forgetfulness” was, and is, ever a risk in our lives
A look back on our lives since then and all that the Lord’s death has meant in the good times of our lives

(2) A Look Inward (v. 27-32)

When Jesus first said this, I wonder how many of the men at the table thought to themselves, “In remembrance of you…I will never forget you…how could I ever do so?”
True that complete forgetting was unlikely
But “practical forgetfulness” was, and is, ever a risk in our lives
Introspection a vanishing practice in our culture.
Living as though we have forgotten what Christ has done for us is all the evidence needed to demonstrate the reality of practical forgetfulness in our lives.
Living as though Christ never died
Living as though we were not changed at salvation
Living as though what Christ has done is a separate thing in our lives…with no direct impact on our day to day
Is your salvation as near, or preferably nearer to you now, than the day you were saved? Or do you hold it at a distance in your life? Is it something that “happened”…but does not influence your life daily?
The Lord’s Supper given to shine a light on this possibility in our lives
(3) A Look Outward

(3) A Look Outward

Matthew 28:19–20 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Acts 1:10–11 ESV
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

SubPoint Number Three

Remember WHY - Not JUST to save you, me, or even our own families…but to save ALL!
After we appropriately look inwardly…our eyes ought to next settle upon those around us…at the world around us and the people who need to hear the truth of the Gospel.
It is good that we look inward…it is necessary that we look inward…but may we not shut ourselves off from looking outwardly.
2 Corinthians 5:14 ESV
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;
One of the greatest limiting factors to missions is that we look back and see Christ’s death…we look inwardly and understand what His death has meant, and still means for us today…but come short of then looking outwardly on a world that Jesus Himself was looking upon when He died.
Text

(4) A Look Upward (…till He come)

The Lord’s Supper should remind us that we are to be looking upward in expectation of Christ’s return
Guard’s against an improper investment in this world
The life of the child of God should include frequent consideration that one day, Jesus is going to return just like He said He would.
Ezekiel 30:3 ESV
3 For the day is near, the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.
As we show the Lord’s death in this observance of the Lord’s Supper, as we look back, inward, and outward…let us know forget to also look up. To renew our commitment to living in the light of the certain and imminent return of Christ.
Text
The look up is the look that has the power to give hope and peace through any of life’s circumstances
A child of God living without hope and peace is failing to look up...
2 Chronicles 32:7–8 ESV
7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2 chronicles
Text
Text

Conclusion

A look backward…a look inward…a look outward…and a look upward.
Are you looking in these four directions as we assemble here today?
Are you looking in these four directions in your life? ALL four?
I thank the Lord for what He did on the cross as I look backward…for the salvation his death made possible for me as I look inward…for the opportunity provided for others to find Him as I look outward…and for the hope He gives me as I anticipate His return while looking upward.

SubPoint Number Two

SubPoint Number Three

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