The Lord's Supper
If you have a Bible, please take it out. If you don't have a Bible you're in luck because somewhere in a seat under you or in front of you, there should be one but you're going to want to pull out your Bible because normally -not me, that was not my phone. I silenced mine. Normally I would have the verses up on the screen but we're going to be trying to cover a lot of ground in a very short amount of time this morning. And so I want you to be able to just flip through and look at the passages that are longer passenger should be summarizing them as we talk about the Lord's Supper another reason we're doing this, the reason we're talking about the Lord's Supper, is last week when we looked at a tradition that we have called baptism and we talked about baptism and we looked at why do we do baptism? We looked at the fact that it's because Jesus commanded us to us because Jesus modeled it for us because of what the early church did right and so baptism is a part of what we do. What another one of our Traditions is the Lord's supper if you're new with us or if you've been here for a while but you just not very good at paying attention. We take the Lord's Supper every first Sunday every first Sunday of the month. We take the Lord's supper together and it's it's if you again if you knew it's not really a supper. Okay in the traditional supper since now the other day the conversation came up in my house about Christmas. OK and Christmas is like a highlights when you have three kids 10 and under my Christmas is a big deal on so they're already talking about Christmas. I said whoa whoa whoa, don't start talking about Christmas. I like Thanksgiving, right? I don't want to skip Thanksgiving because that's a supper right most of the time we still supper's kind of an Antiquated term. If you're if you're not from the south you probably don't use it that much but supper to me is Thanksgiving dinner right? Turkey ham sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, more potatoes, casserole right all of that. Homemade rolls. Okay, that's a supper and when we come the Lord's Supper, sometimes we can kind of be like let down right? I thought I thought you said we're having supper and all I've got is this little broken piece of gluten-free cracker and the tiniest shot glass ever of grape juice. Right? But I would 10 times, 100 times, infinitely more rather celebrate the Lord's supper and never celebrate Thanksgiving again. Because it's not about the quantity. It's not about the quality of the food. It's what it means and so is we explore the Lord's Supper as we talked about this tradition. I want you to understand that. Yes, it is just a tiny little cracker. Yes. It is just a tiny little cup of juice, but that's not what we should focus on. It's not about the amount. It's about what it means and so let's talk about that. We do the Lord's Supper very similar to like baptism. We do it because Jesus commanded us to. We do it because Jesus modeled it for us and we do it because that's what the early church did. But actually the roots of the Lord's Supper start much earlier. And so I want you to turn in your Bible the Old Testament background for the Lord's supper. I want to turn your Bible to Exodus chapter 12 And last week I said I was going to start marking my passages in this week at failed to do that again, so I'm turning there with you.
So Exodus chapter 12 and I've got to set the stage a little bit, right? So so in Exodus, you have the people of God Israel, right, God's people who he said you're going to be a blessing to Every Nation through you is going to come the one who redeems all of humanity, right? That's Israel, but they are in captivity in Egypt they're slaves. There there there there they're the labor for all of the great things that you see in Egypt. The Israelites are the slaves that are cutting the block. All right. That's that's who Israel is at this point, but God sends a deliver God sends Moses to go to the pharaoh of Egypt and say Let My People Go you guys have seen The Ten Commandments, right? He looks a lot like Charlton Heston. All right, so he sends us deliver go tell pharaoh to let my people go and if you if you're familiar with the story or you've seen the movie then you understand like there's all this stuff that happens because Pharaoh won't let him go and so God sends all these plagues. Well in Exodus 12 we get to the last plague in the last plague is the worst one because God is going to send an angel of death to strike down the firstborn of every household but before he does that he comes to Moses says here's what I want you to tell the people of Israel to do in Exodus 12, and we're just going to kind of skim through this so track along with me and in your copy of God's word. So the Lord comes and he says look, this is a big deal the plague I'm about the send is a big deal. You're going to mark your calendar by what's about to happen. And what's about to happen is you're going to tell everyone in Israel to take a lamb and they're to sacrifice and they're going to take some of the blood they're going to put it over the door Post in the gates at their house. And when this Angel of Death comes and he sees the blood he'll pass over and death will not come to that house to every house which doesn't have the covering of blood death is going to come. All right. So this becomes what is known as the Passover and there's this whole tradition the search will you kill the lamb you cook the lamb you eat the lamb and you have this ritual meal that goes with it. All right, and there's going to be this whole thing that starts out of this with unleavened bread and and and and wine and and all of these bitter herbs and these different things. They take to remember this it all comes out of Exodus chapter 12. So God tells Moses each household Slaughters a lamb and then you have this meal and you're supposed to eat this meal prepared for a journey, prepared for going out to the promised land. That's what you're supposed to do. So there's two really big symbols here that I want you to see the first one is this Passover Lamb this lamb that is slain and his blood covers the household and redeems the people inside from the death that is coming. But then I also want you to know they are taking it. quite certain that pharaohs going to let them go they're taking it and faith that they eat this meal and you see this here in verse 7 ish somewhere in there that they should eat it. Sorry in this manner verse 11. You shall eat it with your belt fastened your sandals on your feet your staff in your hand. Then you shall eat in haste. It's the Lord's Passover. So you're going to eat it prepared for the journey K22 things. We see Christ the Passover Lamb and then we see them eating it prepared for this Exodus that's about to come and it's going to be a feast forever. You keep this forever. If you look down in 14, this is not just a one-time thing Israel. This Passover is going to have such significance that from from now until eternity, the people of God will keep this meal. All right, so that's the first Passover and it does become, you know, kind of enshrined in the history of Israel and every year faithful Jews would celebrate this Passover meal and they spoiler alert, okay. The people of Israel do get out of Egypt they do go to the promised land and even once they're in the promised land they still eat this meal the same way. They eat it marking the fact that the blood of the Lamb covered their death that they deserved they eat it in haste noting the fact that they are on a journey to a promised land. So those are the two things I want you to see and as Christians. You need to understand this the meal that we take Is is tied in with these very same things now, good news for us, we don't have to slaughter a lamb. You may have noticed the distinct lack of blood on the door frames as you came in this morning. I hope you mark that if there is some somebody go clean that up. All right, we don't do that part of it anymore because Jesus fulfills that for us Jesus is our Passover Lamb, right? His blood being shed is what scripture tells us. That's what takes care of our sin the fact that Jesus died the death that we deserve to die. So we no longer have to kill the symbol the lamb because the reality has occurred Christ has come Christ has died. His blood has been shed for our sins. We no longer are under the threats of death. And so when we take the the cup with the grape juice were remembering Christ blood, okay, but then also, I don't want us to miss the fact that the Lord's Supper is meant to communicate something of an exodus to us as well. This is one of the things I think we miss when we celebrate the Lord's Supper. We need to recall the haste with which they were supposed to eat the Faith with which they were supposed to eat the fact that they had not been yet released from slavery. And God said get ready to go. We have been released from slavery. We are on a journey. We are on an exodus when we come to Christ and we submit to him in Faith. we say Jesus your death pays the penalty for my sin. That's not the end of the road. We are meant Christ follower to be on a journey. We're meant to take part in a new Exodus away from sin and into Christ likeness and we're meant to be on that Journey. Forever and that's a reminder to us from the from the roots the Old Testament roots of the Passover when we come to the New Testament. We see the Lord's Supper instituted. It reminds us. Jesus is our Passover Lamb and we are his people still on this journey towards him. All right, but then let's let's shift to another passage here. Look at the look at the Book of Mark. Look at the gospel of Mark. So you going to flip all the way over to the New Testament? You can find Matthew and then you're going to find Mark and I want you to turn to Matthew chapter 14. Now what? Mark 14 listen to what I mean, not what I say.
Mark chapter 14. That's right. Skip Matthew. Alright in Mark chapter 14. We see Jesus now, it's important thing for us to remember at this point. Jesus is Jewish. Right we're all clear on that. Jesus is Jewish all of his disciples, Guess what, Jewish. Okay, so we should not be surprised then that has Passover comes around right this meal that God said this is to be for all times a memorial amongst Israel, right? We should not be surprised in to find the Passover rolls around and the disciples are looking at Jesus and in Mark Chapter 14 verse 12 Where we going to do where we going to do this Passover meal Jesus? Where do you want us to go set up for this right that assumption is we're going to be celebrating this Memorial meal. All right, so they do they they go set up for the meal and he says go in the City and you'll find a man there and he'll show you to a room and they're prepared the meal for us there in that upper room. All right, so that's what they do and they prepared the Passover. So he comes in with all the disciples into that room and they begin to do the Passover now. How many of you have Traditions surrounding let's just use my favorite example Thanksgiving? how many things that you do every year whether it's a certain food that's always on the table or maybe like one family I knew they had a bowl of corn like dried corn like don't eat it corn in the middle of all the other stuff they could eat and what they did with it was they pass it around and everybody took three kernels of corn out and then throughout the meal as they were eating they would pass the bowl back and people would put a kernel of corn in and say this is what I'm thankful for this year and they just pass it. And then this is what I'm thinking is this a ritual but it was a good one, right? It was a reminder, but what sometimes happens with rituals is they just become kind kind kind of rote right this is what we do. This is what we do every year. This is what we do and it just kind of becomes normally don't even think about it anymore. I have a feeling that's where some of the disciples were here. Right every year of their life. They had celebrated this Passover meal the assumption is we're going to celebrate it but I don't think they were ready for Jesus to do what he did because they celebrate the meal. They're sitting there eating and you have Jesus say one of you is going to betray me which that's kind of a shocker right that kind of breaks the the feeling of we've all done this before but then in verse 22 of Mark 14 does as they were eating he took bread Jesus Took bread in a blessing it broke it and gave it to them. It said take this as my body. And it's at this point that the brakes go on in the disciples minds That's not part of the script. That's not what we say. For the Passover, that's not that's not part of this ritual We've grown accustomed to but what Jesus is doing is he's taking a part of this meal that they celebrated for a thousand years and he's he's reinterpreting and he's reimagining it and he's giving it a new emphasis for his new covenant people he's saying take this is my body and this I would like the ritual off but Jesus is doing something new. That's the old Meal have a lot of the same meaning but it's now been reimagined and it's been reimagined in a way that those of us who are not Jewish are invited in too. those of us who are not Jewish are invited to the symbol now to say, oh, I don't have to think about this bread and it's stripes and remember the bondage in Egypt now, I think about Christ. This is his body. This is no longer a reminder of suffering and slavery. This is now a reminder of the release that Christ provides through his sacrifice. We don't have to actually, you know slaughter a lamb we take a couple remember we don't have to do that anymore. Jesus Paid that price once for all so Jesus Takes the old familiar symbol of the of the Passover and he reimagines it in the Lord's supper and the disciples had to be just blown away. But here's the problem. Especially for those of us who were church people, right? We've now celebrated this meal that would have been so shocking to the Disciples of Jesus would interrupt the Passover ritual. We've now celebrated it. So many times it's likely become a ritual to us it's likely become something that we just kind of approach and it's like whatever we do the thing we do every first of the month. And I'm saying it ought not to be so we ought to be amazed again it what it means and we see what it means when when Paul is writing to one of the early church as he's writing to the Corinthians turn over to 1st Corinthians.
1st Corinthians chapter 11 to even buy Paul's time, right? So this is this is maybe 25 years after Jesus gave the first Lord's Supper 25 years later. The church has already made a hash of this symbol. They've already been very kind of messed up what Jesus was trying to communicate here with this supper. So we see in 1st Corinthians chapter 11. Look at verse 20 with me when you come together. It is not the Lord's Supper that you eat for an eating. Each one goes ahead with his own meal one goes hungry another gets drunk what and if you're like if your translations name is Maya there's actually an! They're like Paul's mind is just blown. What are you talking about? You're coming together to take the Lord's supper and some of your having enough to eat and some of you don't have anything to eat and some of you are drunk. What in the world are you guys doing? You've taken what Jesus intended to be this rash this new reminder of his death this reminder the fact that he purchased salvation for you and you've turned it into just another ritual that you do you And I'm afraid that sometimes we do any good news. We're Baptists. You can't get drunk on grape juice. You certainly couldn't get drunk on the little bit we give you. But none the less said we take in what Jesus meant to be a continual reminder just turned it into something. We do a ritual. So Paul says, alright, here's the thing. You guys have made a hash of this but let's just get it back to its original Foundation. What I received from the Lord. I delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread. We need to get in. Thanks. He broke it and said, this is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way. Also he took the cup after supper saying this cup. Is the New Covenant my blood do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes Paul says let's go back. Let's go back to what Jesus intended it to be a reminder of what he did for us and a reminder of what we're supposed to do with that information when Jesus died. He purchased salvation for us.
and then We Proclaim that we Proclaim that is often as you do this you Proclaim his death until he returns right and the implication there you Proclaim his death and his resurrection because dead men don't return you proclaim the fact that Jesus who died whose body was broken whose blood was shed is still living and is one day returning you proclaim the gospel to a world in desperate need of it. So Church my question to us this morning is in light of the fact that Jesus is the Fulfillment of the Passover in light of the fact that Israel recognized the journey that God was calling him to when we take the Lord's Supper do we recognize those things do we recognize that Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world do we recognize the journey that he's called us on away from sin and towards christlikeness. We ought to We recognize the fact that it's not just about me that communion when we come together to take it. This isn't just about me that it's about us that it It's not something where I come to it to get whatever I can out of it. It's something I come to with my brothers and sisters and say hey, we're in this together. We're purchased by the same blood we're We're redeem by the same broken Flesh. That nonetheless is risen and that sets us on a new course of course of reconciliation Paul says to the Corinthians Don't drink don't eat in an unworthy manner. If you do you'll be guilty of the body and blood let a person examine himself and then eat of the bread and drink of the cup for to eat and drink without Discerning the body you eat drink judgement on yourself church. We need to remember when we come to this isn't just some ritual. This is a reminder of the Cornerstone of our faith that Jesus died and rose again. It's a reminder of that ultimate fact of the the fact that church. We aren't meant to Proclaim Jesus to the world. That's what this does. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to read the word then we're going to do what the word says.