Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sermon--10/22/06--New Creation Supper

New Creation Supper—Communion 10/22/06

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You wake up, go to work or school, eat the same lunch with the same people and it just gets old. Sometimes, things become too familiar so that they no longer have an effect on us. Like a movie we have watched over and over again loses some of its impact. A poem that made you cry the first time you read it, now only brings fond memories.

We must be careful that the Lord’s Supper does not fall into the same trap. Let me assure you, it’s not just the same old bread, not just the same old cup.

1. Not the Same Old Bread & Cup—
a. READ Luke 13-20
b. Jesus took something that had been a tradition for generations and redefined it. The meaning of it changed as He ushered in the New Creation that we are by His sacrifice. I wonder what it must have been like for them on that day when the things they had been doing to celebrate the Passover all their lives, were changed and given a new meaning. Shocked, confused. The significance may not have hit them until later. But it was something very real to them, and not to be taken for granted. It was no longer the same old bread and cup.

c. Jesus and the disciples were in the upper room participating in the Passover meal. All of the items, from the Lamb, to the herbs, the unleavened bread, and the cups, had a special symbolic value

d. Those symbols reminded all of them of God’s miraculous provision in their Deliverance from Egypt.

e. At the end of the meal, Jesus stood up and radically changed the meaning of the Passover meal. In Christ’s hands, the bread and cup of fellowship, even as they existed in the Passover meal, were forever changed into something completely different. Once again, the cup symbolized the blood that moved God’s judgment to pass over the people of Israel, the bread symbolized the haste which they had to leave the nation.

f. Jesus was saying in the cup and bread that there was a new Passover when God’s judgment passes over those who embrace Christ in faith—it passed over them, it passes over us today, but not b/c of a lamb or some sacrifice we have provided, not b/c we have wiped blood on our doorframes but b/c God provided the Lamb for us, and His blood was poured over our hearts. The Bread reminds us of what was given, the broken body of Christ.

g. Jesus said it was a new thing being done, it is a new symbol to build a life upon.

h. Taking the Lord’s Supper means that you are committed to the Forgiveness, Love and Purpose of God in your life—

i. You are demonstrating that you desire to be and live as a New Creation. You are dedicating and sanctifying your life to Jesus, setting it apart and forever making it available for Him to use.

j. It is not the same old bread and cup, it is the New Covenant of Life.

2. Not the Same Old Memory—
a. Remember the motivation Jesus gave for the new cup and new bread. They were to do it “In Remembrance of Me”. But how were they to remember him? They had a hard time figuring out what He meant.

b. Just a few days later, all the disciples could remember was the pain of the last few hours of His life, and mourn, as they seemed to be doing btw. Fri. & Sun. They couldn’t believe it was over, they feared for their lives.

c. Even when the women came back with the report of the resurrection in Luke 24:11—“they did not believe the women b/c their words seemed to them like nonsense.

d. Is this how they were supposed to remember Jesus, as a beaten and crucified Messiah, a disappointment compared to their expectations?

e. No, they could not look back on Jesus like that and neither can we. They could not look back on the pain of the Crucifixion

f. Instead they had to look back to what Jesus knew was coming when He told them about the bread and the cup… the Resurrection.

g. Your memory & understanding of Jesus should not be sad, even when seeing powerful depictions of it like in “The Passion of the Christ”, depicting the last days and hours of Jesus in graphic detail.

h. Jesus is no longer hanging on the Cross, He is no longer suffering, no longer being mocked or ridiculed, or buried in a tomb. Jesus is at the right Hand of God—awaiting the moment in History that will bring ultimate victory.

i. Our memory and attitude should be thankful, joyful and victorious b/c of the Resurrection. He willingly endured the crucifixion for me!!! John 15:13—“ Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus loved you enough to have His body broken for you, His blood poured out so that you may live.

j. That reality is supposed to drive us, to motivate us into living for Jesus every day. We must let our Memory of Jesus’ Crucifixion control us, change us and move us forward in the Power of the Resurrection that is continually working to make us New Creations in Christ.

k. Today is not just about the same old Bread and Cup, nor about the same old memory of the Crucifixion. It is also about the Promise of our Future.

3. Not the Same Old Future—
a. So many people have a bleak look of the future. So many see the morality and faith of our country decay. They see the wars and the fighting, and the political messes and they despair. Sometimes, we Christians inadvertently contribute to this when we focus so much on books about prophecy on the End Times see the destruction and suffering that is unleashed on the world and are afraid.

b. But Fear has nothing to do with the future spoken of in the bread and cup. The bread and cup are the symbol of the battle that has already been fought and won—a demonstration of our security in heaven. They symbolize the cost, the purchase, the price that God was willing to pay for our lives, the price to buy our freedom so we will no longer be slaves to sin.

c. That’s why when we see Jesus in Revelation 19—as the Rider on the White horse—He is already riding in Victory—He is already wearing the crowns, already Faithful and True—it is why—before any battle is described, vs. 13 tells us He is already wearing a robe dipped in blood. Because this battle was fought and won at the Cross!

d. Christ’s Body was broken in pain for you, but that is not the end. For it was raised in Glory for the Glory of God and for you as well.

e. He was raised so you could be assured that there is Victory, so you can know there is forgiveness, so you can be certain that death and fear no longer has a mastery over you, and so you can know and Praise God for the great lengths He will go to invite you into eternity.

f. The Lord’s Supper is something we should look forward to because it unites us to Jesus and other believers around the world. I look forward to breaking bread and drinking of the cup not only today, here with you, but with Jesus in His glorious future—with the promise of the great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language.

g. So if you are a believer, let’s not take this bread and this cup out of tradition, or habit. Rather, let us take it with a renewed passion for what Jesus has done for us, that we will go forward in the new life of freedom and life He has bought for us with His Body and Blood.

h. And if you are not a believer in Christ, you’ve never asked Jesus to come into your life to forgive your sin and be Lord and give you a hope and future, then I want you to look at all those around you this morning. Look at the testimony they proclaimed around you. They are identifying themselves with Jesus, they are proclaiming His death and their death, saying, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me..” (Galatians 2:20).

i. They are testifying of a new life here in this world and the promise of a life forever with God. They have made a decision to believe, won’t you make that same decision today? So as the deacons come forward, remember that Jesus is inviting you to a new life, to be a New Creation and have the creative power of the universe at work in your heart.

j. All those who take the bread and cup are testifying that they are living the life of a New Creation.

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