Lessons in the Last Supper
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. NKJV
Twelve times a year we set this table. Twelve times a year we celebrate what is called the Lord's Supper. Now the text we have chosen from Isaiah might seem like an unlikely passage to use for the message but it is really quite appropriate.
There a good many messages we might bring on this occasion about the supper but I have chosen what I consider the most significant.
- I want to look first at what we learn about God from this supper.
- God is holy
- God is holy and holiness (is) the moral condition necessary to the health of his universe. ...Whatever is holy is healthy, ...the holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of creation are inseparably united. God's wrath is his utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. He hates iniquity as a mother hated the polio that would take the life of the child. -- A. W. Tozer, Leadership, Vol. 1, no. 3.
- Now we could list the hundreds of passages that speak of God's holiness but we have here before us a much greater display.
- Here we see, it what Jesus gives us, the only method available to be rid of our sin.
- God hates sin so much that only the death of His Only Begotten Son will suffice to pay the penalty for even one sin.
- He cam to pay a debt He didn't owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.
- God cannot let sin go unpunished
- Some view sin as something that God is not all that concerned about.
- But God cannot allow sin to go unpunished without being involved in the crime
- God loves us
- God sending His Son to die because of our sin not only speaks of His hatred of sin but of His love for us.
- It seems that there was no cost too great for God to pay to show His love for us.
- What more could He do?
- If He did not withhold His Son from us what more is there to give.
- God planned to have Jesus die in our place before the world was ever created
- Jesus blood is the blood of the everlasting covenant.
- Heb 13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. NKJV
- Secondly I want to consider what we learn about Jesus from this supper.
- He was a perfect man
- Jesus was tempted in all the ways we are but yet He never yielded to sin.
- He kept the law of God fully and completely, even keeping the spirit of the law and will of God.
- You see only a sinless sacrifice will do to die for a sinner.
- Only one not condemned to die is able to die for another.
- Jesus kept all that God required so that He might die in our place.
- He humbled Himself to be our redeemer
- But in order for Him to do that He first had to humble Himself all the way down to a lowly servant.
- He could not come in His glory to redeem us but must come as a suffering servant.
- No passage in the Old Testament lays that down more clearly than does Isaiah 53.
- He suffered in our place because of our sin
- All through the Old Testament God has foreshadowed what He intended to do.
- The first sin of our first parents is countered by some innocent animals dying so that their shame might be covered.
- We see Cain's sacrifice rejected because it was a bloodless sacrifice and Hebrews tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no atonement for sin.
- Heb 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. NKJV
- Finally let us consider what we learn about ourselves.
- We are sinners else Jesus would not need to die
- Those who would quibble about their sin are like two men to be shot at sunrise arguing how the one deserved it more than the other. They are still both going to be shot. What greater punishment could they undergo.
- Regardless what we have done or not done, only the death of Jesus Christ will pay for our sin.
- We must admit our sinfulness to God and come to hate our sin that caused Him to be nailed to the tree
- God loves us and freely gave His Son to die for us but He does require that we own up to our sin that required His Son's death.
- He expects us to love His Son and to hate the sin that required He die.
- When the cost of our sin is seen in the death of Jesus it is no longer a trivial matter.
- Only when we surrender our lives to Him will he live in us and through us
- Since we were condemned to an eternal hell and Jesus has bought us and paid our debt then we own our lives to Him.
- God expects us to surrender all our rights to Him to humble ourselves as did His Son and if needs be to give our lives for Him.
- But regardless of weather or not we are ever required to give up our lives for Jesus, He expects us to give our lives to Him.
- Giving your life to Jesus means not holding anything away from His control.
When we take this bread and cup we accept His death for our sins. When we come to this table we realize the cost of our salvation. When we come to this supper we admit that only the sacrifice of God's Holy Son was sufficient to remove our sin and make us fit for heaven. When we accept His sacrifice for us we give ourselves to Him.
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com