Easter 2010 - ThursdayApril 1st, 2010 — davegroberts
Easter Weekend 2010
Thursday - Jesus' Last Night
G'day and welcome to Partake! Tonight we start our Easter 2010 series, looking at particular highlights of the Easter story. In this particular podcast we will look briefly at two events from the Jesus' last night - the Lord's Supper and the Lord Serves.
Throughout the 3 years of ministry, Jesus has preached the good news of God's salvation to reconcile people back into relationship with Almighty God. Through the cross & resurrection, His mission will be fulfilled. We look into his last night before his death on the cross, which as Christians we believe is both the pivotal and climatic event of all human history
1. Lord's Supper
Let us read together Luke 22v14-20
14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
Depending on your church, this event can be called amongst other things, the Eucharist, Holy Communion or The Lord's Supper. Christian Disciples are commanded to participate, as Jesus said: "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22v19). Some churches do it every service and others do it monthly. Whenever we participate in it, we do it regularly as a remembrance of Jesus until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11v26). The bread symbolizes His body broken on the cross and the wine symbolizes His blood which was shed on the cross. Therefore before we partake of the bread and wine, we are to examine ourselves and confess any unforgiven sin (1 Corinthians 11v28-29). This is done because it would be hypocritical to eat it while harbouring known sin in our hearts and having fellowship with Jesus and others in the church!
This Last Supper, the Holy Communion - what is its significance for us?
- It symbolizes fellowship with other believers in the universal church (1 Corinthians 10v17)
- We receive the benefits of His once and for all sacrifice (1 Corinthians 10v16)
- We spiritually feed upon Christ (1 Corinthians 11v24)
- It symbolizes the death of Christ for our sin (Luke 22v19)
- It symbolizes our acceptance of Christ's death for us.
- It symbolizes our dependence on Christ for spiritual life.
- Finally when a person remembers, that makes it their own personal story. If something is only recalled as an historical event, then that is somebody else's story being recalled. That is why Holy Communion is personal - it's our story! Is it yours also?
All these symbolize the New Covenant made between God and Jesus' Disciples - a Covenant guaranteeing salvation! The new covenant is a new meal, in order to remind his followers in every age about the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The new covenant (Luke 22v20), Jesus claims that His death, was spoken about by the prophets Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31v33-34) and Ezekiel. It was a new covenant in which God's people will be able to know Him intimately for their sins will be forgiven. Whenever a covenant was made between God and humanity in the Old Testament, blood was always shed. Jesus' blood shed on the cross is the seal on this New Covenant, which is why we remember it.
We think and believe that the bread and wine are only symbolic of Jesus' blood and body, because any other view would indicate that Jesus Christ is being re-sacrificed. Hebrews 7 refutes these views, in particular Hebrews 7v27, which talks about Jesus' death on the cross "For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself." The bread we eat and wine we drink at Holy Communion are only symbolic of his sacrifice and can never be a re-enactment of Jesus sacrificial death of atonement on the cross.
2. Lord's Service
Let us read together John 13v1-17
1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
As part of the custom of the day, a servant or slave usually undertook foot washing of guests. Since none of the disciples had done this, Jesus Himself undertakes the task (John 13v4-5). Peter is recalcitrant and resistant as always, objects (John 13v6&8 ). Peter learns that only those cleansed by Jesus and trusting in Him fully, can be a part of the kingdom (John 13v7, 9). As we look back at this episode, knowing what we do now of the Cross, we learn how this simple act of washing feet is symbolic of Jesus' sacrificial death on the Cross.
But is also more than that. Serving others, as Jesus did throughout his ministry, is to be part of the life of anybody who would call himself or herself a follower of Jesus Christ. It is one of the hallmarks of being a Christian. Another hallmark is that of allowing others to serve us, just as Peter had to allow Jesus to wash his feet. By both serving and being served, we reflect the life of Jesus Christ. When serving and being served are out of balance, then usually it is our own innate pride that is at fault.
The Cross and washing feet are both displays of great love and service. Just as Peter opposed Jesus going to the cross (Matthew 16v21-23), so he objected to having his feet washed here. Jesus' getting up to serve symbolizes His coming to serve. As he took off his cloak, this symbolizes the taking off of His glory when He became man. Girding Himself with a towel, symbolizes his taking on human flesh in the incarnation at his birth. As the water cleansed the feet, so Jesus death and blood cleanse from sin. As He returned to where he was sitting and sat down after finishing this act of service, Jesus returned to the right hand of God after his work on the Cross.
When people become Christian, their sins are forgiven through Jesus' death on the Cross. That is when they had our "bath" as it were. That is the very point when we, if we are Christians, were justified before God and we are declared His child. Having been justified already, we don't need a bath anymore! But we do need the equivalent of a feet washing daily and or every time we take Holy Communion and a cleansing of our sin when we confess it before our God and repent.
How are you doing? How is your Christian life of service and allowing others to serve you? Are you somehow like Peter and not wanting to be served? Are you the other extreme and not wanting to serve others? Then please do pray for opportunities whereby you can both serve and be served. When you participate in the Lord's Supper this Easter, think back on the greatest Servant of all, and how your sins are forgiven because of His service to you!
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