The Three “R’s” of Communion
May 4, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING
FOR A CHANGE."
My intention for today was to continue in Matthew 20, finishing that chapter where Jesus has compassion on two blind men.
But as I reflected on the fact that we’re having communion today, I thought it would be good if we took some time to talk about what it’s all about.
We don’t have time to go into every detail, but I want to give you an overview as to why this sacrament is so special.
God: The basis of our passage is Luke 22:19-20 –
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.
It’s very important to remember that this meal that Jesus was sharing with His disciples wasn’t just any meal.
It was the Passover Meal. The meal that commemorated the night God struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians, sparing the firstborn of the Israelites who had spread the blood of a perfect lamb over the doors of their homes so that the angel of death would pass over their homes.
The Jews were commanded to keep the Passover throughout the generations as a remembrance of God’s deliverance.
But this wasn’t just any Passover meal. This would be the last Passover meal Jesus would celebrate on earth, because in a few hours, He Himself would be put to death as the Passover Lamb – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The Passover meal was both a celebration of God’s deliverance from Egypt and an anticipation of God’s deliverance from sin and death through the Messiah.
The Passover meal was a very intensive meal in that it involved a number of different requirements. It wasn’t just something a person threw together because the in-laws were coming together.
I won’t get into all the details, but I’m hopeful that sometime in the future we can have someone come in a teach us what the Passover meal was all about and how it pointed to Christ.
Today we’re doing something just a bit different in that the bread is actually unleavened bread with no yeast or any other leavening agent. This was a requirement of the Passover meal.
According to the package of this bread, this unleavened bread would be acceptable for Jews to eat during the Passover.
But the idea this sacrament isn’t just something those disciples in the Upper Room were supposed to do. It’s something that the current disciples – you and I – are supposed to partake of as well.
You: To help us gain a better grasp of what communion is supposed to mean to us, I want us to look at The Three “R’s” of Communion:
We start off by remembering that Christ laid down His life on our behalf. That He shed His blood
I’ve printed a quote for you from Robert Holland:
“Communion is never irrelevant, because it always rooted and grounded in real history. It is the memory of real events.” [Robert Holland, “Barnyard Echoes,” Preaching Today, no. 14 (1987), audiocassette. Illustration found in The Year-Round Book of Sermon Ideas, Stories, and Quotes, by Stan Toler and Elmer L. Towns.]