Summary: This sermon is designed to emphasize the importance and the benefits of the Lord’s Supper.
A WORD FROM GOD FOR SENSIBLE PEOPLE.
1 Cor. 10:14-21
Int: The Apostle Paul was a man whose approach to life was totally reordered by his personal experience with the Lord. The wisdom, which he gained through this experience, had enabled him to see through the pressures and preferences that tend to take up so much of our time and attention. Everything he did and every word he wrote or spoke was done with his awareness of man’s need for salvation. The Gospel of Christ was the driving force in his life.
Paul was given to understand in a special way the Christian’s struggle for survival in a world in which the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. The Holy Spirit directed him to write so as to under gird the people of God and to provide them with resources, which they would need. His writings are truly the operations manual for the soul, the rulebook for life eternal, and the road map to Heaven.
Since Christians are often ignorant of the many snares of the enemy, it was only natural for Paul to direct his attention to any place where God’s people may stumble or cause others to find reason to discredit the Christian way. The two areas that he places his focus upon in the letter to the Christians in Corinth are immorality and idolatry. Certainly these are two of the most potent weapons that the devil has in his arsenal. If he can plant the seeds of either of them in the mind of a person, eventually he can destroy his spiritual effectiveness and productivity. As with any one of his tactics, the devil always portrays them as innocent and attractive. In no way does he want the extreme measures of despair, deterioration or destruction they cause to be seen.
The Apostle Paul, with a full awareness of the devil’s tactics, gave his time and effort to exposing them. It was his desire that people would exercise the mental abilities that God had given them and have the good sense to resist the devil’s efforts.
In the text before us, Paul singles out the Lord’s Supper and holds it up as the deliberate plan of God for keeping His people focused on the very best concerns of life. The love, grace and faithfulness of God lie at the foundation of the Lord’s Supper. When this subject is explored. It reveals the unlimited contribution of a caring Father who has supplied the means of redemption to a lost world. At the Lord’s Supper, wit spiritual eyes we see the gates of Heaven opening and the gates of Hell closing. We listen and hear the Savior who bled and died but who now lives again, saying “Do this in remembrance of me!
I. THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER.
When Jesus instituted the Last Supper, it was in the context of the Passover Feast. For a period of fifteen hundred years, the people of God had been reminded of the importance of this great event. The Passover was the time that the people who had descended from Abraham were given their freedom from the bondage of Egypt. The word comes from Exodus 12:13., “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” Alternate – “I will stand guard over you!”
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.” (12:14-15) On the night before the Passover, each Jewish father would search his home and remove all traces of leaven or yeast. On the Passover Day, the father would bring a male lamb, one year old, without any blemish to the Temple to be sacrificed. He would slaughter the animal and then bring its blood to the priest, who in turn, would dash it on the base of the altar of sacrifice. The parts of the animal that were to be burned were given to the priest, then the reminder of the animal was taken home to be roasted for the Passover meal.
During the evening meal, a cup of sanctification, containing wine mixed with warm water was passed around for each to sip. Then a prayer of benediction for the cup and the day was spoken. They ate lettuce and other vegetables. After this, bitter herbs were eaten. The family would then eat unleavened bread along with the portions of the lamb that had been roasted. Another cup, called the “cup of explanation” was passed. When the children asked about the Passover, the father would then explain about the first Passover and how that their people were set free. They would sing a selection from the Psalms, pass around a cup called the “cup of blessing,” have a prayer for the meal and then pass around the “cup of consummation.” They would again sing from the Psalms and then close with prayer.