Summary: Take a look into what exactly happened to this world at the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Celebrating His Death
Introduction: We are celebrating the Lord’s Supper today in our service: I would like to seek to grasp the heart today of why communion is important to God – and one of the two ordinances that He has left us to practice in the church.
Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote a rather lengthy letter to the Corinthians in which he sought to address a few problems that were going on in the church body there.
Corinth was a city given over to idolatry, immorality, arrogance, and paganism – throughout the letter we see how these sinful attributes had infiltrated the church, weakening and destroying it from the inside out!
It is interesting to me that though this is a rather negative epistle – written to address these believers’ incredible carnality, it also tells this church how incredibly gifted it was!
1 Corinthians 1:3-7 3Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
He spends an entire chapter – (chapter 12) explaining how these gifts are to function within the body to profit the entire body:
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
It is in the context of this teaching that God proceeds to address this practice of communion within the church. That is where I would like to begin today:
1 Corinthians 10:15-17 15I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
It is His body that was broken for us – it was His blood that was shed – so that we might have the forgiveness of sins.
Because Christ was that “sinless lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world” John 1:29
Because He took our sin upon Him – as He was “made sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of Christ in Him”. 2 Corinthians 5:21
It was His DEATH that paid the price for our sin and made atonement for us with our Heavenly Father.
It is at the Lord’s Table in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper that we celebrate His death – until He returns.
1 Corinthians 11:26 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
So today – in celebration of the death of Christ – I want to take a deep look at exactly what happened when Jesus died – what actually happened and how did people respond to it?
Lets take a look at the account as it is described in the Gospel of Matthew:
Matthew 27:50-54 50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
1) THE BIG RIP
As we look at this passage – we see some pretty fantastic things happen!
Things that we definitely don’t happen every day – incredible testimonies that Jesus Christ was exactly who He said He was! GOD IN THE FLESH!
Notice the first thing that happened: incredibly significant to the practicing Jews of Jesus’ day. Most of us Gentiles can’t really even grasp the significance, but in the Book of Hebrews we see the importance of this rip in the veil from the top to the bottom.
Hebrews 9:1-7 1Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 6Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: