Summary: A communion message looking backward, forward, upward and inward.
Dakota Community Church
February 8, 2009 pm
Communion in Every Direction
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ’The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ "So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"
Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?"
Jesus answered, "Yes, it is you."
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom."
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
On the night before his crucifixion Jesus institutes what we now know as communion or “the Lord’s Supper”.
This ritual sets in stone the basic message of the gospel.
The substitutionary sacrifice – His death in our place
His blood of the covenant – poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
Tonight I want us to celebrate as the Lord has instructed us by reverently looking at the Lords supper in every direction.
1. Looking back
When Jesus mentions the covenant in His blood, the disciples do not say anything; they are not confused, this is not a strange idea to them because they understand the concept of a blood covenant.
A blood covenant is an agreement between two parties, a lesser and a greater in which each party becomes owner of the others possessions.
In this case everything I have, my sin, my stuff, my very life literally is purchased from me, I am bought at a price, and everything that Jesus has, righteousness before God, heaven, peace, becomes mine. All that is required of me is faith in the blood sacrifice.
In this next passage looking back I want you to notice the good works that Abram is required to do in order to earn the blessings of the covenant (Land in this case).
So the LORD said to him, "Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon."
Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."
When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.
Now looking a little less far back let’s examine how the early church viewed the blood sacrifice.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.