Summary: Using Psalms 23 verse 5 to understand communion and Jesus sacrifice.
This message is based on Phillip Keller's book A Shepherd's look at Psalms 23. It is an observation of Communion and how Jesus prepares a way for us.
Title: Communion – Preparing a Table
Theme: To show how communion relates to Jesus death and preparation for us.
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
“YOU PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE ME …” . from A Shepherd's Look at Psalms 23
There is another chore the sheepman takes care of on the tableland. He clears out the water holes, springs, and drinking places for his stock. He has to clean out the accumulated debris of leaves, twigs, stones, and soil that may have fallen into the water source during the autumn and winter. He may need to repair small earth dams he has made to hold water. And he will open the springs that may have become overgrown with grass and brush and weeds. It is all his work, his preparation of the table for his own sheep in summer. The parallel in the Christian life is that Christ, our great Good Shepherd, has Himself already gone before us into every situation and every extremity that we might encounter. We are told emphatically that He was tempted in all points like as we are. We know He entered fully and completely and very intimately into the life of men upon our planet. He has known our sufferings, experienced our sorrows, and endured our struggles in this life; He was a Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief. Because of this He understands us; He has totally identified Himself with humanity. He has, therefore, a care and compassion for us beyond our ability to grasp.
No wonder He makes every possible provision to insure that when we have to cope with Satan, sin, or self, the contest will not be one-sided. Rather, we can be sure He has been in that situation before; He is in it now again with us, and because of this, the prospects of our preservation are excellent. It is this attitude of rest in Him, of confidence in His care, of relaxation as we realize His presence in the picture that can make the Christian's life one of calm and quiet confidence. The Christian walk can thus become a mountaintop experience—a tableland trip—simply because we are in the care and control of Christ, who has been over all this territory before us and prepared the “table” for us in plain view of our enemies who would demoralize and destroy us if they could.
Jesus knows our temptations
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:15-16)
Jesus prepares the way