Summary: On this weekend each year the nations declares its independence. On the first Sunday of each month we declare the death of Jesus--our means to walking in freedom from the wreck and ruin of sin.
1 Corinthians 11:26 “ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
This is the Fourth of July weekend when we celebrate the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. And in all humility we should do that and pray that this nation may endure in its libert under God. My fear is that we have come to think of ourselves more as a nation living in liberty FROM God.
We are here to declare something else. We DECLARE the death of Jesus each time we gather at this communion table.
I want to talk about declaring (proclaiming) the Lord’s death until He comes.
In a few minutes, just before we come to this communion table we will read several selected passages of Scripture.
One is from 1 Corinthians chapter 11, verse 26 and here is what that verse says; “ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
That is to say in coming to this table to celebrate the Eucharist “…you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord's death until He comes [again].” (AMP)
Why would we do that over and over again, take the bread and say See this bread? This is the body of Christ.
See this cup? This is the blood of Christ.
To understand this it helps to be familiar with the whole Bible. So I am going to explain the the entire Bible to you this morning in 6 steps. (Stop laughing!)
3. Nakedness and covering
4. Substitute Sacrifice
5. Passover Sacrifice
6. Behold the Lamb of God
Step 1 - Creation
It begins when God created heaven and earth and all that is in, on and above them in 5 days.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. ESV
On the sixth day He formed from the dust of the earth Adam, and then from Adam formed Eve, These are the first two humans created by God. He made them man and woman, husband and wife.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27 So God created man in his own image, ESV
Adam and Eve lived in the perfection of a garden called Eden. They were God’s servants. They were divinely appointed care takers.
Step 2 – Sin
Chapter 3 begins telling us how sin entered into the heart of man when a rebellious spirit named Satan came to Eve and contradicted what God said and presented the contradiction to them as a higher form of wisdom than what God was letting them in on. This spirit’s name was Satan. His very name means “adversary: Here is how the narrative goes in Genesis 3:1-5
Satan appeared to Eve and said “Did God tell you that you must not eat the fruit of THAT tree because if you do you will die? Yes?
Well let me tell why He doesn’t want you to eat it, because here is what He knows; (paraphrase)… 4 "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.“ (Genesis 3)
Step 3 – Nakedness and Covering
No sooner had they sinned than their minds were awakened to a new reality; they were naked. For the first time in their existence they felt exposed and vulnerable in God’s creation. They were nervous. They hid from God.
The Bible says that they tried making clothes out of leaves in order to cover themselves, but this effort to cover themselves did not work.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. ESV
God took pity upon them and acted on their behalf. He put innocent animals to death and made clothes of their skins in order to cloth and protect and cover Adam and Eve.
That is the very first clue in the Bible that in order for man to be saved from his exposure to death the innocent must die for the guilty. The leaves of self-effort will not do.
Genesis 3:21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. ESV
The difference that God sees between leaves and plant sap, and flesh and blood shows up again in the account of the first two sons of Adam and Eve when they came before God to offer up sacrifices.