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Summary: Sermon I preached before issueing the Lord’s Supper

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Introduction

To properly observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, we need a spirit of seriousness and at the same time an attitude of joyful celebration.

Memorializing an event as significant as the death of Jesus Christ should fill us with a spirit of awe and deepest reverence.

Responding to the redemptive purpose in that event should cause us to celebrate the greatness of God’s love for us.

Let us seek an attitude of both seriousness and celebration as we consider this sacred experience before us.

Paul, quoting the Lord, declares that we are to partake of the bread and cup in remembrance of our Lord.

As we do so, we are actually proclaiming the fact of his redemptive death on the cross. We need to do this for our own heart’s good and for the salvation of others.

Let us consider why we should proclaim the death of our Lord as a great redemptive act that has significance for all people.

I. The death of Jesus reveals the awfulness of sin (I Cor. 15:3).

The Scriptures declare that our sins were the reason for the death of Jesus Christ.

This may seem strange to a person of the twenty-first century who hears this for the first time.

B. The angel told Joseph that the son who would be born of Mary would save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).

John the Baptist announced at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 RSV).

Peter, who had first resisted the thought that Jesus must die, later interpreted that death in terms of its substitution significance for us. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (1 Peter 2:24-25 RSV).

C. At the cross we are confronted with the fact that each of us is a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness.

This message is proclaimed as we partake of the Lord s Supper.

II. The death of Jesus reveals the greatness of God’s love for sinners (John 3: 16).

Paul declared to the Roman believers, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8 RSV).

Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can we begin to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God that was revealed in Jesus Christ when he died on the cross for our sins.

In an age that dehumanizes the individual and discounts the value of a person, we come to Calvary to see how great God’s love is for us.

It was divine love that conceived the plan by which we could be saved. It was divine love that brought God’s plan down to earth.

It was divine love that carried out this plan of salvation on the cross. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we are proclaiming the greatness of God’s love for ourselves and others.

III. The death of Jesus reveals the value of a lost soul.

In the business world, the value of a person is often revealed by the price an employer is willing to pay for his or her services.


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