Summary: A communion meditation for Good Friday.
INTRO.- ILL.- Paper sack with Dad’s mementos: straight razor, key fob, part of an old wallet, pocket watch, and an old pocket knife.
What do these things mean? What do they represent?
To some people, they wouldn’t mean much. Perhaps just some junk. But to me, they are valuable. You see, they are items that belonged to my dad, Leo Shepherd. They remind me of his life. Basically, they are all I have by which to remember him.
All of us will leave something behind for our children and grandchildren to remember.
What will you leave behind?
- money? That would be nice. Some do and some can.
- material things, such as houses and cars, boats and bikes?
- memories of hard work?
ILL.- That’s one memory I have of my dad. It seemed like dad worked a lot. Drove a truck. Did things at home. Mowed grass. Built a room on our house. It seemed like he was always doing something. Always working at something.
And dad would often be so tired at night we would sometimes find him asleep in the bathtub, soaking until the water turned cold!
We all leave things behind by which our children and grandchildren and other relatives will remember us.
ILL.- Hey! I’ve got a great collection of my marathon running photos! And my old running logbooks where I kept track every mile I’ve ever run! Wow! Do you suppose my children and grandchildren will be blessed by them? I doubt it. But hopefully, something I have done in life will bless their lives after I’m gone. I WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND SOME GOOD MEMORIES.
And we all should strive to live in such a way that we will leave behind some good memories. Some positive memories. Some spiritual memories. Some loving memories.
Think about your life. Think about the legacy that you will leave behind. WORK TO MAKE IT A GOOD ONE.
Our Lord also left some things behind by which to remember Him.
HE LEFT US HIS WORD. We can go back as often as we want and read about what He did. How he ministered to others. How he served others. How he loved others.
What a wonderful book he has left behind for our benefit and blessing!
AND JESUS HAS ALSO LEFT US HIS TABLE. HIS MEMORIAL TABLE. HIS EMBLEMS.
PROP.- There are two basic components of this memorial: the bread and the fruit of the vine. Let’s think about their meaning.
I. THE BREAD
Jesus instituted His Supper by observing the Jewish Passover meal with His disciples. This meal was instituted by God to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage and the sparing of the firstborn when the destroying angel killed the firstborn of the Egyptians.
And just as the Israelites were delivered from bondage, so we have been delivered from bondage to sin and Satan through the slain Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
Only unleavened bread was used in the Passover meal. We use the same because this symbolizes the purity and sinlessness of Christ.
Heb. 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - YET WAS WITHOUT SIN.”
Did you hear that? YET WAS WITHOUT SIN.
Name your strongest, biggest temptation! Guess what? JESUS HAS BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT! Jesus was tempted just like us; in every way, YET WAS WITHOUT SIN!
Do you mean to tell me that Jesus was tempted with fleshly desires? Fleshly cravings? Desire for sexual impurity? Desire for recognition, for fame and wealth? Yes! Yes! Yes! YET, HE WAS WITHOUT SIN! Jesus is our perfect Savior.
- The bread also reminds us of Jesus coming in the flesh.
II John 7 “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
We might be tempted to think this isn’t important, but John calls this person the antichrist. Meaning ‘one who is opposed to Christ.’
We believe that Jesus came in the flesh! We believe that God became flesh!
Matt. 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel - which means ‘GOD WITH US.’”
- The bread also remind us of how Jesus suffered for us, before the cross and on the cross.
Jesus was beaten. He was made to carry His own cross. He was stripped of His clothes. A crown of thorns was placed on His head. He was mocked. Spit upon. Struck on the head with a staff. Then He was nailed to the cross.
ILL.- Farrar said, “For indeed a death by crucifixion seems to include all that pain and death can have of that which is horrible and ghastly: dizziness, cramping, thirst, starvation, sleeplessness, traumatic fever, tetanus, horror of anticipation, and mortification of unattended wounds.”