Summary: A Communion Sermon
OUTSIDE THE CITY GATE
* Special Thanks to Randall Denny of Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene for the Sermon idea
Sermon Objective: A Communion Service
A couple taking a cruise on a transatlantic ocean liner awoke one morning and saw dark, threatening clouds on the horizon. They decided this would be a good day to have breakfast in the room so they called for room service.
When the steward arrived with their meal he made a comment about the impending storm and his curiosity about how it would be to ride one out on a ship.
The steward replied with “Oh, we have already come through that storm. It is behind us.”
Made aware of the storm clouds of sin, life can become threatening and dark too. Experiencing Jesus’ forgiveness brings us to the realization that we too have already come through the storm of judgment – it is behind us.
My recent studies for Holy Week 2008 have focused on the crucifixion. I have been reminded that I have absolutely no other hope of surviving the storm of judgment apart from God’s grace as expressed on the cross.
A tragedy struck a home one evening. It caught on fire in the dead of night. As the father awoke to the smoke alarms he began to scurry to rescue his family. He passed through the fire into his daughter’s room, scooped her up, wrapped her in a blanket and made his way back down the flame-engulfed hall.
The little girl came through without so much as a singed hair but daddy right hand and arm were permanently scarred by the inferno.
From then on he would greet people with his left hand; keeping his right arm out of sight as much as possible. Whenever his daughter was with him, even when she was a teenager, she would proudly reach, take her father’s twisted hand and proudly tell the new friend of her father’s bravery.
At his death, the funeral home, trying to be kind, also kept his right arm out of sight. When the daughter discovered that the hand would not be visible in the casket for the viewing she insisted that other arrangements be made and that the hand be placed across the left for everyone to see. “That hand was wounded for me” she tearfully explained.
Never let the truth of Jesus’ costly and redemptive rescue grow dim.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Our redemption was premeditated, prescribed, and precise. Everything required was accomplished through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Hebrews 13:8-13 emphasizes this.
8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. 10We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.