Summary: How do we prepare ourselves to approach the Lord's Table? What does it mean to 'prepare' yourself? What does it entail? Why is it important? When we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we must do it in a worthy manner and with a worthy heart...
Date Written: April 13, 2011
Date Preached: April 17, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Falling in Love With Jesus
Sermon Title: Preparing our Hearts for What He Has Done
Sermon Text: John 19:16-18 [ESV]
16So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, 17and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
The words of John here in this passage recount the actual events of Jesus being crucified by those who hated Him. These believers thought that their actions were something that THEY had caused… something that THEY had conceived and carried out, but in reality their actions was the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan for His creation.
This plan was set forth from BEFORE the beginning and it had been prophesied on many occasions BEFORE Jesus was ever born… Over 700 years before Jesus was nailed to the Cross… the prophet Isaiah said this about the Messiah who was to come:
3He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. 4Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. 5But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. 6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Jesus was a man who knew suffering, the shame of the cross caused many to turn away and despise Him and say that he was worthless. But we find that what Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary was something we could NEVER do for ourselves… v.6 in Isaiah reveals our problem:
6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
When we turn to our OWN way, we turn away from God. Turning away from God is what the Bible calls sin.
Sin is the great evil that invaded the Garden of Eden…
Sin is the great evil that stole and stripped away the innocence and perfection of the Garden.
Sin is the reason that Humanity was banned from perfection,
Sin is the reason Humanity was cast out because of its choice to disobey and sin…
Sin is the reason that Humanity is stained! Humanity is forever stained with the sin of ITS choice, and because of this sin we are permanently separated from God… with NO hope of ever being reconciled… no hope of being restored to the way it was at Creation… an intimate walk with God.
This evil that we call sin is what separates us from God!
It is the barrier that we cannot break.
It is like an ocean we cannot swim.
It is like a canyon that we cannot cross.
This evil sin that dominates who we are… DOOMS us to be eternally separated from God! This is an existence that ends in terrible suffering and anguish. This evil SIN is the destroyer of our very soul!
First we need to know what is sin… Sin is anything that separates you from God or comes between you and God. God has set some boundaries for us in the 10 commandments and in the 2 Great commandments.
For believers Jesus set forth some teachings that require obedience… and when we are DISOBEDIENT we are sinful. No matter who you are… no matter what you do… SIN is a part of your life and there is NOTHING you can do to rid yourself of this sin!
There are those in our world today who will tell you that YOU can do something about your sin… that YOU can do good things to overcome your sin. They paint a picture of a great scale where YOUR good works… if you do enough… will outweigh your sin and disobedience.
Most world religions today teach that to obtain forgiveness of sin, that YOU can do good deeds and then God will favor them… but in the Bible we see a totally different picture painted by God.
The Bible reveals that sin separated humanity from God in the Garden shortly after the creation. The Bible reveals humanity being cast out and cursed with a sinful nature that would be part of who they are…
The Bible reveals that there is NOTHING we can do to rid ourselves of the sin nature that is in our hearts and that is the cause behind our sinful behavior and disobedience.