Summary: Communion service sermon reinforcing WHAT Jesus accomplished & what it means for us... *This sermon contains the opening Scripture & illustration 'borrowed' from sermon preached.by Bob Record, formerly the North American Mission Board President of SBC
Date Written: August 17, 2015
Date Preached: August 23, 2002
Church: OPBC (AM) Sunday
Title: Remembering What Jesus Accomplished FOR Us
Text: Mark 15:33-40 (ESV)
33And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” 40There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.
During the Great Depression, a man worked at a RR bridge crossing on the MS River. One day he took his only child (a son) with him to work.
He had the bridge raised to allow ship traffic to pass under the bridge. It was a peaceful day and he had been enjoying the nice weather… but all of a sudden he heard the whistle of the passenger train out of the city headed his way…
He moved over to the controls to shut the bridge so the train could pass over the river safely… HOWEVER, to his horror he had lost track of his son and just as he was about to throw the switch to lower the bridge he saw his son…
His son had ventured out of his control room and was playing in the gears of the bridge and had gotten stuck. He was stuck with a dilemma… He could save his son BUT if he did there would not be time to lower the bridge and the train would derail into the river over 100 feet down and ALL the people on the train would die!
He had a choice to make… his son OR 400 people… with a heavy heart, he knew the choice he had to make as he threw the switch… Screaming and crying he watched his son die in the gears of the bridge… then he stood and watched the train go safely by…
On that train were 100s of people who were sitting comfortably, drinking coffee, reading the paper, talking and joking with friends… TOTALLY oblivious of the sacrifice that had just been made to save their lives!
The man was so overwhelmed he began to scream, “I sacrificed MY son for you! Don’t you even care!”
I think this could be just how God feels every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper! We celebrate Communion many times per year and I believe we want to think we have a firm grasp on just WHAT we are celebrating!
However, do we TRULY understand the importance of what we are remembering? Do we really understand WHAT God has done for us? I believe that we CAN understand it, but only when our hearts are in the right place and our minds are focused on Him!
In our passage this morning we read about the final moments of Jesus’ life…moments when it SEEMED to all around that the enemy had won and that evil had conquered the day!
Jesus was bleeding out, hanging on the cross… He cried out to God about being forsaken… He screams to the top of His lungs and then gives up His spirit!
Nature itself seemed to shudder as Jesus died… the sun darkened, the earth shook and gave up its dead…
The Temple where the Jews believed God dwelled here on earth was shaken and the veil separating the Temple from the Holy of Holies was torn from the top to the bottom…
What happened that day, changed the face of everything within this world! But sadly, many people did not SEE… many people did not even know it happened…
Even today… people don’t comprehend the enormity of what God has done for them! This morning we are celebrating in remembrance the FACT that God sacrificed His son, WILLINGLY, so that we could be saved!
What a WONDERFUL act of love… a WONDERFUL act on God’s part to provide salvation for us…Scripture describes this in John 3:16 (ESV)
16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.