Summary: Three reasons to stay focused on Christ.
Matthew 26:26 - While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
27Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom."
We’re in the series on Living Life on Purpose, further investigating the purpose driven life of Christ by observing His answers to pressing questions.
Today we’re covering one of the most important foundations for a life lived on purpose. If you care anything at all about living a life that has meaning, a life that is really headed somewhere worthwhile, then it begins by becoming and Staying Focused on Christ. This is the principle that will take you to the pinnacle of a purpose driven life. Christ must be the central figure of consideration in your heart and mind.
In a few minutes we’re going to look at some specific questions asked of Jesus just before His crucifixion but first we’re going to recognize the significance of what we just read. Our question for today comes later on in this same chapter, chapter 26 of Matthew’s Good News account, shortly after Jesus had instituted communion as an observance of the church.
Why did Jesus, the same night He was betrayed, set forth this ordinance commemorating His death?
There’s no doubt that communion is an awesome picture of the broken body and shed blood of Christ. It’s a great teaching tool about the significance of Christ’s sacrifice and how each of us needs to make the personal choice of a faith commitment to Him.
Our hearts are filled with love and appreciation as we look back to that day that Jesus gave His all for us. No greater gift has ever been given in the history of the universe.
In addition to being a teaching tool, focusing on Christ is the main thing that will keep your life on track. Communion provides a great means of focusing your attention on what’s really important. We focus on Jesus because He is the central figure, not only in all of human history, but also in each one of our lives in particular. Jesus is not just an historical figure – He’s that for sure. But He’s also a very real and central figure to each of us.
Communion helps us remember to stay focused on Christ.
Why is staying focused on Christ so significant?
Notice what happens shortly after Christ initiated communion as an ordinance of the church.
Matthew 26:57 (NLT) Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered. 58Meanwhile, Peter was following far behind and eventually came to the courtyard of the high priest’s house. He went in, sat with the guards, and waited to see what was going to happen to Jesus.
59Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus so they could put him to death. 60But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found 61who declared, "This man said, `I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’"
(Of course Jesus did not say He would destroy the temple, He said His enemies would do so, and He said He would raise the temple back up – speaking of His body as a temple. John 2:19-22)
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?" 63But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, "I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
64Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say. And in the future you will see me, the Son of Man (a Messianic title), sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven."
65Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror, shouting, "Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?"
"Guilty!" they shouted. "He must die!"
What is the significance of staying focused on Christ? What does Christ’s answer to the questions of the chief priest have to say to us? High Priest to Jesus: "Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?" "…tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God."