Summary: A Lord’s Supper sermon.
The Lord’s Great Desire
The Lord’s Supper is a beautiful commemorative supper where we are drawn together to remember the Lord’s death till He returns. It is a time of solemn reflection upon our individual lives to help us reflect on our relationships with God, and it is a time for us to examine our hearts, our minds, our motives, our ambitions, our thoughts and actions and so forth to see if they are in line with God’s will and His Word.
Not only is the Lord’s Supper a time of reflection and examination, it is also a time when we frequently remind ourselves of our doctrinal positions. We believe the Lord organized His local, visible church during His earthly ministry, not on the day of Pentecost. We believe that He instituted His Supper and gave the sole authority to observe it to the church. We believe that a person must be saved, scripturally baptized and a member of this church body to observe it in this church. For that reason we believe and practice closed communion – closed to those who do not meet those qualifications, but open to all who do. We believe that there are two elements, the unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, representing the sinless body and the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We do not believe that the Lord’s Supper bestows saving grace upon anyone – but that all who are saved "are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God."
Listen, you could take the Lord’s Supper and begin to teach every doctrinal position that we hold to. They are not isolated teachings that can be compartmentalized, but rather every one of those Scriptural teachings is interrelated and is inseparably linked to all the others. Having said all of that, there is still something else found in the Lord’s Supper that I want to draw your attention to in our text this morning. Read with me Luke 22:14-16.
"And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
What I want to share with you is found in verse 15. In the original language of the Bible, the words used by Jesus say this: "With earnest desire, or with fervent desire, or with great desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." Now as I read that statement, I cannot help but ask myself this question: Why? Why such a great desire to eat this meal with the apostles? Why does He have such a longing to participate in this event? As I thought on that, a secondary question came to my mind, and it is this: even if I understand why Jesus had this great desire, what difference will it make to us today? What difference will it make to the individual sitting in the pew? When you leave this place and go back to work or to school, when you take your place in the world on Monday, what difference will any of this have made?
It is these two questions I hope to answer today, and I would like to pray before we continue.
Why did Jesus have such a great desire to eat this Passover meal?
I think as we consider the text and the events taking place before and after it, there are at least two reasons Jesus wanted to eat this meal with His apostles. First…
Because He was the Passover’s fulfillment.
In Exodus 12 we find the institution of the Passover. You remember that the Israelites had been in bondage to the Egyptians, and now the Lord is setting them free. He will pass through the land and will kill the firstborn of every home that is not protected by the blood of a lamb. Let’s begin reading in verse 3.
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: and if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire; and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever."