Summary: This is the last of the three sermons on the Lord's Supper. This will cover two thoughts, Intentional and Personal Preparation for the LS.
1. Motionless Man
Bill Fuqua, the Motionless Man, is the Guinness Book of World Records champion at feeling and doing nothing. In fact, he appears so motionless during his routines at shopping malls and amusement parks that he is sometimes mistaken for a mannequin. The sign next to the expressionless face said: "The Motionless Man: Make Him Laugh. Win $100." So several people gave it all they had. For hours they pulled their faces into strange contortions, told jokes, made fun of him, did stunts -- but nothing worked. He was totally unmoved and his face showed no expression.
God did not/does not intend for us to be motionless or emotionless in our relationship with him. The LS is a moving emotional experience that stirs our hearts, the dwelling place of God in our lives.
2. Jesus knew:
* When and how he would die
* That he would bear the weight of the sins of the world on his shoulders
* That He would experience separation from Father -- hell on our behalf
3. In spite of pressure he demonstrated concern for followers -- when he could have expected people to comfort him, he was comforting them: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Luke 23.28)
4. Jesus made at least 2 assertions and showed calmness under pressure when he instituted the LS -- Mark 14.12-26
I. Assertion #1: There Must be Intentional Preparation for the Lord's Supper -- v.12
Be Prepared for What You See
Behavioral scientists have discovered that we usually see things that we are prepared to see. This is all centered in a network of nerve cells called the "Reticular Activating System." Everybody has this system.
The "Reticular Activating System." works like this: Once something has been brought to our attention, and we have been prepared to see it, we'll see it virtually everywhere we go.
For example, you decide to buy a new car. You make up your mind that you are going to buy a certain brand, a certain body style, and a certain color. Now, you'll see those cars everywhere. You'll see them on the roads, in TV advertisements, in newspapers and magazines. They're everywhere.
Now what has happened? They were always there, but the moment you were prepared to see them, your Reticular Activating System kicked in, and suddenly you saw them everywhere.
It happens in other areas of life, too. We can prepare ourselves to see the worst or the best, and we do. We can prepare to see God in our assembly times and we will.
A. It could have been exasperating for Jesus
1. with all that was on his mind, he might not want to think about the details of the Passover meal
2. He might have thought that with all of their training, they would be able to prepare the meal and serve HIM
3. Yet, they ask him about preparations -- Like a husband talking to his wife as she packs her clothes to go to the hospital for a serious operation and he asks, "Have you made arrangements for someone to cut the grass while you are gone?"
4. Hard to be patient, but Jesus was -- he did not explode, he told them what to do
B. He had made advanced preparations -- vv. 13-16
1. Normally women carried water; Essene Quarter?
2. This was a signal for the disciples as to where to go
3. Remember, Jesus was a wanted man and could be arrested by the authorities if they found him away from the crowds -- he flew under the radar because he would be arrested on HIS timetable, not theirs
4. Jesus delegated out what needed to be done -- important night with nothing to chance
C. If the Lord's Supper is to be Meaningful to Us, We Must Make Advanced Preparation --
More Than Empty Ritual
The story is told about the baptism of a King by St. Patrick in the middle of the fifth century. Sometime during the ritual, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king's foot. St. Patrick was totally unaware. After the baptism was over, St. Patrick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king's forgiveness. Why did you suffer this pain in silence, the Saint wanted to know. The king shrugged and replied, "I thought it was part of the ritual."
1. I am not sure that we make much advanced preparation for our worship
2. Conversations before church:
* Why is my breakfast burned? Are you going to be in there all day?
* Where's my bible? I haven't seen it since last Sunday.
* I am going to start the car -- if you aren't out there in 2 minutes I will leave without you and will tell everyone that YOU are the reason I am late each week.