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Summary: Friends we are to examine ourselves before we partake of communion we are called to search our lives and our hearts for any hidden sin. We are to sweep our hearts clean before God.

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World Communion Sunday 2009

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Today we join Christians from every country around the world in Celebrating World Communion Sunday. Just think of it all around our globe Christians of every tongue, tribe, and on every continent are doing what we are doing this morning. They are gathering as brothers and sisters in Christ to sit with Jesus at the Communion table.

I wonder how many we are in terms of numbers. I wonder what challenges each person faces in their walk with God. I wonder how big the communion table in heaven will be when I see it for the first time.

Communion is for us a Sacrament that was introduced to us by Jesus our Saviour. We come together as one body of believers to share in commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.

It became the last supper for Jesus because He had been betrayed and sold out for 30 pieces of silver by one of his own followers Judas Iscariot. The occasion of Jesus Last Supper happened to be during a special Jewish ceremony celebrated by all Jews called the Passover.

The Passover was an annual celebration where the Jews remembered how the Living God Yahweh sent the Angel of Death over the country of Egypt to kill the first born of the Egyptians. The Angel of Death Passed over the Jewish people and their firstborn saving them from death. The Jews had the blood of a lamb on their doors and door posts identifying them as Gods people. It was the last of ten great plagues against Egypt. They are recorded in the book of Genesis as:

Water turned to Blood

Frogs over the land

Lice

Flies

Diseased Livestock

Boils

Hail

Locusts

Three Days of Darkness

Death of the First Born of Egypt

All these things were to be remembered and were recounted by Jesus and his disciples during the Last Supper. The day before the Last Supper Jesus ordered his disciples to make the arrangements for the Passover meal. Matt 26:17

Jesus Last Supper became for us our Passover meal. Jesus used the bread and the wine already on the table as elements to represent His body and blood.

What ten great plagues has God rescued you from since Jesus blood has covered you?

Maybe you are still suffering from some kind of sin and seek freedom.

3,000 years ago when the first Passover was celebrated the Jews made bread without a leveling agent. It was a bread made in hast so no leaven was used. It was to remind them that they would be delivered suddenly. From that day until now all leaven must be removed from a Jewish home in preparation for the Passover and if any is found it must be put in a paper bag and burnt or sold to a non-Jew in order to purify the home for the Passover celebration. Then a final search and sweeping of the house must be done to ensure all leaven is removed.

Friends we are to examine ourselves before we partake of communion we are called to search our lives and our hearts for any hidden sin. We are to sweep our hearts clean before God.

1Corinthians 11:28

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

The firstborn male of a Jewish family must fast the day before in recognition of how the firstborn of the Egyptians was struck down by the hand of God.

All Jews were required to abstain completely for the next seven or eight days from all foods containing leaven or chametz. They were also to refrain from all work on the first and last days of the Passover but could work on the days in between.

What did the Last Supper look like? One of the Disciples would have lit two candles and said a blessing over each candle as it was lit.

The wine would then have been blessed and a cup poured for each person as well as an extra cup for the prophet Elijah. In all four cups of wine would be consumed by each person present at specific times of the ceremony. But Elijahs cup would remain untouched.

They would have washed their hands and then taken parsley to remind them of the rebirth of spring and then dipped the parsley into salt water to remind them of the many tears shed by the Jews while in slavery.

Three breads were then displayed with the middle one being broken and passed around for all to share. Half of one of the breads would be hidden and covered for children to find later. It is called the afikomen, it is a Greek word. It means something to the effect of that which is coming.

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