Until That Day

Bible Book: Matthew  26 : 20-29
Subject: Rapture; Return of Christ; Lord's Supper; Communion

Until That Day

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

Matthew 26:20-29

Jesus used parables and illustrations to preach powerful, effective, inspiring sermons. One sermon was not just spoken but demonstrated by our Lord, and He instructed that those who trusted Him as Savior should reenact this sermon in remembrance of Him. Thus, the Church of our Lord was given the ordinance we call The Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper preaches a sermon - a sermon with four parts.

First, note …

I. A Sermon Concerning Faith

Jesus took the bread and the cup and shared it with His disciples. In so doing, He was illustrating the death He would die and the price He would pay. It takes great faith to believe that the Son of God would leave heaven, come to this earth, and die for sinful people like us. It takes great faith to believe that our only part in this new covenant of grace is the act of believing upon Him through repentance of sin. When such faith is expressed in Him, then and there a transformation takes place. Salvation is imparted. New life is given. That is part of the message of the Lord's Supper. His life was poured out that the life we lost to sin might be recovered.

The Lord's Supper reminds us that we are a people of faith. We are bound together by the New Birth we have experienced by placing faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. We are not saved by receiving the Lord's Supper; we receive the Lord's Supper because we are saved!

I read somewhere the story of a young boy in war torn area who had a little sister who was wounded. The doctors came to the boy and told him that his sister needed blood and as her brother he had the type she needed. The boy agreed to a transfusion, though he had no idea what it meant. They placed a tube in his arm to drain the blood and a tube in his sister to receive it. As they began the process, the little boy looked up and the nurse and asked, “How long will it be before I die?” The nurse was shocked and said, “Oh, you will not die. We will only take enough blood to help your sister to live; you will be fine.”

The boy thought that giving his blood would cost his life, but he was willing to do it for his sister. Jesus did more than that. He gave his blood KNOWING that he was going to die for us. The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the faith we must have in Him in order to be redeemed from sin and to be given life eternal.

Let’s consider secondly…

II. A Sermon Concerning Fellowship

Jesus told His disciples to take the bread and the cup, and to share it with each other. It was impossible to receive this symbolic meal without the aid of your fellow believers. It is the same today. We share this meal with each other as He, our Lord, has shared it with us. You must hand me the plate and cup, and I must hand it on to one of you.

How desperately we need to remember this lesson. Jesus also sought to convey the truth of true fellowship in the washing of His disciple’s feet, as recorded in the Gospel of John. They needed to know that the Kingdom of God was not a place for big shots and heroes, but a place for sinners who stand on level ground at the cross. He told His disciples to treat each other the way He treated them. In this He taught a willingness to give oneself in service to Jesus by giving oneself in humble service to others. There are many ways to service Jesus faithfully, but not one of them involves pride and arrogance.

The only hero here today, in this worship service, is Jesus. We who have placed faith in Him are all members of His body. Each of us has a part to play, a job to do in His kingdom, but let us always remember that it is His kingdom and not ours. We are to recall that today as we take this supper.

We are part of the Body of Chris, and just as each part of your body and mine has a role in our existence, each part of the Body of Christ is important to the work of God on earth. Some parts of the human body may seem to be more important, but each part is vital. You think a lot more about your face than you do about your big toe, but kick your big toe into a chair walking through your house and you will soon find out how important it is. Every part of your body will turn its attention to the injured toe - immediately. Even your voice box will join in to let out a yell - just to be sure that everyone near by knows that your big toe is important.

The point is this - every member of this fellowship is central to carrying out God's will. As you pass the plate and cup during the Lord's Supper, realize afresh how others are depending on you and how you are depending on others. God means for us to work in harmony, fellowship and commitment to Him and to one another. The Lord's Supper reminds us of this truth.

The third sermon in the Lord’s Supper is …

III. A Sermon Concerning Forgiveness

The blood of Jesus was shed for our sins, and the wine they drank was a symbol of His sacrifice. As Jesus shared the cup with the disciples, I am sure they did not fully appreciate the significance of the symbol at that moment. They had not yet witnessed his awful death and the gruesome manner in which He would die. Only later did they come to understand just how important the cup Jesus shared with them really was. That cup represented the life poured out for their sins - and for ours.

When you take that cup today, you should remember what it means and what it says. It speaks volumes. It reveals that death is required for sin - but the death required has already been given - given by Jesus at the cross. His life was given that we might be forgiven! His blood was shed that we might be saved. The Lord's Supper reminds us that we are a forgiven people. Our sins that were many have been washed away in the righteous life given at the cross for us.

We must never take part in the Lord's Supper without the awareness of the supreme price paid for our sins. How blessed we are to be forgiven. We were not forgiven by the nod of a head or the wink of an eye, but by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

The fourth sermon in the Lord’s Supper is …

IV. A Sermon Concerning the Future

Jesus told His disciples that He would not eat this meal again with them until He dines with all believers in the Kingdom. He was using the meal to point to the coming day of triumph and victory that all Christians will experience when we are at home with Him in heaven.

The song writer penned,

"I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory,

And I heard about the streets of gold, beyond the crystal sea,

About the angels singing and the old redemption story,

And some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory."

We must remember that we are going home one day – we are going home to heaven. We are now in a foreign land, for this is not our home.

When I was a young lad in church, we used to sing a song that stated,

“I am a stranger here, within a foreign land;
My home is far away, upon a golden strand;
Ambassador to be of realms beyond the sea,
I’m here on business for my King.”

Yes, our home is far away but also it is so very near. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. What a wonderful promise. Listen, this is no fairy tale, but it is a promise from a Savior who not only died for us but rose to give us the promise of eternal life.

Conclusion

So, you see that The Lord's Supper contains four sermons, or perhaps one could say it is a sermon with four parts. Every part is critical. So, as we receive the Lord's Supper today, do not take it lightly. Recommit your heart, life and service to the One who gave His all for you.

All Christians here today are invited to take this supper. In doing so we are reminded of Faith, Fellowship, Forgiveness and the Future.

All those without Christ are invited to come to Him and embrace Him. The songwriter penned,

"He will save you,

He will save you NOW!"

I read in Moody Monthly the story of John Currier. The story of Currier demonstrates the plight of many people today. Currier had been found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life in prison in 1949. Some years later he was paroled to work for a wealthy farmer near Nashville, Tennessee. In 1968, his sentence was terminated and a letter of notification was sent to the convict and the farmer for whom he worked. However, Currier never saw the letter. For another 10 years he continued to work for the farmer. Even though the farmer was quite wealthy, he never paid Currier a salary but only gave him about $20 a week for personal needs. And, of course, the farmer never informed Currier that his sentence had been terminated and he was free to leave if he wanted to.

After the farmer died, a state parole officer learned what had happened and told Currier about the missing letter. Currier had been pardoned a whole decade before but was never told.

There are lots of people all around us who could experience true freedom if only someone would tell them the good news that a pardon has been arranged. If there is someone here today who has never accepted Jesus, please know that He sealed your pardon at Calvary. His blood was shed for you. Come to Him. Accept the pardon. Be free - today! [ Article from Moody Monthly, Nov 1980. Pages 93-95.]

Now, let's get ready to receive the Lord's Supper. Every Christian should look inside and examine himself or herself. You should ask the Holy Spirit to point out those areas that need to be more committed to our Lord. Perhaps you would come and bow here at the altar before Him and rededicate your life to Him before you take the Lord's Supper.

Every person in this room who has never accepted Christ is being called right now to come to Him. Today is the day of salvation for you.