The Cross: 5/24/09

The Cross: Download Sermon

1 Corinthians 11:23-34

My devotional today will be from the 11th Chapter of 1st Corinthians, the Apostle Paul was writing to the church at Corinth about the observance of the Lord’s Supper.  And he told them in specific terms in how they should observe the supper. Begging with verse 23 of Chapter 11 he said: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.” This is the reading of verses 23 through 34 of the 11th Chapter of 1st Corinthians for our devotional today. The subject of my message today is “The Cross”, these things that are written in the 11th Chapter of 1st Corinthians concerning the Lord’s Supper are written because of the cross. And so for a few minutes I’m going to be talking to you about The Cross. The first thing I want to say is the greatest emblem of Christianity is the cross, where ever you almost go there is somewhere near a cross there is a reminder of the crucifixion and the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. We get new calendars every year around the first of the year and there are many calendars that have a picture of the cross and rightly so. There are many rings and bracelets, many emblems of the cross. Many churches you go into have a cross and the cross is a simple reminder that Jesus died on the cross and that he died for the sins of the whole world. His death on the cross was in obedience to the deal he made with the Heavenly Father that he made before the foundation of the world. And yes there was a deal made before the foundation of the world and before God made the world and before he created Adam and Eve and set them in the garden, the Lord made a deal with Jesus Christ. God Almighty knowing his works from the beginning to the end knew that according to the freewill and nature of humankind that they would break the only law given to them and thus bring sin into the world. And in order that sin might be put away, that it might be forgiven there must be something or someone to take away that sin. God Almighty chose that his only begotten son, the Lord Jesus Christ should be that sacrifice and that his blood shall be the power and the remedy thorough which our sins are forgiven. He gave us early in the Old Testament an example that when he did tempt Abraham and ask him to take Isaac his only son up to the mountain and offer him up. God had made Abraham a promise that through him that all nations of the earth would be blessed and he had no son for a long time. He even substituted for the son that God promised him because of the encouragement of his wife, but this did not please the Lord and in simple this became a thorn in Abraham’s side and in Isaac and in just a passing word today that it also became a thorn to the Jews and the Nation of Israel for all the rest of the days of this world.  Today in the Holy Land people are fighting because of what happen with Abraham and the bonds maid in the Old Testament thousands of years ago. After God gave Abraham the promised son Isaac in his old age when he was a lad of a boy he offered him to go to the top of the mountain and offer him up and so they journeyed with the son and a servant and with the donkeys and when they came to the foot of the mountain Abraham said to his servant “abide here while I and the lad go yonder and return.” If you look deeply into this you can find that Abraham was strong in faith and even continued to believe God concerning this son even after he was born, that God Almighty had the power and the strength even though he took his life to raise him from the dead and bring forth the fulfillment of that promise. They went up the hill Abraham and Isaac and Isaac said “father here am I” and he said “here is the wood and the fire but where is the lamb” and Abraham said “son, God will provide himself a lamb.” And they went on up the hill and they built the altar and he took his son and laid him on that altar to offer him as a sacrifice and he laid him there as the lamb, and as he drew the knife to slit his throat the angels spoke out to him and said “Abraham, Abraham” and he steadied his hand and looked behind him and saw a ram caught by his horns in the thickets. So God provided himself a sacrifice. In the same thought God Almighty thorough his son the Lord Jesus Christ provided a sacrifice for all of us the whole world; it was not an average sacrifice. The lambs and the goats of the Old Testament were average sacrifices and they chose the best they had and the bible said those lambs and goats never could take away sin. But the lamb that God chose his own son there is power in his blood to take away sin. John the Baptist stood in the midst of the Jordan River and announced to the whole world “behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” What is must have been like for the people on that day to turn their attention from the baptizing service and look upon the face of Jesus Christ the Son of God the perfect Lamb of God that God had provided for the sins of the world. Jesus came into the world born under the law and born of a woman to redeem them that were under the law. Simon Peter said to the Jewish people as he wrote to them in the first chapter of 1st Peter and he said “for as much as ye know that ye are not redeemed with corruptible things of silver and gold.” There are many of us that sit upon these pews today that have been redeemed of our sins but it’s not with gold and it’s not with silver, it’s not by the works of our hands but God provided the precious blood of the lamb that we thorough him might have forgiveness of sin and peace with God. He finished those verses by saying,” who was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifested in these last times” and then the last verse said “who by him do believe in God.” That’s the message God has given us for the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of our soul. We are so glad that God in his wisdom provided a way, the law never could be satisfied, it never was satisfied until Jesus came and when Jesus came he satisfied the broken law of God. I should say to you that he lived over thirty years and in those thirty years he never sinned neither did guile come out of his mouth. He was the only one that walked in flesh or was in flesh and never sinned. We are all sinful people but Jesus satisfied the law of God and the Prophet Isaiah said as he looked forward; “that God when he saw the travail of his soul was satisfied” and Jesus offered a perfect sacrifice. Paul said “we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death and by the grace of God should taste death for every man that he might become the perfect captain of our salvation and he is a perfect Savior, a perfect captain and we are so thankful that God sent him and he kept the deal he made with the Father before the foundation of the world. When he had come into the world, the bible tells us that he was on the way to the cross and being on the way to the cross he went to the garden and I think I mentioned to you a few Sunday’s ago that Jesus carried with him three of his favorite disciples, Peter, James and John. And after a ways Jesus said to them “wait here while I go yonder to pray”. While they were supposedly watching Jesus went alone by himself and alone in the garden he prayed to his Heavenly Father. In the flesh he dreaded death but in the spirit man he was willing, the bible said he said “Oh God if it’s your will let this cup pass from me but not my will but thine be done.” Three times he prayed and three times he came and found his disciples asleep and the third time he said, “sleep on now for the time is come for the son of man to be betrayed into the hands of men” and immediately when he came to the disciples proceeded unto him Judas Iscariot he had made a covenant or deal with the Scribes and Pharisees and Elders to betray the Lord Jesus Christ into their hands and Jesus was betrayed by a kiss for thirty pieces of silver. He sold it for nothing, he sold his opportunity, he sold his soul and Jesus said “friend, wherefore art thou come” but Jesus knew why he had come but he was just reminding him. The Roman Soldiers came with swords and staves and bound him as if he were a common thief can you imagine such a thing today as a Christian, a genuine born again Christian it embarrasses me that people of our kind came with swords and staves and bound him as a common criminal who never sinned and carried him away to Calvary. And the bible said the twelve disciples forsook him and though we say we wouldn’t do that but I’ll say that our flesh is also week and at times we’ll do like Simon Peter did when he heard the old rooster crow and he remembered that Jesus had said to him that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed. He remembered what he did and he had sifted him and he went out and wept bitterly because of that very thing. They brought him before Caiaphas and before Ananias but they were men who were serving the jurisdiction but they could not sentence him to death so they brought him before Pilate the Roman Judge. So since they could not sentence him to death Jesus Christ the judge of all men, the great judge, the judge of all the earth stood before a man who was lesser than he although he showed him great respect and when Pilate trying him he sought false witnesses but they couldn’t find any, they found one or two who’s testimony did not jive with one another and finally Pilate said to him,”art thou the Christ?” and he said “you say that I am” and then he said to the crowd we have enough evidence to put him to death in that he blasphemed and he said he was the Son of God and you ask how did he blaspheme if he was not the Son of God and claiming to be the Son of God that was blaspheming. However that was not blaspheming because he simply told the truth when he said he was the Son of God, nevertheless for this charge they put him to death because it was the will of God. When they came to get him with swords and staves he said “did you not know that I could pray the Father and he would presently send me twelve legion of angels and even more to deliver me but how then would the scripture be fulfilled.” Jesus had made that deal and since he had made that deal he had been to the garden and he knew full well what the will of the Lord was and that was for him to go the cross and bear alone on that cross the sins of the whole world. When Pilate was trying him he said “I find no fault in him” and there was no fault in him, there was no sin in him, he had never broken the law, he had never told what we use is he never told a little white lie, he never broke the speed limit, there were no automobiles or these things, he was simply a sinless human being from the time he was born until he went to the cross. Pilate made a deal with them and he said it’s in your law and you can choose Barabbas and the people said “crucify him, crucify him” and they carried him to Calvary. There’s a saying that the cross is made of the dogwood tree and I don’t know if that is the truth but right outside the corner of the church is a dogwood tree and there’s a saying that God put a curse on the dogwood tree and it doesn’t grow very big anymore. But whatever it was the Jews made a cross and on that cross they nailed Jesus and it was not for his sins, it was not for his lineage but because he was the Lamb of God and it was the will of God for him to go the cross and pay the price for our sins. He could of come down and there’s a song that says “thank God he didn’t come down” but on Calvary’s cross he bore alone the sins of the whole world. I look at the cross today in my mind and in my heart and I see Jesus hanging on the cross in pain and agony and suffering for me. For he did go to the cross for me it was not the Jews that caused him to go to the cross and be crucified but the sins of all of us nailed him to the cross of Calvary. On the cross of Calvary the bible tells us the Roman soldier came and when he asked for water they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, they spit on him, they smote him with the palm of their hands and they whipped him and beat him and did everything possible and when he was hanging on that cross the soldier came and pierced his side with that spear and the bible said “forthwith came blood and water.” On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross the emblem of suffering and shame and the bible said Jesus despised the cross, he despised the suffering and the same but for the joy set before him he endure the cross. Do you know what that joy was? It was for saying everyone who came to him. That’s the joy that’s set before him and in Glory land we’ll be his people through all eternity forever and forever, so he shed his blood for the sins of the whole world. Jesus himself before he went to the cross observed the Passover Supper that the Jews had been instructed to observe since the night before they left the land of Egypt and he was observing it according to the custom and the law that God gave to the children of Israel. But the Passover being ended the bible said he took bread and brake it, it’s not just any bread but it’s unleavened bread and do you know why we use unleavened bread, unleavened bread is just plain bread it doesn’t have any seasonings or salt or any of those things, it is a type or reminder of the sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit of the vine that’s set before us is a reminder Jesus said “take this cup and drink all of it and as you drink it remember it is given for the remission of sin.” Paul said to the church at Corinth “I am delivering to you which also I receive how which the Lord Jesus the same night he was betrayed” as they took bread he was giving them instruction concerning the Lord’s Supper and today in connection to that this church at North Carthage is observing the Lords Supper in remembrance of his death upon the cross. How often aught we to do that? Jesus said “as often as you do that do it in remembrance of me.” If you do it every Sunday it’s alright as long as you do it in remembrance of Him, if you do it every quarter, every year or every ten years is alright but as often as you do it do it in remembrance of Him and it’s the right thing to do. Jesus wanted us to set forth as a church until He comes his death, his burial and his resurrection and we can do that. Paul told the church at Corinth to take this unleavened bread and give it to them and then he said to take this cup and give to them and then he said let a man examine himself it is not my responsibility to say if you are eligible or worthy but it is the responsibility of every person who wishes to partake in the Lords Supper to examine their self and then he said something you hardly ever hear Paul said if you judge yourself you won’t be judged of others and what that means is that if you examine yourself and if you make the right and honest decision then you won’t be judged and condemned of others. If any man the word here is generic it means any person observeth the supper unworthily he eateth and drinketh damnation to himself and then he said many sleep and some are sick because of this. What in the world is he saying? He’s saying this is a wonderful thing but in being wonderful it’s a serious thing and people ought not to take advantage of the situation and lead other people to believe they are something they’re not. And if you lead other people to believe you’re something you’re not, you eat and bring destruction upon yourself. Sometimes people are sick he said and the doctors can’t find out what is wrong with them and sometimes it’s because they have eaten and drank unworthily. Some are sleep or dead that’s what it means and then he said this you have houses to eat and drink in but the Lord’s Supper is not to take if you’re hungry. It’s the Lord’s Supper this is a memorial service in remembrance of him. Eat and drink because you are the children of God, eat and drink because you have been baptized into the fellowship of the church, the body of Christ. Jesus said “I give you a kingdom as my Father hath given unto me that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.” This is not Bro. Gentry’s table or this is not Bro. Bruce’s table but this is the Lord’s Table and to have an invitation we must fit the qualifications. One qualification above all, saved, saved, and saved there is no life giving strength in Communion. He didn’t mean for us to take because we are hungry or because we need life giving strength because that’s not what it is but we partake because we are seriously and actively remembering the Lords death as he died on the cross and we’re setting it forth for the whole world that’s he’s the Savior of all men and a special Savior to them that believe. It is my honor privilege to wait on the table of the Lord and administer the Lord’s Supper today, Jesus himself set it for the disciples which at that time was the New Testament Church. All of them were present with the exception of Judas who had gone out and killed himself and his mother, she was his mother and she was a Christian. And you may ask why didn’t he ask her? You would of thought he would have asked his mother, you would of thought being a great Christian lady he would have asked his mother but he didn’t. It’s because his mother was never a member of the Lord’s church and so therefore that disqualified her.
(The service continued as the Lord’s Supper was served by Bro. Gentry as five church deacons assisted him and after everyone had been served in keeping with the traditional service instead of dismissing the service with a prayer, the bible instructs to end the supper with a hymn.)

Blog Post 052409 – The Cross – 1st Corinthians 11:23-34 – 3723 Words

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