Sunday, June 5, 2011

JESUS SAID…イエスは言った...

    This morning, we dedicate this child, Enoch Jedidiah Eby, to the care and watchful Hand of our Lord Jesus. May his life be filled with expressions of Faith in his God and Creator. We dedicate him to God’s love. May the Father of our Lord Jesus fill him with His Holy Spirit so that Enoch will live a life of trust.

    We also pray a prayer of dedication to you, his parents. It is our prayer that you too will support this child in the teaching of the Grace of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. In His Name, Amen.
At this time, please join us as we turn our hearts to remember the Lord Jesus. On the night He was betrayed, JESUS SAID1 Cor 11:23-32; Matt 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:(7-)14-23.

    This morning, I would like to share with you concerning this Lord’s Supper. This event is recorded in four places in the NT.  There are little differences in some of these accounts-three written in the Gospels and one written by Paul. I would like us to look at this account as Paul wrote it.   
Turn to 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."
    This final weekend of Jesus’ earthly ministry with His Disciples begins on the Feast of Passover, also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:1-20; Deut 16:1-8). Actually the two names represent different feasts that come right after one another. Often a reference to one really meant both. Passover came on the month of Nisan 14th -15th , while the Feast of Unleavened Bread came overlapping on the 15th through the 21st. The Passover celebrated the night of Israel's exodus from Egypt (Ex 12), while the Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorated two events: the exodus journey as well as the beginning of harvest season (Lev 23:5-8). During this time, pilgrims and worshipers from all over the region flocked into Jerusalem for a national celebration. It was rather like a combination of the Independence Day and Thanksgiving holidays in the United States. It was a time for feasting, for celebration; a time for worship and a time for social interaction. If they had fireworks, I believe they would have used them. If there were marching bands, they would have as well. These combined Jewish feast celebrated Salvation. Deliverance. Freedom. And later, the world would know that those same three words would be found in the One who died on that Friday.  The Savior of the World. The Deliverer from Sin. The Only One who could set the captive free.

    Jesus took this celebration holiday to really give His Followers something to remember: something to hold onto.  The historical elements were already there in their brain and were almost automatic in their response. The ceremony of how it was to be prepared, the room getting cleaned, getting rid of the leaven from the house, the prepared foods, drink, setting the table all in such a way that had been handed down from generation to generation.
Definition: Leaven: a substance used to make dough rise, especially yeast or other fermenting agents.   And this element was forbidden to have in the house during the Passover.

    Preparations for the holiday begin many days, sometimes many weeks in advance.  Everything in the home is scrubbed and polished.  Carpets are shampooed or steam cleaned, floors are scrubbed, fresh curtains are hung, drawers are cleaned out, furniture is moved, mattresses are overturned, pockets of garments are turned inside out and shaken clean.  While this might seem a bit excessive to some, cleaning for the Passover is the most thorough spring cleaning imaginable.  Just before Passover all-year-round kitchen utensils and dishes are put away to be replaced by those especially reserved for Passover.
    Matzah are the only kind of bread permitted in a Jewish home on Passover.  The Bible is not specific on the preparation of the matzos, but the Talmud* (commentaries on the Law) gives details as to the ingredients used, which are wheat-flour and water, the proper thickness, and other pertinent information.
    Since leaven is not allowed in the home on Passover, there is a special ceremony known as Mekhirat Hametz (Selling of the Leaven).   Several days before Passover a bill of sale is written out and all hametz (Hebrew for leaven) is sold to a non-Jew for the duration of the Passover.  The bill of sale is prepared with understanding that it will be returned immediately after the holiday.

    You can see, can’t you, why Paul was so upset with the Galatians Church as they wanted to keep following these things that were not really part of God’s Word.  *They were traditions. Might have been fun…but you can’t add to the Real Message of Truth.

    And now Jesus was there. His closest followers were there. He continued to teach them. As you look at the Gospels, we learn that there is something else going on. JESUS SAID to go into the city and follow a man carrying a water pot.  The house he goes into, enter and ask the owner to show you the upper room. The men went into the city and found it all just as Jesus had said.

    That would have got me thinking: Who is the Man, Jesus? Who are these people who already know what to do? Are they angels? Agents of God? No explanation given so we need to leave it alone. All that we need to know about God and what He wants us to know has been given to us. All that had been hidden from us is now revealed. To interpret the Scriptures, we do not need to be a sloth or a private eye with charts and mathematical measurements to decipher the hidden things of God.  No, all that we are told is there for us to know.  All else would be part of the Mysteries of God.

The Elements:
Bread and the Wine

    JESUS SAID that He was the Bread of Heaven. He likened this to the bread that was given to the People of Israel in the Wilderness during the 40 years of wandering. MANNA was given to them to eat. It was sweet to the taste and it could be cooked or baked in many forms.  You could only pick up what you needed for the day and if there was some left over, it would rot. You were to pick up double the day before the Sabbath so you did not have to work on the Day of Rest. JESUS SAID that if you are hungry (meaning in the spirit) come and eat of Me. Some of those who heard that misunderstood His comment. They suggested that He was talking about cannibalism.  Far from the truth. Jesus was talking about the Spirit of the Man. He used words that were common in human speech to relay Spiritual understanding. He also said that many would not understand UNLESS His Father shows them.

    JESUS SAID:… John 6:51

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

The Wine
    Wine has been the drink of preference in the Old Testament. Understand that water was not treated. Wine, at least, had the possibility of having some alcohol in the liquid to kill any germ or parasite within. Wine was part of the offering in the Temple. In fact, wine and oil were the liquid used in worship. It implied newness of life. Refreshment. 
JESUS SAID:… John 6:35

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.

    More than the bread and the wine, we have the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. His sacrifice on the Cross was planned from the foundation of the world. Father God, the Creator, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit: the Triune God, created all things. And in that creation, Man was made and placed into the Garden of Eden. There was great joy as Adam named all the animals God had made. They began to populate the area and yet Man found himself alone. So God made Eve out of Man and Eve became his wife, his companion and his helpmate.

    Then Satan tempted Eve and she gave the forbidden fruit to her husband and they ate of it and they died in their spirit.  Fellowship was broken and God removed them from the Garden. Even at that point, Adam and Eve needed a Savior for their sins.  God provided that Savior in the fullness of time in the Person of His Only Son, Jesus.  Jesus was born of Mary, and He lived a sinless life. All God and all man. During His last three years of life on earth, He taught His Followers and Disciples certain teachings that are passed on to even today.

    In that upper room, JESUS SAID a number of things. One of His teachings was to keep doing this celebration, this memorial. As often as we do it, we are to do it to remember His Death until He comes back once again to take His Bride, the Believing Church to be with Him in Heaven.

    JESUS SAID, Do this in Remembrance of Me.


Next week: Please read Galatians Chapter 2.