The Lord’s Supper Sacrifice

I was preaching on the sacrificial system and the fact that blood was required to atone for sin. I told how Solomon dedicated the temple with 22,000 cows and 122,000 sheep. I wondered how much blood that would be. About 3-6 gallons per cow. At least a couple of quarts per sheep. Lot of blood. Matthew, 7, is listening beside Amy, “That’s it, I’m not listening any more. All this talk of blood is just too violent. . .” Later Amy told me and I asked Matthew what he thought of my sermon. Great, without ever looking up from Nintendo, Just one thing, “You should have left out all that violence.” Judaism is a violent bloody religion. Highlights the severity of sin and judgment. There is no other way to atone for sin than death. And so for countless ages the Jews slaughtered animals. They killed them in mass. They killed them individually. They killed them daily. They killed them at feasts and festivals. They killed them all the time. Why? It was all a portrait of the perfect sacrifice that was still coming.

once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.
The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that the blood of those animals was powerless to atone for sin.

4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
That’s why Christ came. It was a sacrifice. Whenever we take the Lord’s supper we are to remember His sacrifice. I wanted to do that tonight. But not just the death. The whole sacrifice.

I.

Jesus sacrificed his position

Philippians 2:6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
They tell us that the universe contains 70 sextillion stars. That’s 70
million, million, million, or ten times more stars than grains of sand on the surface of the earth. The nearest star to us is 4 1/3 light years. Traveling the speed of light, it would take 4 1/3 years to reach it. That’s big. And the Bible says Jesus created it in 6 days. That’s even bigger. How could something so big give up something so big?

Hebrews 10:1-4 1 ¶ For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having

Max Lucado. Remember heaven is not foreign to Jesus. He is the only person to live on earth after he had lived in heaven.1 II. Jesus sacrificed his reputation
We are judged by the company we keep. When Christ left the
1

Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus 159.

glory of heaven and descended, or condescended to earth, he took up shop with the very people that would ruin his reputation. The wrap on Jesus was that he hung out with the wrong sort.

Matthew 9:10 And it happened that as He was reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax-gatherers and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?"
Sometimes you have to sacrifice your reputation to cover a shame. Did you hear the story about the little boy in class that accidentally wet his pants. The horror of the moment. He feels the moisture, looks down. How could this have happened. Children are brutal. When word gets out he’s finished. He hurries to his desk and sits hoping nobody saw. Praying that he won’t have to move until things dry out. However, things aren’t drying out. Recess bell is about to ring. He is in a terrible exposed situation. Just about that time the teacher asked one of the girls to change the water in the goldfish bowl. I don’t remember her name. Call her Suzie. Suzie heads to the front of the class and picks up the bowl, but as she is walking to the back she suddenly trips and falls. The entire contents of the bowl come crashing down into little Johnny’s lap. He’s completely soaked. As the goldfish flops helplessly on the ground and the teacher and others rush to control the damage Johnny suddenly realized his good fortune. It’s covered. Nobody will know. He looks up bewildered at the

good fortune and for just a moment catches what he thought was a twinkle in Suzie’s eye. The teacher scolded her for not being more careful. The goldfish was rescued and new water was found. Johnny was saved. Later at recess he had to know, “Suzie, did you spill it on purpose?” She smiled and said, “I once wet my pants in class too.” She sacrificed her reputation for that boy. And in the process she covered his shame. That’s a wonderful description of Jesus.

III.

Jesus sacrificed his life

Greater love hath no man than this . . . and you are my friends.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Now look at that next verse:

14 "You are My friends, if you do what I command you.
You are my friends. Why did he do it? He loved us that much. That’s what the Lord ’s Supper is for. It’s about the sacrifice. One man for all men. Him for me. Death for life. The sacrifice demands a response. What will you do about it?

IV.

How do we respond to sacrifice?

There’s only one appropriate reply. You must give your life back to the one that gave His life for you.

Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice––the kind

he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Romans 12:1. Present your bodies as a living sacrifice. When you think about it, that’s not even the whole story. Paul expanded on this idea when he wrote a little personal note to timothy at the end of his life. Paul was about to die and he was all right with that. He’d finished the job. He’d run the course. Listen to this phrase,

In other words, it’s not about me. It’s all about him. And if he wants what I have, or needs what I know, or can use who I am, then I give that up as a sacrifice. Here’s what it can sometimes look like. Eric Fellman speaks of meeting a Chinese couple in Hong Kong, while travelling to China. "A friend took me down a narrow alley to a second-floor flat to meet a man recently released from prison in China. I knew I would be pressed to carry Bibles and literature on my trip. But I was hesitant and tried to mask my fear with rationalizations about legalities and other concerns. A Chinese man in his 6Os opened the door. His smile was radiant, but his back was bent almost double. He led us to a sparsely furnished room. A Chinese woman of about the same age came in to serve tea. As she lingered, I couldn't help but notice how they touched and lovingly looked at each other. My staring apparently didn't go unnoticed, for soon they were both giggling. "What is it?" I asked my friend. "Oh nothing," he said with a smile. "They just wanted you to know it was OK--they're newlyweds." I learned they had been engaged in 1949, when he was a student at Nanking Seminary. On the day of their wedding rehearsal, Chinese communists seized the seminary. They took the students to a hard-labor prison. For the next 30 years, the bride-to-be was allowed only one visit per year. Each time, following their brief minutes together, the man would be called to the warden's office. "You may go home with your bride," he said, "if you will renounce Christianity." Year after year, this man replied with just one word; "No." I was stunned. How had he been able to stand the strain for so long, being denied his family, his marriage, and even his health? When I asked, he seemed astonished at my question. He replied, "With all that Jesus has done for me, how could I betray Him?" The next day, I requested that my suitcase be crammed with Bibles and training literature for Chinese Christians. I determined not to lie about the materials, yet lost not one minute of sleep worrying about the consequences. And

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come
That’s actually the second time he said that. The first was to the Philippians. A drink offering. What’s that? Usually when an animal was slaughtered and sacrificed it was burned on the altar of God. As the flesh was being consumed by fire, the priests were instructed to pour wine over it. The purpose of the libation was to make the sacrifice

Leviticus 23:13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.
Almost always it was ¼ of a hin. A hin was a liquid measure, about 5 quarts. So the drink offering or libation was about a quart of wine. Paul said, that’s my life. I’m about a quart of wine poured over the sacrifice of Christ. My life isn’t the sacrifice, it’s just to make the sacrifice smell better to this world.

as God had planned, my suitcases were never inspected.2 I’m not much for poetry, but this one summarizes the prayer we should be praying:

And so we take this memorial supper to remember the sacrifice and that helps us to not be clods.

From prayer that asks that I may be Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee, From fearing when I should aspire, From faltering when I should climb higher, From silken self, O Captain, free Thy soldier who would follow Thee. From subtle love of softening things, From easy choices, weakenings-Not thus are spirits fortified; Not this way went the Crucified. From all that dims Thy Calvary, O Lamb of God, deliver me. Give me love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay, The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire. Let me not sink to be a clod;
2

Moody Monthly, p. 33, Eric Fellman

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful