Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Perfect Sacrifice

Blue skies, bright sunshine, all things green waving in harmony with the breeze. Pastor Brad welcomes us. "Good morning!" Brad stated that there is a lot happening here today, and our focus would be on the Lord's Supper. He mysteriously suggested that we may break out into dancing today.

Brooke shared that VBS will be here in a week. We could use volunteers who can drive kids to and from VBS. There is also another need for a volunteer or two who can help lead kids from various stations to other stations. 

Darlene played another beautiful introit to lead us into worship, which was followed by the singing of a number of hymns along with the taking of our offering. During the offering two younger girls in the congregation performed a synchronized dane.

A variety of needs from our church family were shared as we entered a time of prayer.

The Perfect Sacrifice

Brad wanted to reflect today on the meaning of communion because many people do not grow up in the church and don't understand why Christian do this. Or why some churches do this one way, and others another way.

The Bible shows us that history is like a big U. It starts with perfection in the Garden and ends with the perfection of Heaven. But the story is dark, where we live.

It took three events to turn human history around: The Crucifiction, The Resurrection and this meal, the Lord's Supper.

In history ancient peoples from many cultures sacrificed animals. Many were sacrificing to appease or please the gods. Many strange rituals took place. 

Israel did something different with its sacrifices. There was an understanding that sacrifice was different, a visible way to address the problem of sin with a holy God. These sacrifices reminded Israel of the gravity of sin. And Brad explained there were several features of the sacrifice.

1. The animal taken was without flaw, without defect. 
2. The animal was to be blessed.
   See Psalm 51
3. The animal was then killed.
   Sin brings death.
   Exodus 24

Sacrifice was recognized as something costly. Sin was serious and forgiveness wasn't superficial or cheap.

The Last Supper is where Jesus explained what these sacrifices were all about. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, He gave thanks, He broke it and said...'This is My body. Take, eat. Do this in remembrance of Me.'"

When we come to the table, it's not just us remembering. Something of Jesus comes shining through.

We all have a deep sense in our hearts that the world is broken, and somehow there has to be something done to set it right.

When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God."

Jesus was selected, without flaw or defect. He was blessed, and then He was taken to the cross.

Crucifixion, Resurrection. It was at this meal, the Lord's Supper, that Jesus explained the meaning of all these things.

After He broke the bread, He then passed the cup, saying, "This is My blood..."

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