Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.

 

Remember Me

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(6/1) Having 3 sons who like to play sports, I have sat through a lot of rec. council and high school basketball games. Sometimes I helped with the score books at the officials table. To remember whose turn was next to get the ball, on what we used to call a jump ball, the referees would sometimes use a rubber band that they would place on their wrists and then alternate hands when it was the next teamís turn. My cousin would turn his watch over to the bottom of his wrist if there was something he was supposed to remember.

So here is a question, what are some items that you either use as memory device or that you use to remember something or someone? (Field answers)

  • Wedding rings
  • Pictures, photo albums
  • Artifacts, such as Bibles, a piece of furniture, or some other keepsake
  • A Tradition
  • A scrapbook
  • A day timer or calendar
  • An alarm or buzzer on a clock or phone
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays (usually about remembering someone or something, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.)
  • Other

This morning is about remembering. I want you to remember life B.C. The Apostle Paul said this to the Church at Ephesus, "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Un-circumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands, 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ, (Eph. 2:11-13). What would your life, hope, and future be if you hadnít followed Jesus Christ? Do you ever pause and remember what you were saved from (both in this life and the one to come)?

Do you remember who it was that told you about Jesus? Who was it (parent, pastor, peer, a person at work, teacher or someone else)? {Field answers}

Where were you (Church, stadium, home, work, vacation)? {Field answers)

Do you remember the awe, wonder, and amazement that accompanied that time?

Had you forgotten it?

In our Words in Red series, (2 more weeks after today, and then we will begin a new series), I want us to look back and remember a special evening in the life of our Lord Jesus and His Words in Red for us. I want us to look at 3 different Gospel accounts, Matt 26:17-30; Luke 22:7-30; & John 13:1-17.

Remember the Passover Ė Two months ago, we remembered Easter and the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. His death occurred during Passover. Passover began a weeklong holiday called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was a remembrance of the time when God would bring the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob out of the bondage they were under in Egypt and into their own land that God had promised to Abraham.

You remember that in order to free His people, God had to convince Pharaoh to let the people go. Pharaoh was not inclined to do so, so God brought 9 miraculous plagues against Egypt while protecting the land of Goshen where the Hebrews lived. Bloody water, frogs, flies, lice, locust, boils, dead cattle, fire and hail, and darkness, yet Pharaohís heart remained hard and he would not let the Hebrews leave Egypt. So God brought one more plague. This plague would be different. The first born of every family and house in Egypt, including the land of Goshen, would die. God did, however, provide a means of saving the life of the first born. Every family or house hold had to find a perfect lamb or kid, one with no sores or blemishes, and less than a year old. The throat was to be cut and the blood caught in a basin and applied with hyssop to the lintels and door posts of every home. When God passed through the land that night, every house that had the blood of the lamb or kid on the door posts and lintels was spared, but on every home of Egypt where the blood was not applied, there was death.

That same night bread all leaven or yeast was to be removed from their homes. Anyone who ate anything with leaven or yeast was to be banished from the nation whether Jew or Gentile. Only bread without leaven was to be eaten in the next 7 days. They were to have their bags packed and their shoes on because their Exodus would be in a hurry. And so it happened as you can read in Exodus 12-13, and this feast of the Passover and Unleavened Bread was to be a perpetual reminder of their salvation from Egyptian bondage and the Covenant that God would establish with them at Sinai. You can read about it in Exodus 19-24. The blood of oxen, that had been sacrificed, was caught by Moses. Some he sprinkled on the altar and some he sprinkled on the people who had promised to obey God and live under His covenant promises. Then the elders went up with Moses and in the visible presence of God they ate a Covenant meal.

God had chosen these people to reveal Himself to and to make Him known to the rest of the world. As they obeyed Him, He would bless their lives beyond anything they could imagine. But if they refused to obey Him, they would fall under His discipline. That was the Covenant Promise which we refer to as the Old Testament. That is what is remembered at every Passover remembrance.

Our Lord Jesus had sent Peter and John to find a man, that apparantly He had already agreed with to use a guest room in his house to remember this Passover with the 12. This would be His last Passover and the beginning of a new remembrance. Luke 22:15 says, "Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;" He really wanted this evening with these guys. He would spend much of the evening giving them their final life lessons before He leaving them. You can read most of it in John 14-17.

For our time remaining this morning, there are four brief lessons, which I hope you will remember.

I. Remember the Body of Christ Ė Jesus took bread and said, "Take eat, this is my Body." (Matt. 26:26) (men distribute)

This matzah bread that represented the forsaking of Egypt and the Embracing of a relationship with God as redeemed people set apart as Holy to God, is now to be a means of remembering that God came to rescue His people in a body just like we have.

This is so significant. This is Johnís principle reason for writing his Gospel and his letters. This man we call Jesus the Christ, was not just a man. He is the incarnation of the God of Creation, the Sovereign of the universe. He tells us that God became flesh and dwelt among us. He showed us what God is like, and where His heart is. He spoke to us with the mouth of a man. He touched us with the hands and arms and hugs of a man. He prayed with us as a man. He cried the tears of a man. He probably danced with the feet of a man at the weddings He attended. He laughed as a man. He traveled on the shoe sole express as a man. But, He is God. God came to us in a body, through the womb of a woman named Mary.

He loved with the emotions and actions of a man. He experienced pain, hunger, fatigue, rejection, temptation, joy, grief, and more as a man. God became one of us, so we would know that He knows what we go through, and we would know that He knows how to endure or deal with this life. The author Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 2:14-18, that this is the reason Jesus came in a body. Listen: Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted (tested, tried). When you are in a valley, be it despair, depression, anger, pain, rejection, or whatever, you must remember that your God knows exactly what you feel, because He has been where you are now.

When you eat this bread, you must remember that Your God came in flesh, to taste your death for you. He experienced the valley. He died as a man, as your substitute. Hebrews 2:9 says, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Word taste means to fully experience. Letís eat and remember, that our God loved us so much he became as one of us to save us.

II. Remember the Blood of Christ (Matt. 22:27-28). During the Passover

Meal, 4 cups of diluted wine would be drank, the third cup is referred to as the cup of Blessing (cp. 1 Cor. 10:16). It was this cup that Jesus used to remind us forever that His blood would be shed, He would literally be bled out before and after his death, by the beatings, piercings, and ultimately after His death by the spear in His side. His blood signifying His death, would be for the forgiveness of our sins so says verse 28. Hebrews 9:22 is a quote from Lev. 17:11, "And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Remission means forgiveness. Sin requires death. Either your own death or the death of a substitute. God came in a body to bleed out and die for your sins and mine and to establish a New and different Covenant with all Christ-Followers. Jeremiah 31 and many other Prophetic passages speak of it. Unlike the Old Covenant, this would be an unconditional Covenant. There would be no further need for any sacrifices, Jesusí sacrifice for our sins would be a once, for all, and forever sacrifice for us. God would adopt us as His children. He would write his laws on our hearts. He will never bring our sins up to charge us with them again. He would come to live inside of each of us to enable us to obey and to serve Him. He will prepare us a place in House to abide with Him forever. All of this and more are His promises, ratified by His blood. Just as in Exodus 24, Moses sprinkled blood on the altar and on the people to ratify the Old Covenant. Jesusí blood would ratify the New Covenant. If you are a Christ Follower, God has given you exceedingly great and precious promises and gifts that are entirely of His grace. Letís drink to remember that all we have is a gift of Godís grace made possible by the Blood of Jesus.

III. Remember the Promise of Christ (v. 29 cp. Luke 22:16) What our

Catholic friends call the Eucharist from the words, "Ö gave thanks" from the Greek, "Eucharisto." We generally refer to it as Communion from the word sharing or communion in 1 Cor. 10:16, from the Greek word, "koinonia" meaning to have or share in common. We also refer to it as the Lordís Supper. It is to be regular observance for the Church, as a reminder of what God has done for us and as a reminder of the future. Last week we began to look at the Lordís promise that, Ready or Not, He is going to come back. That will also be our theme for the next two weeks as we look at Matthew 25. But notice here, when He does return as the King of Kings and establishes peace on earth, there is going to be the biggest and grandest celebration of Passover and of this Memorial meal, that there has ever been. We spoke of this on Palm Sunday when we concluded our Prodigal God series. The king will break bread with us and will raise a glass of wine with us, and will bless us forever. Every remembrance of the Lordís death is a testimony to ourselves and our visitors that Jesus is coming back and now is the time to get ready, because there is more to life than what we are experiencing now. This is your invitation to the greatest dinner party of all time. Paul says in 1 Cor. 11:26, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lordís death till He comes." We get to sit with Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and Mary, and above all, Jesus Himself. And it wonít be a small piece of matzah, and a swallow of grape juice, it will be a full blown meal that God Himself will prepare (Isaiah 25:6) and Jesus, our Lord will serve (Luke 12:37). That should excite you. You have been invited. But there is at least one more lesson of this meal.

IV. Remember the Humility of Christ. These 12 were caught up in the

Kingdom prospect. They had visions of grandeur. Jesus had already told them they would sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). And on this sacred evening, for at least the 3rd or 4th time they were arguing about the pecking order. Look at Luke 22:24-27. "Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called Ďbenefactors.í 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves." It was probably at this point that John fills in the rest of the story about that evening. Would you look at John 13:1-5? Whoa! Letís pause and remember. His body and blood and remind us that He is God in the flesh who came to identify with us and die as our substitute. His promise is of a Golden age where He will be King, yet here He reveals a side of God that no other religion in the world can fathom. God is humble and serves His creation.

A couple of days ago, I was working in my yard and opening our above ground pool for Debbie and the kids and my tennis shoes got wet, but I worked all day in them and that evening when I took them off, the odor almost took my breath away. I had to fill them with baking soda. And then take a shower. Foot odor can be terrible.

Jesus washed the feet of 12 men. Who were arguing about who is the greatest and not one of them would have stooped to wash the feet of another. They were too proud, or too full of themselves, too above such a task. It is degrading, humiliating, dirty, and undesirable. But Jesus did it. Even though, every one of these men would desert Him in just a few hours. One would betray Him and have Him arrested and condemned to death. His closest friend would swear 3 times that he didnít even know Him.

Not one of these men were deserving of such an act of humble grace. But it is this very kind grace and humility that Jesus demands from us. This is the object lesson behind the New Commandment of John 13:34-35, that we looked a few weeks ago. Look closely at John 13:12-17, "So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anotherís feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

Godís approval and your own joy will not come from your pride, or what you receive, but from your willingness to humble yourself as Jesus did to serve the Body of Christ, the Church. Today, I want to ask you to consider dropping your pride like a dirty tee shirt or sweaty socks, and take up a towel and wash feet. Take a Sunday in the Nursery, teach Childrenís Church, come early and help with the equipment, tell your neighbors about Jesus and ECBC. You may get a phone call asking you to take a turn. Say "yes." Donít say you canít or that you have done your time, or that this is beneath you, because you are not greater than Jesus and He said, "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

Conclusion. Now we have already eaten and we have drank the cup, but Paul reminds us that every time we do so there should be a time of self-examination. He says so in 1 Cor. 11:28ff. "Let a man examine Himself." Bow your heads and consider these questions:

  • Have you acknowledged that Jesus is God in the Flesh, Lord of the Universe and therefore the Lord of your Life?
  • Have you placed your faith in His death and resurrection for your forgiveness and eternal life under the New Covenant?
  • Is there a sin that you need to acknowledge to God and confess and forsake? It may be your pride; un-forgiveness; the need to say Iím sorry; a lack of service to God and His Church; a lack of faith in Godís promises or provision; a lie; some gossip; an unfulfilled promise; an act of anger; Let the words of David be your prayer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139:23-24).

The offering plates are up here by the basin and towel. As we sing a hymn, if you wish to give an offering, stop here first, touch the towel. There is nothing magical or mystical in this. It is just a reminder that as Jesus humbled Himself to serve us, we are to humble ourselves and serve Him and His church. Before you put anything in the plate, give the offering that our God wants more than anything, yourself!!!!!

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman