Posts Tagged ‘ Notes ’

Sermon: Remember: A Love Note from God – Mark 14:12-31

I preached again!

It was my turn in our usual rotation (pushed back a week due to Pastor Scott getting sick and throwing the rotation off), and it was also Communion week. (I am more a fan of Communion happening every week, but it is not something I will break fellowship over!)

What makes it extra special that it was Communion week is that I got to preach on the Passover meal (Last Supper) which includes the institution of the Lord’s Supper – Communion.

As usual, here are my notes. Remember that I do not necessarily stick strictly to the notes. In fact, I added quite a bit this time (I tried making adjustments on my iPad, but it did not want to let me), and I switched a couple parts around slightly.

(And the audio for our official church video was messed up, so here is the recording I made from my phone! I almost lost it a few times while preaching, so there will be some moments of silence … and maybe you’ll want to cry too.)

Remember: The Love Note from God  —  Mark 14:12-31

INTRO:

In all of my preaching classes I was told over and over that we need a good introduction that ties in with the whole message. Something that we can refer back to throughout the message, even in the conclusion.

In conversations, I tend to be pretty good about that: making connections throughout to things we’ve said before. I even connect a lot of it to the Bible.

For some reason, I often am not that great at it when preaching. And here is a great example.

This intro has almost nothing to do with the rest of the message, but I like the connection I can see in my mind. I cannot suggest everyone see this PG-13 movie, because there is a decent amount of vulgar language and violence (much like a video game) throughout, so do not take this as an official endorsement or suggestion to see it.

That being said, I got to see Free Guy (with Ryan Reynolds) this week. It really is a fun movie, especially if you enjoy quite a bit of nerd-culture (comic books, video games, YouTube, movies, etc.). Many, if not most, of my friends said one of the best scenes in the movie is one jampacked with references to recent popular movies, and it indeed is hilarious.

My favorite scene, though, comes a few minutes after this. When two of the other main characters are talking, and this line is said,

“I’m just a love letter to you. The real question is who is the writer?”

Today, we talk about God’s love letter to us. Technically, yeah, it’s the Bible. More specifically, it’s the Person of Jesus Christ. Most specifically, it’s about how much God loves us, that He came for us, died for us, and welcomes us in. All for His glory and our benefit. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

And the love note we get to enjoy “as often as we drink it, in remembrance of” Him.

MESSAGE:

[vv. 12-16:]
Firstly, what is the Feast of Unleavened Bread? The celebration of Passover. Remember way back, about 1500 years earlier, Israel was enslaved by Egypt, and Moses came to free God’s people.  After nine plagues, came the 10th: the death of the firstborn. This is the inauguration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because, as Exodus 12 reminds us, the Lord struck down all the firstborn children in Egypt (including animals), except for in the homes where a lamb was slaughtered and its blood painted over the doors. This was the sign for the Spirit to Pass Over their houses.

But why is it called Unleavened Bread? Because the Israelites did not have time to let dough rise for bread. This serves as a reminder that the Lord can take us at any time, like He did with the Egyptian firstborn. The entire week-long feast is done with unleavened bread, to remind the people of the time they were redeemed by God, and quickly. (It is possible this can point to the Rapture, as well.)

Now, Jesus and His disciples (specifically the Twelve … possibly with some others, as we note that some disciples prepared the Passover before Jesus arrived with the Twelve, and this meal was usually held with family present) were going to eat the meal together, but they needed a place. Remember that none of the various groups of this time were completely correct on what the Messiah would be like and do, but the group that came the closes was the Essenes.

Who were the Essenes? A group expecting the soon coming of Messiah who secluded themselves from the rest of society (something Jesus/the NT actually warned not to do) to live purely and to copy the Hebrew texts (not just books we find in our Bibles nor only in Hebrew/Aramaic), and only men could become priests. (They were basically their day’s version of a Roman Catholic hippie commune.) They were the closest to understanding the Messiah.

But they also kept at least one house in nearby cities, to be cared for by priests and for getting supplies as needed.

Why is this important?  Because in these days, only women carried water jars around. Unless they were of the Essene priesthood and maintaining the city-home. And, therefore, it is very possible that Jesus was working with the local Essenes to have a place ready for His final meal with His disciples. (He also could have miraculously known who would let Him use a place with a large room for the dinner!)

[And notice, again, the use of water. The earth was formed out of water by God, destroyed again by water by God. Through water Israel was saved. By water we are baptized as our Lord was. His first miracle was turning water into wine. Now, water is the sign that will lead the disciples to the Last Supper – where the sign of the new covenant is given.]

We also know from Luke that Peter and John were the two who prepared everything. And it was probably Thursday that much of this took place, with the meal beginning in the evening, as prescribed by Exodus 12. This would have put the dinner, arrest, and crucifixion all on Friday by Jewish time-telling.

[vv. 17:]
We see that meal does not even begin until the evening. We remember from the other Gospels that they arrive, and Jesus washes their feet. A major sign of humility, even shaming the one who was seated in the lowest place (probably Peter, actually) who was usually the one (without servants) to wash everyone else’s feet.

I think it is also good to jump around a little in our passage today, because Jesus has just washed their feet and is getting ready to enjoy the meal with them. But how hard was this time for Him?

Why?

[vv. 18-21:]
We remember from last time that Judas has already made an agreement with the Jewish leadership to betray Jesus, so we are not surprised by this.

Neither is Jesus. The other gospels help us to see that they have been eating together for a time, and Jesus even calls out Judas (quietly, implying the two seats of honor at the table are taken by John – who leaned on Jesus during the meal – and Judas – who could be secretly talked with during the meal!) The other disciples just think that He leaves to take care of the business needed for the feast, which helps to imply that he was not actually there when the Lord’s Supper was instituted.

So, Jesus goes into this meal thinking about the man who will betray Him to death. Someone who has been with Him for over three years and been considered a friend.

A friend who not only turns his back but also (almost literally) stabs Him in the back. How must that have felt?

Have you wondered how about Jesus’ words here? “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Maybe, like me, you have wrestled with the idea of a sovereign God who would create someone just to be destroyed. How could He?

But we also know God created us with free will. Judas chose to betray his friend, and our God – who is sovereign – works this man’s evil intents into His plan for our salvation.

And Jesus laments that His friend is choosing not only to reject a friend but God Himself. He has seen God face to face, and now he must face eternity having rejected Him.

But there is more. After they leave the meal, on their way to Gethsemane …

[vv. 26-31:]
Jesus tells His disciples – especially Peter – about their and his denial. First there is the backstabbing friend He knows about. Now we see He knows one of his closest friends is going to leave Him hanging (pun intended) in His darkest moment.

Jesus is having dinner with his closest friends, knowing that He is on His way to the cross, knowing that one of His friends is sending Him there and all of His friends, including one of His best friends, will abandon Him.

So what do we learn?

What have we called this series in Mark? Power Serve. What does it look like to serve others with the power of God? Humility in the face of hatred. Grace in the middle of greed. Love in the light (and in spite) of loss.

We are not really given permission to hide ourselves away when painful circumstances come our way. The example our Lord and Savior has given us is that when we know no one is there for us, when people abandon us, when we are at our darkest moments, that is the exact moment we need to rely on the Father to guide us through and show the most humility, grace, and love. We serve others with the Good News of Jesus Christ, in His power and love, by His grace, humbly and without complaint.

Because that is what He did.

Think about it. What, really, was His example?

This is a Passover meal. They probably discussed how God spared Israel when all of the firstborn were slain. And Jesus – the Firstborn of God, fully God and fully Man – has come to be the only firstborn whose blood is shed to save all other people who call on His Name.

Instead of a year-old lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Instead of the blood being painted over the door of our homes, The Door poured out His blood.

Instead of death coming for us, He defeated death through taking away our sin by becoming sin on the cross and then rising from the grave.

In other words, Instead of unleavened bread, we have the Bread of Life who was broken for us and rose again to Life.


He became a friend when His friends abandoned Him.

And He gave us a reminder to celebrate it. A love note to remind us “as often as [we] drink of it”.

[vv. 22-25:]
So, we take communion to remember that He has done all the work. It is not so much our story. We are a part of His story. All of this – literally everything – is about Jesus.

We take communion to remember His humility and sacrifice for His friends.
For those who abandon and ignore Him.
For those who put Him on a cross to suffer.
For those who mistreat Him, mock Him, and turned away from Him.

But we have this hope: that He has forgiven us by His blood, and we will one day enjoy a meal with Him again.

But until then, we proclaim His life, death, and resurrection. So, join me in partaking in communion.

RESPONSE:

1 Corinthians 11:23-25:
the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 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.”

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance
of me.”

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:10-12

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount – The Beatitudes: Part 3

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:10-12:
The first several verses tell us it is blessed (brings joy, contentment, peace) to find salvation in Christ

  • We realize our wretchedness (v. 3)
  • We lament our sinful rebellion against God (v. 4)
  • We realize our need for help and salvation (v. 5)
  • We see a growing desire for God’s Word & presence (v. 6)
  • We realize our fallen neighbors need the same mercy we receive from God (v. 7)
  • We let God renew our hearts and minds to seek His goodness for others (v. 8)
  • We desire to bring others to the peace of God (v. 9)

What then happens in the life of the Christian?
Now we read:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12, ESV

v. 10-11: Firstly, notice the first phrase to be repeated: “theirs is the kingdom of heaven?” (from v. 3)
• We mourn their sin as we mourn our own. It is no longer “me vs. the world” but “Here am I, send
me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
• We are letting God change us – Romans 12:1-2

When we allow God to change the way we see, think about, and interact with our world, it becomes
easier to live out these qualities and not act like the world.

What is righteousness?

(Doing/believing/teaching what is right – by GOD’S STANDARD)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-26]

  • Respect – This world has a lack of true respect for others, to the point even children are sing parents. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
  • Racism – “We evolved into different races.” No respect for the other people, even though there is only 1 human race (with different ethnicities and cultures, sure. See Acts 17:26)
  • Marriage – “Anyone can love who they want. Love is love.” (Matthew 19:4-6)
  • Gender – (Matthew 19:4)
  • Drugs
  • Abortion
  • Climate Change – (Technically true. The creation is cursed due to human sin – Genesis 3)
  • Truth – “Follow your truth” “What is truth?” (Pilate, John 18:38)

[READ 2 Timothy 2:22-27]

Taking a stand for truth (The Gospel and God’s standard) forces the world to face their sins. Do we like being told we’re wrong?

Seeing their sin results in lashing out: verbally, physically, emotionally
• 2 Timothy 2:8-12; 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Romans 1:16-17)

So, we show compassion. What does compassion mean? (Feeling with others, joining in their experience. “I was you. I, too, rejected God and sinned.”)

So, then, what does it mean to be blessed, I light of these 10-12 verses?
To join in Christ’s passion: His suffering, His sacrifice, His love, His grace. It seems Jesus speaks of
those who find contentment in life as they are made holy.

What does it look like to live out this blessing?

Jude 17-25

Sermon on the Mount study notes: Matthew 5:6-9

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes: Part 2

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes

Matthew 5:3-6

We see the coming of repentance: people who know their wretchedness (poor in spirit), lament their sin (those who mourn), and realize their need to someone to save them (meek).

Matthew 5:6-9:
v. 6: Hunger and thirst for righteousness = Seeking out God’s strength and righteousness as only
found in and through Christ by the power of the Spirit.
• Psalm 42:1-6a; 2 Timothy 2:20-21
v. 7: Mercy = not giving what is deserved. Merciful people withhold anger and refuse to retaliate
when wronged.
• Luke 6:36; Proverbs 19:17; 2 Timothy 1:16; Hebrews 6:10
v. 8: Pure in heart = cleansed of sin and looking on this world as if through God’s eyes. The pure do
not see others as objects (thus, not to be lusted after or “discarded” based on shifting desires nor to
break promises flippantly. Love overflows.
• Psalm 24:3-6; 2 Timothy 2:20-22; James 4:7-10; Titus 2:11-14
v. 9: Peacemakers = foster order, love, and compassion around them.
• (2 Timothy 2:22-26; Matthew 10:34-36) James 3:13-18

What does it look like to live out this blessing?
We see salvation. We come to faith in Christ. We also become voracious consumers and seekers of God’s Word and
presence. (Bible reading, sermons, Bible studies, Prayer)
We also become ambassadors of Christ.
• 2 Corinthians 5:1-6:1

Sermon on the Mount study notes – Matthew 5:1-5

I have started a small group series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I am sharing my notes in case anyone else wants to use them with their group.

Sermon on the Mount

The Beatitudes: Part 1

Matthew 5:1-2:
Jesus wants to teach the crowds: Who are they? Jewish disciples: People who understand the
Scriptures (at least to a point). Notice from 7:28 the crowds still came along, but this teaching is for His disciples.

What does “blessed” mean? How do you understand it?
The word “blessed” appears 306 times in the ESV Bible (in 288 verses; 302x in 287 vv. in KJV)
Happy (definitely deeper than this), Revered, Content, Worshiped, Made holy, Fortunate, Well-off

Matthew 5:3-12: The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:3-5
• v. 3: The Poor in spirit = those who realize their own depravity and therefore need for God.
• Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 61:1-2; 66:2
• v. 4: Who mourn = Mourning the sin that separates us from God.
• Psalm 51:3-5; James 4:9
• v. 5: The Meek = Meekness is realizing we can do nothing apart from God.
• Mark 10:23-27

What does it look like to live out this blessing?
We see the beginning of repentance. We find contentment in this life knowing that though we are wretched, we find peace in Christ with the hope of eternal life in the age to come.
• Isaiah 61:1-2, 66:2; 2 Corinthians 7:10 – God’s Word reveals The Word, Jesus, who came to show us
He is the Truth. The truth is we are guilty of sin, and it should make us realize our poorness and feel
shame for our sin. Therefore …

• John 16:20-24; Romans 3:10-12 – Because of our sin, we do not seek God. He helps us, and in our
meekness, we see that we need His help to be saved from our sin. Only when we trust Him do we
find our mourning turn to joy.

• Revelation 21:4 – And one glorious day, He will remove all need of mourning when He renews all
things.

• Psalm 35:9-14 – We also lament the sin of others, even when they don’t deserve our love and pity.
(Grace. And a Segway into the next few verses!)