1. Hello listening friends, we are delighted that you have joined us tonight.
2. We have been talking about the cross.
3. We have been talking about the meaning of the cross.
4. And the necessity of the cross for salvation.
5. Today I want to explain the cross in its historical context.
6. If you have a Bible, I want you to turn with me to Luke chapter 22 beginning at verse 14.
7. And if you don’t have a Bible, please write to us and we will try to get you one.
8. In this verse Doctor Luke tells us,
9. there are at least 3 reasons why Jesus was eagerly wanting to have this last Passover meal with his disciples.
11. Because in Christ the Passover had reached its end.
13. Because Christ wanted to prepare his disciples for the coming events of the next day.
15. Because Jesus wanted to establish this institution of the Lord’s supper for all time and eternity.
16. Let’s start from the beginning again.
17. First in Christ’s cross the Passover reached its end.
18. In Christ’s cross all animal sacrifice had found their true fulfillment.
19. In Christ’s cross the only blood that will wash away sin for good and forever is his blood alone.
20. In the first Passover,
21. Israel turned from being slaves in Egypt to being servants of the living God.
22. But in the last Passover,
23. Slaves of sin become the sons and daughters of the living God.
24. In the first Passover,
25. The blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the door posts of the houses of Gods people.
26. But in the last Passover,
27. The lamb of God sprinkled his own blood on the door posts of the hearts of all those who trust in him.
28. In the first Passover,
29. The angel of death passed by and saw the blood on the door posts and they were saved from death.
30. But in the last Passover,
31. The angel of death will pass by those who are washed by the blood of the lamb and cannot touch them.
32. In the first Passover,
33. God’s people had to offer sacrifice whether they can afford it or not.
34. In the last Passover,
35. Jesus paid the price in full.
36. Listen to what Jesus said,
37. I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer for I tell you I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.
38. The second reason why Jesus was eager to have this Passover meal with them was because he wanted to prepare them for his crucifixion.
39. Isn’t that just like Jesus who cares.
40. He always gives us grace to bear what we are about to face before we face it.
41. We often think of ourselves.
42. We say, how is that going to affect me?
43. How is that going to impact my life?
44. How is that going to hamper my comfort?
45. How is that going to disturb my peace?
46. How is that going to inconvenience me?
47. But not Jesus.
48. He thinks of others first, even before we can think of ourselves.
49. Here he is, about to hang on the cross.
50. But his concerns were their fears.
51. His concerns were their discouragement.
52. His concerns were their confusion.
53. Their concerns were their anxiety.
54. He said I was eager to eat this last supper with you before I suffer.
55. My listening friend I want you to listen very carefully to what I am going to tell you.
56. Jesus gives you enough light to see before any blinding pain comes your way.
57. Jesus gives you enough strength to stand tall before any fear fills your heart.
58. Jesus gives you enough courage to pass through the floods before any anxiety fills your life.
59. Jesus gives you enough assurance before you need it.
60. He comes to you and he comes to me and he says I am eager to sup with you and you with me.
61. The third reason why Jesus wanted to eat this last Passover meal with them was to establish this memorial for time and eternity.
62. There are some people who come to the Lord’s supper as pure, habitual rituals.
63. There are others who treat the Lord’s supper in a mystical and magical way.
64. There are some people who see it as an occasional service, something nice to do.
65. There are yet some others who see it as totally unnecessary.
66. But the Lords intention of instituting this ordinance is that we may be reminded of the enormity of our sin and what it cost God to save us from our sins.
67. You can imagine the disciples after this day.
68. They would never be able to have another meal without remembering those words.
69. Let’s repeat those words again.
70. A friend tells a story of how when he was a young boy he was growing up on a farm along a side dirt road.
71. And he said it was only on rare occasions that would an automobile pass by.
72. But one day as his younger brother was crossing the road on his brand new bike.
73. A car came roaring down in a nearby hill and struck the boy and killed him.
74. My friend tells later when his father picked up this mangled and twisted bike he heard him sob out aloud for the first time in his life.
75. And then he continued.
76. His father carried that mangled bike and placed it in a barn in a spot that they seldom used.
77. His father is terrible sorrow eased with the passing of time but for the rest of his life, whenever he saw that bike tears streamed down his face.
78. My friend said that since that experience I have often prayed, Lord, keep the memory of your substitutionary death on the cross as fresh as that to me.
79. And every time that we participate at that memorial supper our hearts must be stricken as if Jesus only went to the cross yesterday.
80. Never let communion be a service of mere formality or mere ritual or mere tradition.
81. In that last Passover, Jesus said remember that my body was mangled and torn so that you may be made whole.
82. Remember that my blood was gushed out so that you will be cleansed and redeemed.
83. Look at how the disciples reacted to his loving and caring explanation of the cross.
84. Judas betrayed him.
85. Peter denied him.
86. Thomas doubted him.
87. And they all fled and ran away.
88. And yet all of those who failed him and repented were fully restored.
89. Only Judas who had guilt without repentance.
90. Only Judas who had conviction without confession.
91. Only Judas who had remorse without surrender.
92. Only Judas became lost but all of the others were restored because they repented.
93. Now some of you today may be feeling that you have failed the Lord in your life.
94. Or you may have failed your family.
95. Or you may have failed your friends.
96. Or you may have failed your spouse.
97. You may have failed your employer.
98. I am here to tell you on the authority of the Word of God that God is ready to forgive you whenever you genuinely repent and are willing to be restored.
1. Will you make this day to be a day of repentance?
2. But I don’t want you to miss the root cause of the disciples’ failure.
3. I hope you can learn from it.
4. The root cause of the disciples failing the Lord is to be found in Luke 22:24.
5. Let’s look at it.
6. A dispute arose among them as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
7. You see the root cause of failure is self-centeredness.
8. The root cause of heart ache is wanting a crown without a cross.
9. The root cause of pain is when you want success without paying the price.
10. You remember in the very first message on the cross I told you that the challenge of the cross in our generation is self-centeredness and here in the Scripture you see it clearly.
11. Jesus had just told the disciples all about the cross.
12. And what were they thinking about?
13. Jockeying for position.
14. Focusing on their own ambitions.
15. Pushing their own agenda.
16. Demanding attention.
17. Angling to push their program.
18. Now this is almost a caricature.
19. Which reminds me of a true story that happened in a company that was in deep financial trouble.
20. The management got all the employees together to explain to them the situation.
21. After the president and the senior vice-president delineated to the employees how it is a matter of days before they will shut down the doors of the company.
22. The room became filled with intense emotions and finally the president asked if there were any questions.
23. One employee raised her hand and asked a question.
24. Why doesn’t the coffee catering wagon come to our office anymore?
25. This is too sad to be funny.
26. It is a similar type of situation here in the upper room in Luke 22:24.
27. Jesus had just finished speaking with deep pathos about his coming suffering.
28. He had just told them why he had become eager to eat the last Passover with them.
29. And their argument was who is going to be number one.
30. Jesus had just instituted the greatest ordinance of all time and eternity and their concern was what about me.
31. Have you ever asked yourself, how can Jesus put up with such immaturity and insult.
32. The same way he puts up with so much immaturity and insults from us today.
33. Instead of focusing on the gospel they complain and murmur and criticize and dwell on their selfish ambitions.
34. Just think with me for a minute.
35. Here he is at the eve of his death.
36. Here he is at the eve of the day that will change the world.
37. Here he is at the eve of the day that will change the eternal destiny of millions of people.
38. And what they were arguing about?
40. Well think of the condition of the church today.
41. It is riddled with political factions.
42. It is ripe with political struggle.
43. It’s flooded with egotistical immaturity.
44. It’s cluttered with an agenda that is irrelevant to the gospel.
45. And it’s filled with contrary teaching.
46. All of this instead of caring for the lost, the gospel, and the preaching of it.
47. Just look around you.
48. The world is getting into serious trouble and courting disaster.
49. And the Christians are like this secretary who was complaining about the coffee wagon when the company was going down the drain.
50. I pray that God will give you a passion for the gospel today.
51. Because the world is in the deepest moral crisis of its history and yet Christians don’t seem to care.
52. Millions of people around the world are dying every day and going to hell and what are we doing.
53. We are sidetracked by our selfish ambitions.
54. We are sidetracked by trivia and superficiality.
55. And Satan loves to get us sidetracked by our own wants and desires instead of the cause of Christ.
56. Satan loves to get us focused on the unimportant and the unnecessary instead of the cause of the gospel.
57. Satan loves to get us detracted from what is lasting to what is passing.
58. Think with me just for a minute our listening friend.
59. The disciples were scrambling about who was the greatest and Jesus who is the greatest of all was about to be put on a mock trial and killed like a criminal.
60. Can you not see the irony here?
61. Listen to what Jesus said to them in Luke 22:27
62. In effect he is saying to them, true greatness is not in eloquent words.
63. True greatness is not in brilliant ideas.
64. True greatness is not accommodating to the worlds pressure.
65. True greatness is not who sits at the head of the table.
66. True greatness is not even those who sit at the table but those who serve at the table.
67. I hear the Lord to be saying to you today.
68. I earnestly desire to have fellowship with you.
69. I earnestly desire for you to serve me and my kingdom.
70. I earnestly desire for you to follow my plan not your own.
71. I earnestly desire for you to obey my program, not yours.
72. I earnestly desire for you to follow my vision, not yours.
73. What will your response be?
74. Will you ask what side of the table will I sit at?
75. Will you ask what is in it for me?
76. Or would you say, where you lead me, I will follow?
77. It is my prayer that your response would be here I am, send me Lord.
78. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.