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October 15, 2021 4:00 pm
What you know. The year was 1497 Max five years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue and on the walls of the Santa Maria monastery in Milan, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci painted what is considered today. One of the greatest works of art in Western civilization is called the Last Supper that is there was a depiction of the last meal that Jesus ate with his disciples before he went to the cross that we want to talk about the Last Supper today because it was at this meal that Jesus said one of the most outrageous things that anyone has ever said, remember that we are in a study here a series called Jesus is most outrageous sayings. What were doing is looking at 12 of the most radical things that Jesus ever said while he was here on earth and were taking a week on each one of those sayings and were asking the question well what any mean and so what for our lives that we've already done two of these and you can get the tape for the CD in our bookstore today were ready for outrageous saying number three and so if you brought a Bible like to ask you to turn to Matthew chapter 26, the first book in the New Testament Matthew 26 and if you're here in our main auditorium and you don't have the Bible reach under the armrest right next to your trainer and you'll find the Bible were to be on page 703 in our copy of the Bible, page 703 in our copy. Matthew 26 in your copy and it is painting the scene that Leonardo da Vinci was trying to depict for us is found here in Matthew 26 beginning in verse 17.
So let's look at it together and I'm reading from verse 17, the disciples came to Jesus and asked where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover. So the disciples did as Jesus directed them and prepared the Passover. And when evening had come.
Jesus was reclining at the table with the 12 disciples, my friends, is only one problem with Leonardo's painting and that is its historically inaccurate. You see, this was a Passover meal.
It was a Passover Seder and we know from Jewish writings at the time of Christ. Number one the people in a Passover Seder did not sit on chairs as in Leonardo's painting, but actually as the verse I have met him at Matthew 26 says they reclined on the floor leaning on a pillow with their left elbow and eating with their right hand.
We also know number two that the table was not long and straight as in Leonardo's painting. It was actually safe in the use shaped like a horseshoe bird. We know that Jesus would not have sat at the middle of the table as in the painting, but rather would've sat on the right side of the horseshoe is you're looking at it and finally we know that the disciples and Jesus would've been eating unleavened bread matzoh and not the little things that look like Dunkin' Donuts that are on the table. There, in Leonardo's painting. It was a good try though by Leonardo the try.
Now it was here at the Passover meal that Jesus said one of the most outrageous things that he is ever said look in verse 28 with me then Jesus took the cup, gave thanks and said this cup represents my blood, which is shed on behalf of many for the remission of sins. The word here translated remission literally means for the cancellation of sins for the release of sins for the pardon of sins. So what is Jesus really claiming here at the Last Supper will he's claiming that his blood soon to be shed on the cross would provide a way for people like you and me to have our sins pardoned to have our guilt released and to have the penalty for our sin canceled in the sunlight of a holy God. No, I don't know about you but I think that's a pretty outrageous thing. The claim and yet that's exactly what Jesus claim civil law and I don't understand.
How does the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross.
Create a way for all of this to happen for me while that's a great question and so let's answer friends.
It's no accident that Jesus said these words in the middle of celebrating the Jewish feast of Passover because when we understand the events of Passover that happened in Egypt. 3500 years ago.
We immediately understand the dynamics of what Jesus said here at the Last Supper, so let's look back at the Passover back in Egypt when the Israelites of course were still slaves before Moses led them out and when we look at the events of the Passover, we find three spiritual truths that are being taught there that Jesus refers to with the Last Supper truth number one is that God is a God of justice and he demands a penalty for sin, you know, the Egyptians had disregarded God. They had resisted him and disobeyed him when he said let my people go, God had been very patient with them, but his patients had run out and now here in the Passover.
He is about to exact a terrible penalty for their sinful rebellion. Exodus chapter 11 verse one now the Lord said to Moses, I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt about midnight I will go to Egypt and every firstborn son in Egypt will God from the firstborn son of Pharaoh who sits on the throne to the firstborn son of the slave girl and her hand middle friends. The first thing that we need to understand is that God is the same today as he was back there in each of he is still a God of justice who judges sin and the people who do.
Now the second spiritual truth we learn from the Passover is a God, is also a God of mercy, because asked such God made a way of deliverance from this penalty back there in Egypt and this truth is still also valid today. God is still a God of mercy, who offers a way out of this judgment for sin to you, to me, and to every person alive on this earth. And the third spiritual truth that we learn in the Passover is that God's way of deliverance is based always on a blog covering Exodus chapter 12 listen. Each man, God said, is to take a lamb you want to slaughter that lamb at twilight, then you shall take its blood and put it on the sides and top of the doorframe of your house.
Verse 12 of that chapter and on that same night I will pass through Egypt and I will strike down every firstborn, but this blood will be assigned on the houses that you are in and when I see the blood, I will here comes the name of the feast. I will pass over you know destructive plague will touch you when I execute judgment on Egypt, you see the Passover lamb.
The blood of the Passover lamb on the doorpost of those houses serve as a covering. It served as a protective shield if you will against the judgment of God against his 10th plague in Egypt and remember what God's promise was God's promise was when I see you hiding behind the blood, not when I see that your Israelites or when I see that your synagogue members of the two been bar mitzvahed or that you're trying hard to be good people. God's deliverance that night in Egypt had nothing to do with race, creed, nationality, or education. It had nothing to do with good works. Religious activity socioeconomic standing or keeping the 10 Commandments which are about away weren't even written yet, but if they have been written, it wouldn't have anything to do with that, the issue simply is, who was covered by the blood of the Passover lamb who was hiding behind the blood of the Passover lamb, now do we all see them will see them wanting to go back and say all that again no good. Okay because I don't have enough time will understand that the house all that relate to Jesus and what he said at the Last Supper well the New Testament says. First Corinthians chapter 5 verse seven that Christ our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed for us and with the Bible is telling us is that when we as sinful human beings today take refuge behind Jesus Christ. Blood just as those Hebrews hid behind the blood of the Passover lamb that night in Egypt so long ago.
The Bible says that we are protected from God's judgment against our sin in the same way that those Hebrews were protected except that now the blood that were talking about is not the blood of some literal physical Passover lamb but it is the blood of the ultimate Passover lamb, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and this is what Jesus was talking about at the Last Supper.
This is why John the Baptist pointed to him and said, behold, the Passover lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world you salon are you sure you're not reading too much into this.
You know, I mean that all this blood thing sounds a little gruesome to me friends.
The blood of Jesus is not gruesome the blood of Jesus is wonderful and let me tell you why, because the Bible says.
First John 17 the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. The Bible says Hebrews 9, verse 12, by his own blood he, Jesus obtained eternal redemption for us. The Bible says.
First Peter chapter 1 verse 18 for you were not redeemed from your worthless way of life with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. The Bible says Colossians 1 verse 14. In Jesus Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Revelation chapter 5 verse nine calls Jesus, the one who loved us and has redeemed us to God by his blood. Romans chapter 5 verse nine we have been justified. The Bible says by Jesus's blood Romans chapter 3 verse 25 says we get atonement for our sins through faith in reliance on Jesus's blood.
And finally, there are many more but one more than I'll just point out to you. Revelation 7 verse 14 says that the people who are in heaven are those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. You see folks every Old Testament Jewish. These was intended by God to be symbolic. It was intended by God to teach us some facet regarding the life and the work of the Messiah and Passover was designed to teach us about God's plan of salvation God's plan of deliverance. Salvation is simply a matter of abandoning every other remedy imaginable to pay for our sin before a holy God and hiding instead behind the blood of Jesus Christ like the Hebrews hid behind the blood of the Passover lamb 3500 years ago with the confidence that God's promise is as good today as it was 3500 years ago and what was his promise when I see you hiding behind the blood, I will Passover you and judge I will not exact.
The penalty for sin from you that my justice demands I exact from everybody else who is not hiding behind the blood. That's the lesson of Passover, and that's what Jesus was talking about at the Last Supper. Now that's as far as we want to go in our passage because it's time for us to ask our most important question and we all know what that is true okay are you ready okay. I salon your come on out one to gray, you salon so that's great. Good preaching man way to go but what differences that make in my life. Well, let's talk about that you know there are some words in life that I would call life altering words to give you a couple of marriage to life altering word pregnant life altering word homeowner life altering word boot camp, life altering word. There retirement scholarship.
We parents love that life altering word. Now I've got one more than I want to share with you.
This is a spiritually as well as humanly life altering word and it was a word that was actually used in one of the verses that I read to you about the blood of Jesus Christ. It's a word that represents the culmination for Zenith of everything that Jesus Christ came to earth to do for you and me. The word is the word justify listen to him, go back and repeat the verse Romans 59 says that to those of us who believe in Jesus, we have now been justified by Jesus's blood and having been justified beyond by his blood, we shall be delivered from God's wrath against sin through him. Romans 324 says, as followers of Christ we are justified freely by faith in his blood. Now, what exactly does it mean that as believers in Jesus Christ. We are justified if you're going to appreciate his life altering word. We gotta make sure we all know what you mean well the word justify comes from a Greek word, the word justification that is illegal word.
It is a forensic word. It is a courtroom word if you will, and the word literally means to be acquitted. It literally means to be pronounced not guilty. It literally means to be regarded by the legal system as innocence and in this legal imagery that this word conjures up. God is the judge you and I are the defendants on trial for every wrong thing we've ever said Don or thought and God's justice has us dead to rights. However, when we offered to God is our defense, not our good works, not our religious activity not are trying to keep the 10 Commandments.
Not are being a nice person, but when we offer to God is our defense. The blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for our wrongdoing. God bangs his heavenly gavel and says you now are justified. He grants us the legal status of being acquitted, the legal status of being not guilty. The legal status of being of salt hardened and righteous in his sight now friends. The truth is we are not righteous. We are not not guilty but Almighty God legally declares us not guilty anyway. He legally declares us justified anyway. All because we've taken refuge behind the blood of Jesus Christ and he refuses to see through the blood of Jesus Christ legally to see what we really, that's the beauty of the blood covered how many guys you guys to rush home from school when I was younger and flip on the television.
In elementary school to watch one of my very favorite programs every day after school Superman. I love Superman. I used to watch the old Superman.
If you remember the old Superman on his name was Christopher was towards reads various now some of you remember the new Superman Christopher Reeve but it doesn't matter which Superman you remember you'll know that Superman had x-ray vision. He was also faster than a speeding bullet more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings with a simple brown member Superman and had x-ray vision.
There was only one thing that Superman's x-ray vision could not see through what was it kryptonite. No, no, was a kryptonite hole.
Kryptonite is what killed them. You, you will need to brush up on your Superman trivia out there know it was led Friday couldn't see through led and and friends what the Bible is telling us is that when it comes to our sin. God may have x-ray vision, but the blood of Jesus Christ is like heavenly land understand what were saying and when we hide behind the blood of Jesus Christ.
God doesn't see through that to see our sins anymore which is why he can pronounce is righteous in his sight. Why can pronounce us justified in his sight and friends. Once the judge of heaven bangs his gavel and declares you not guilty in his sight. There is not one force in the universe that can change that decree. Not even the devil himself.
Romans chapter 8 verse 33 Paul says who will bring any legal charges against us. It is God who justifies. There is our word and when he does false is no one can condemn. This is why Hebrews 10 says and this is the covenant. This is a legal agreement. I will make with you.
God says when you trust Christ, your sins and your wrongdoings. I will remember no more. And friends are not a person in the universe, it can change God's mind and making remember them legally anymore. You know, about two years before I came to McLean Bible church is your pastor about 27 years ago I was the city. One morning in Montgomery County traffic court. I had a I was an invited guest. If you understand what I'm saying and so as I was sitting there waiting for my turn.
I was watching with interest all the cases that were going on in front of me and it was a very interesting case a man will got up and the judge said to him, now you're accused of doing 75 miles an hour in the Mormon Temple loop of the Beltway.
How do you plead and he said I plead explanation, Your Honor, I did know that was a plea but the judge said all right, so what he have safety so visa would charge you know I was coming to that curvy section of the Beltway. There was a fellow in the lane next to me and Drifted over to my lane and almost forcing me off the road is not beat the horn at him once, twice he didn't change he was working all over everywhere, so he said what I did is as soon as I got the opportunity en masse to Excelerator the floor and flew by him to get in front of them for my own safety and right at that moment. We came flying around the curve and there was the time with the radar, and he said I tried to explain to them what was really going on, but he was able to see it because we were on the other side of the curve when it was all happening, but judge on innocent man, and I sat there and thought crap and nice try, nice try fellow. There is no way in the world is going to believe that. Do you know that judge sat there for a minute and after he did when poem hit his gavel and said all charges dismissed. I find you not guilty friends. I about choked on my summons sit near I'm like oh my gosh I cannot believe that I would bet you my retirement fund. That guy was guilty as soon of speeding through the Beltway. There, but you know what he walked by the clerk by the bailiff by the guard and out the door scot-free. Why, because when a judge declares you not guilty then as far as the legal system is concerned, you are not guilty regardless of what the real truth may be you are not guilty in the eyes of the legal system of America, and this is exactly the same as the jurisprudence of heaven. It operates the same way when Almighty God declares us justified when Almighty God declares us not guilty because were hiding behind the blood of Christ, then folks it doesn't really matter what the real truth is what matters is that the God of heaven pronounce is not guilty pardoned, and that will never change forever... This is what Jesus meant when he said at the Last Supper.
This is my blood, which is shed on behalf of many for the remission for the cancellation for the pardoning of sins. This is what he was talking about not appear here today and you never trust in Jesus in a real and personal way. You know what we want you to be part of the many that Jesus refers to in this verse we want you to join that group. Of the many and the way you do that is very simple, you simply give up every other remedy that you're depending on to cover your sin in the side of a holy God.
You reject your good works, or religious activity you're trying to be a nice person and instead you take the covering that God provided for you which is the blood of Jesus shed on the cross, that becomes your only defense in the eyes of a holy God. And I got great news for you. Not only is that your only defense but friends. It's the only defense you need because it works.
It's the way God made to do this in your ear today and you never trusted the blood of Jesus to be your covering and between you and a holy God in his judgment (I'm saying you what are you waiting for, what are you waiting for its prey and it's yours if you want it and I hope you'll reach out today and grab because I can't think of a single reason why he would Wallace conclude Job 14 verse one man, born of woman is of few days, drove, says, and full of trouble. I don't know about you but that verse definitely applies to me. I got trouble. I got trouble today with my eyes. I got trouble with my back got trouble with my left knee. I got to canker sores in my mouth and I got a stiff neck. I got trouble with my computer printer I got trouble with my washing machine I got trouble in my toilet downstairs and I have a tree last week and fell over into my neighbor's yard and did damage and I got a pay for all of that.
I got trouble.
Maybe you got trouble then you will have the same trouble as I got but I guarantee you, you got trouble because Joe says that's the way life is friends I gotta tell you though with everything else that can go wrong in life, with all the trouble that we can have in life. As a follower of Jesus Christ. It is wonderful to know that there is one thing in this life I will never have trouble with. There is one thing in this life that will never ever failed me and that is the blood covering that Jesus provided for me by his death on the cross.
No matter what else happens that will always be right that will always be operative and there will never be a problem with that whatsoever. This is one thing I can always fall back on when everything else around me seems to be crumbly as the Bible says it is an anchor for the soul as followers of Christ.
I'm here to challenge you and me to use it that way to go back to that the sort back to that when troubles going on in our life and be able to say what you know what everything else may be falling apart.
But there's one piece of good news. I've still got and that is the blood covering of Jesus is still working for me today and you know friends. When all the dust clears in heaven.
That's the only thing is really going to matter anyways that the blood covered works for you and me hello to him by William Coleman. Here's what he said. He said will there be to throngs in heaven standing at the throne of God one arrayed in their own merits. One washed in precious blood. Will there be two songs in heaven ringing through the realms above one to boast man's virtues one to praise redeeming love nay he said one throng one song one voice in endless brain showed less God who gave his son for sinners, Christ our only righteousness Jesus shed his brought blood on the cross. My friends to provide a righteous covering for you and me in the side of Almighty God, through which the justice of God, agrees not to see which results in God pronouncing us justified. Not guilty acquitted an innocent in his holy site. Now it don't get no better than it just don't get no better than their and I'm here to challenge you. Let that be an anchor for your soul. When everything else is going wrong.
Learn to sort back to it and say, well, Lord, you know what I still got the blood of Jesus and is still covered me today just like it always has. And you know what I can rejoice, even if things are going good because I got one thing that will never let me down justified and remember what Paul said when we are justified.
There was no one, no one who can bring a charge judicially against God's people. What a wonderful thing.
The blood of Lord, the Lord Jesus did for us and I hope today will understand now why Jesus said this is my blood and it's going to bring remission, cancellation of sin in the sight of God for you but for more Jesus, thank you so much for what you did for us on the cross. I'm sure we don't we don't appreciate even a tiny part of the God really, but the little bit.
We do appreciate overwhelms us that you would go to the cross to do something for us. We could never do for ourselves provide a way for us to be right, not guilty and acquitted in the sight of a holy God that you would love us that much that you would be willing to pay that cost for us that your mercy for us runs that Lord. It's a staggering thoughts and I'm here today on behalf of all of us in the room to say we thank you for doing that for us Lord we thank you that even though were not really righteous were not really not guilty that you've made a way for us to have that standing in the courtroom of heaven, Lord.
May we show you our appreciation by the our love, our devotion, our loyalty and our service to Jesus Christ in our lives down here father. The Bible tells us. We love you because you first loved us and demonstrated that love on the cross. Thank you God so much for your mercy. May we revel in it. Today may be an anchor for our soul. We pray this in Jesus name God's people said amen