For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)
Memorial day is a day set aside to remember those who have died in service for their country. Which, I believe, is a good thing to do. It is a shame that not all of our young men believe in our country enough to die for it. And, yet, on the other hand, it is a shame that war exist. But as long as there are human beings, who are steeped in sin, there will be war and more war. We ought to remember those who have given their lives so that we might have our freedom.
Today I would like for us to remember another death. This death was not to save a country, but to save the world. This death was not that of a fighting man of war, but of a man who willingly lay down His life. This death was not to liberate men from the chains of prison nor from a nation of tyranny, but to liberate their souls from hell. I am speaking of the death of Jesus Christ.
I. WE NEED TO REMEMBER HIS BATTERED BODY.
- He was beaten, when He had done no wrong, beaten for our sins.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
- He was mocked and yet He answered not a word.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
- His beard was pulled out.
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (Isaiah 50:6)
- His back was wiped until it looked like a plowed field.
The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows. (Psalms 129:3)
- They put a crown of thorns on His head.
And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (Matthew 27:29)
- They hung Him, in whom was found no guilt, on a cross and there He died.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (Luke 23:22-24, 33)
- Even God the Father turned away from Him as he hung between heaven and earth because of your sins and mine.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
- He cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
- He died under the penalty of our sin.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)
II. WE NEED TO REMEMBER HIS SHED BLOOD.
- The Word of God tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
- Jesus shed His blood for us.
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:34)
- The blood of animals was not able to cleanse our sin.
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. (Hebrews 9:9-10)
- The blood of Jesus Christ did what the blood of animals could not do.
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-14)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)
III. WE ARE TO APPROACH THE LORD’S TABLE WITH GREAT SOUL SEARCHING.
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (I Corinthians 11:27-32)
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:26-30)