This Sunday's service at the Rock was all about experiencing God through communion. Three of the Rock's Pastor's spoke sharing from the Word and encouraging fellow believers into a deeper communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastor Dan opened this morning's message speaking about how Christians ought to respond to the recent tsunami. Many have donated money and materials for the tsunami victims, sometimes not realizing that the victim's greatest need is the presence of God. There are people from the Rock who are now in the tsunami-affected areas bringing forth the love of Jesus and the opportunity for those there to experience God.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in the Christian lifestyle that we don't really experience God in our lives. Through communion we can truly experience His presence.
What is Communion?
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. John 6:48-56
We experience God through the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood. He became the sacrifice for sin on the cross when He gave His life and poured out His blood, so that we can truly live forgiven of our sin, when we believe in Him.
When we take communion as a body of believers we do it in remembrance of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
The Life of Jesus
Jesus in some ways was like any other man. He had a family, He had a job as a carpenter, and He spent three years of His life in ministry. At the end of the three years He was sharing His last meal with His disciples. As the Son of God He knew the events He would soon face.
John 13:2-5 states, And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
John 13:21-22 states, When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
Jesus knew He would be betrayed by one of His own disciples, He knew the gruesome death and torture that awaited Him; yet He still chose to serve and bless His disciples through washing their feet.
Jesus knew us too. He knew our sin before He died for our sin. Every step along His journey to the cross He had us in mind.
Jesus didn't have to die, but He willingly chose to be slain for our sins.
John 19:5-6 states, Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"
John 19:12-16 states, Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, "If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar." When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!" Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.
Jesus was enough of a threat to the Roman Empire that Pilate followed through with the wishes of the crowds. However, the reality of the situation is that Jesus Christ was willing to do die.
He didn't die for a lost cause. He died so that we could spend eternity in heaven with Him.
He's Risen, Indeed
1 Corinthians 15:20-21 states, But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
Jesus died on the cross for our sin and three days later rose again. Because the tomb is empty death has no reign over us. He is the Famous One not only because He died on the cross for our sins, but also because He has risen.
In John 11:25 Jesus states, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Nothing But the Blood
Communion is the representation of what we see on the cross. We cannot take this lightly. Often times we allow the world and all of its cares to fill our hearts and minds. We need to ask Jesus to cleanse us from our sin by His blood.
Through communion we can understand what it is to truly experience the power of His blood, and the ultimate sacrifice Jesus became for us on the cross.