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Come To The Table
John 6; I Corinthians 10-11
On Thursday of this week we all had one thing in common: we couldn’t wait to be told: “Come to the table!” This morning, Jesus has set the table and is inviting us, “Come to My Table.”
John 6:27 Jesus is speaking to a group which followed Him because He just fed them. He points out the fact that there are better reasons to follow Him than just for a temporary fill.
Ill.—what do you call a stray dog that you give a little food to? “Pet!” You own him now! He’ll stay right beside you. But will he find more in you than that? Will he find love and a place in the family, or will he be dropped off in a better neighborhood or fall victim to an unfortunate “accident”?
v. 31 They wanted the Lord to top that miracle.
v. 32-33 Their mouths are watering, they cannot wait…oh hurry, they said, licking their chops. Don’t tease us…when will this bread get here?
v. 35 It is here! You’re looking at it!
“Oh,” they said sadly. “Really?” What a let down they felt.
v. 41-42 They aren’t thrilled with His claim, and they don’t believe. They aren’t getting the picture here, but we must make sure WE understand:
v. 48-51 Jesus announces the main course, and it’s Him! It’s a spiritual analogy, but they don’t get it.
v. 52 They’re thinking He’s like Dracula telling the young couple to come over because He’d like to ‘have them for dinner.’ Well, it’s not cannibalism Christ is advocating, it’s true Christianity, realizing His body and His blood are the real spiritual sustenance that will sustain a Christian life.
v. 53-58 It’s not very physically appetizing, but spiritually speaking, it’s the best eating you’ll ever experience.
Bread sustains life, and His body is the bread, so we must trust in the sacrifice made by that broken body.
Blood is life. And when Jesus’ blood was shed, His life was being poured out, and all who kneel at the foot of that cross receive that life in a sin cleansing, life giving bath. Are you washed in the blood?
They didn’t get it in Jesus day, but we do now! It’s not about really eating that flesh and drinking that blood. Jesus said these elements before us today are SYMBOLIC of His body and blood. There’s no saving power in these elements, and none will be saved today by partaking. This is a time of remembrance. This is only for those who HAVE been saved by that sacrificial body and that redeeming blood, and want to obey the command to remember and be thankful.
But first, there are several things we
need to bring to the table:
Turn to I Cor. 11:28
We may see something that needs to be confessed and cleaned up. When we were kids, we occasionally had to go to bed without supper because we did something bad. When we come to Jesus with remorse and repentance, we find forgiveness, restoration, and an invitation to His table. Some people get so burdened by their sins, that instead of asking forgiveness, they figure they’re too unworthy to participate, and they pass the tray without partaking. None of us are worthy, but if we’ve trusted Christ, we are eligible. He invites and authorizes us to come to the table.
That’s in I Cor. 10:21, look at it: God
offers us a substantive meal—the Bread and Cup won’t fill us up physically,
but they will satisfy our spiritual hunger. When we stuff ourselves with the
junk food of sin we lose our appetite for the banquet God has prepared for
us. We need to “taste and see” the satisfying goodness of the Lord (Psalm
Ill.—the chairs in places like McD’s and Burger King are designed so that people won’t get too comfortable, so they’ll eat, leave, and make room for more customers.
I have to admit, that sometimes I’ve looked at the clock, and after my sermon, I’ve sprinted through Communion. When we come to the Lord’s Table, our spiritual meal should be the focus of why we’re here.
10:17 Paul makes a point of saying that
“we are one body” and we “partake of the one bread.” Conflict, tension,
disharmony, can all ruin a perfectly good meal. One thing we don’t bring to
the table is divisiveness. We don’t have to agree on absolutely everything,
but rather focus on Christ. What unites us is greater than what divides us.
I saw an apron in a gift catalog that said: “Kiss the Cook”. Those who prepare meals appreciate being told that people enjoyed their meal.
When we come as a church to the Lord’s Table,
we need to eat with gratitude, to not take it for granted. God provided
manna, miraculous food, to the Jewish nation in the wilderness, and all they
did was complain. We need to appreciate the cost of this meal. Jesus has
prepared a meal for us that cost Him His life. We should appreciate how our
deacons take the time to prepare and serve our Communion. Even more we
should appreciate the sacrifice of our Savior; otherwise we miss the whole
point of this meal!
The best food and drink we could ever partake of is on the table, and we are invited to come and partake. Let’s make sure and bring the right stuff with us, the right attitudes, and the right spirit, and let’s be prepared as we leave to prove and demonstrate the real spiritual strength and health we have by the way we serve and work for our Lord!
10:16 This verse asks 2 rhetorical questions to which the answer is yes! Gentlemen, please approach the table and prepare to serve the people.
11:26-31 Let’s all turn around and make an altar out of our seats at the table, and as you do, examine yourself, asking the Lord to examine you and show you any unconfessed sin in your life. Then give thanks to the Lord for His body and blood, for your salvation as a result, and ask Him for strength for the journey of service ahead!
v. 23 Gentlemen, please pass the bread.
v. 24 Give thanks.
v. 25 Gentlemen, please pass the cup / Give thanks.
v. 26 Let’s join hands around this table now as we sing and dismiss.
[Some sermon material courtesy Allen Hern and Robert Leroe]
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