Originally scheduled for January 31
We shall examine three things this morning:
What Christ has done for us.
How he did it.
How we should respond to it.
There are three things that Christ has done, or
will do, that are of primary importance.
He is our atonement.
He, and he alone, has paid the price for our sins. This by itself
puts us greatly in his debt.
In so doing, he built the bridge
between God and man. We have access to the throne of heaven because
of the sacrifice of Christ. No longer must prayer be filtered
through a priest, a temple and animal sacrifices — the door to
heaven is open. He is our way.
He has promised that his return he
will bring a new heaven and a new earth, ending sin and injustice
and establishing the visible kingdom of God. He is our hope.
These things are evident to all Christians. It
may be instructive this morning for us to look at how he did it.
Paul outlines this for us in Philippians 2:5-11,
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality
with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form
of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being
found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming
obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this
reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name
which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE
WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the
earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11 NASB)
The first thing we need learn from this is that
he took upon himself The form of a human being. There are two things
in this I would have you notice:
First, he emptied himself. He set
aside all of the power and glory of being God so that he might
Next, he took on the form of human
flesh, being born as a baby to the Virgin Mary. It’s not just laying
aside his godly attributes, but going through the birth canal like
the rest of us.
This was culminated in the style of his death.
He suffered the most shameful death of his day — crucifixion.
Crucifixion was a spectacle, an entertainment for the crowd, at
which they laughed at the man being crucified. Not in the slightest
a dignified death, it was intended to be the final humiliation of a
criminal’s life. That’s how he became our atonement.
This should provoke us to thought: how do we
respond to such an outpouring of love? In the process of taking
communion we should recognize these basic things. May I suggest that
we begin by taking Paul’s suggestion: “have this attitude in
Take it with humility. Don’t
tell God how grateful he should be for what a wonderful Christian
you are; rather partake in the spirit in which you know you are a
Take it with gratitude. Be
genuinely thankful for what he has done, having rescued you from sin
and death. Acknowledge his pain and death on your behalf.
Take it with anticipation.
Every time you take communion you look forward to the day when he
returns, bringing with him judgment and the New Heaven and New
Sometimes communion becomes so routine that we
forget its monumental significance. Let us remember the great things
he has done and the humble way he did them.