The Lord’s Supper – Our Security
Study Guide, October 6, 2019
Pastor Clay Olsen
As we walk through our devotional Communion time we like to slow it down a bit, and reflect on and wonder over and offer up praise to our Lord about our great Salvation…or really, God’s great salvation to us, along with the security and assurance that comes along with this gift.
So think about it: As Jesus was explaining the symbols and the significance of this Memorial, the Lord’s Supper, He was also summing up all the truths that He had been proclaiming to everyone about what His sinless life and His sacrificial death meant to all who would receive Him as their Lord and Savior. Let’s look: Luke 22:19-21- “And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” NASU
In explaining this ceremony, this communion, that both they and all His followers afterwards were to remember, or memorially practice, Jesus was giving meaning to the many things He had been saying about the purpose of His coming. Strangely enough, so many then and even today are still confused, or deceived, or many outright ignore the purpose of Jesus’ coming. So we could put it this way, ‘Why did the One that Created us then become one of us and then die for us?’
Notice Jesus’ words about this: Luke 19:10- “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” NASU You talk about having a purpose statement for your life! This was unique and powerful and poignant! That’s why Jesus came, because people are lost, and without His coming…without His dying…without His seeking…without His saving…the lost remain lost. Odd isn’t it, how all of life comes down to two things: Lost or Saved? Every person around you, every person in the markets and in the malls and in the halls of everyplace on Earth is either ‘lost or saved’. Begin looking at people you meet and people you know through these lenses, as either ‘lost or saved’ and it will change your whole perspective on everyone, because everyone around you is either eternally saved or they are still eternally lost, unless they become saved. But if they are lost, they cannot say they are not sought, because Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.
We often hear the concept of ‘seeker services’ or ‘seeker churches’, which means they are giving a special emphasis to reach those who are seeking answers to their questions about faith. Which is great, but even more, Jesus revealed to everyone that He’s the One that started the ‘seeking’ in the first place. Jesus came to seek out the lost. So if the lost begin seeking as well, it’s because they are responding to the knocking upon the door of their soul by the One who has come to seek and to save them.
We need to keep that in mind even in our attempts at witnessing…that even before you say a word or share a tract, Jesus has already been knocking on the door of their heart and soul and mind. So if they are receptive to you, it’s because they have started to respond to the knocking of Jesus. They are starting to seek the One who has been seeking them. You and I are simply the delivery service between our seeking Lord and the seeking lost.
Also, Jesus had told them this: Mark 10:45- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” NASU
We often focus on the example of our need to carry a servant attitude about ourselves, especially in light of the fact that since the Son of Man did not come to be served by others, then we certainly shouldn’t expect to be served, but to be servants to God and others. The is crucial to know and understand.
But then there is that additional and rather startling statement that Jesus said about why He came. And if we just focus on that, well again, it is very startling and sobering: “For the Son of Man came to give His life a ‘ransom’ for many.” ‘Ransom’? A ransom is a price that has to be paid in order to purchase the release of someone being held captive. We usually don’t associate our salvation with a ransom price that had to be paid in order to purchase our release from captivity. But that is exactly what salvation is also about. A ransom had to be paid in order for you and for me to become saved. Without the ransom you and I would still be lost.
Much of religious teaching about how to have a relationship with God is based upon a merit system of some sort. Most of the world’s religions are basically ‘behavior based’. Oddly enough, the Bible reveals that a relationship with God is not about ‘bad or good’, but about ‘lost or saved’, actually about ‘dead or alive’. But here Jesus revealed that a having a relationship with God is also about still being held captive or having been ransomed; ransomed and now set free.
We have talked about it before, but recall that we suggested that in your faith talks with others that you sometime ask: “So, how much does it cost to go to Heaven?” And most will answer something like, “Well, you can’t buy your way into Heaven?” And most will be really surprised if you tell them – “Well actually, that’s the only way anyone can get into Heaven. There is a specific price that has to be paid in order to go to Heaven, but only One Person is able to pay it. And it can only be paid with one thing, and it’s not gold or silver. 1 Peter 1:18-19- “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom He paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed Him to you in these last days.” NLT
What it costs to go to Heaven is sinless blood, and no one on Earth has ever had sinless blood except Jesus Christ. And that was the price that was paid to the Justice Courts of Heaven to set you and me free from the captivity of our sin.
We rightly think of Jesus in terms of ‘my Savior’. But try adding this picture to it and see how it affects your thinking about your relationship with God: “Jesus is also my ransom”. Jesus paid my ransom and set me free. If Jesus had not paid the ransom price of His sinless blood to set you free, you would still be enslaved in the captivity of your sin, as well as lost forever. But because of Jesus’ great love, He gave His great life, and now we have His great salvation. We have been set free from our captivity in sin by the ransom price that Jesus paid of His own sinless blood.
Speaking of that ransom price that had to be paid for our salvation, we know that it was paid. We often point to Jesus’ Resurrection as being the proof that all of His works for our salvation worked! Praise God, they did! But also, as Jesus said in the Lord’s Supper, His broken body and shed blood were going to be given for us, meaning, given as a substitute, or as we talked about in our Men’s Life Group Tuesday night, given as our ‘propitiation’ for our sins. What a majestic word. It’s John the Apostle that tells us that: 1 John 2:2- “…He Himself is the propitiation for our sins…” NASB Propitiation refers to the satisfaction of an offense fully forgiven and of a debt completely paid in full.
Did you know that there was one other thing hanging on the Cross with Jesus? Paul points it out to us in Col 2:13-14- “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” NASU Now this certificate of debt consisted of the righteous standards of the Law and the charges against us for having sinned against the Law and fallen short of fulfilling these righteous standards. The New Living Translation also helps us understand that this certificate included the charges against us because of not fulfilling the Law. Notice: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
So now when you think about the Cross of Christ also picture this record of the charges against you, this certificate of your debt. It’s nailed to the Cross. Therefore, both your ransom to set you free from your captivity from the bondage of sin was fully paid, and your debt of your sins against the righteous standards of God’s Law was paid in full. And in one of the most amazing words ever heard by the hosts of Heaven and proclaimed to the people of Earth, just before Jesus gave up His spirit on the Cross He said, “Tetelestai!” In English it is translated: “It is finished”. John 19:30- “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” NASU
That same word was often found on receipts from merchants in the Greek world, and it meant ‘Paid in Full’. What Jesus was proclaiming was that all of His redemptive work was completed. He had been made sin for sinners. He had suffered the penalty of God’s justice which sin demanded. He had lived a perfectly obedient sinless life and therefore could share His righteousness with us. He had completely paid for our salvation. And now His gift of salvation was all ready as a gift to all who would open up the door of their life and receive Him as their Lord and Savior.
‘Tetelestai’. That is the one Greek word that we should each know and love and tell others about because it is God’s assurance to each of us that the price of our ransom, the payment of our debt, the cost of our redemption has all been paid in full by our Savior, Jesus. Talk about ‘Blessed Assurance’!
Paul reveals in Rom 6:23- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” NASU Salvation is a free gift of God to us, but it cost Jesus everything. Yet, because of His great love for us He was willing to pay it all. And He paid the price of our salvation in full. ‘Paid in Full’…Those three words should be on our mind and in our heart every day. It will cause us to better understand our great salvation. It will cause us to better worship our great Savior. And it will help us to better explain to the ‘lost’ what it means to become ‘saved’.