Prof Donald Macleod: Luke 22:19

Spring Communion 2017 - Part 5

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Guest Preacher

March 5, 2017


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] I want to turn that for a moment to the words of verse 19. Those words particularly do this remembrance of me.

[0:15] One great Bible theme, the theme of remembrance, the fourth commandment, says members have to keep it holy, not the day of such but because the day commemorates in itself the God's great act of creation and God's sovereignty over the whole of creation.

[0:41] And so it's a little reminder of God's ownership of the universe and God's control of it.

[0:52] Remember that God made the heavens and the earth. And then again we have the Exodus from Egypt, coming in the forest in the possible, suffering that ongoing ordinance of the Old Testament.

[1:09] Every year there's members and exodus and the deliverance from Egypt and the so on, all those foundation events that play on the basis of the exodus, as the people of God.

[1:33] And so remember creation, remember the exodus. And now for us this morning, remember the Lord's death until he comes.

[1:46] I want to reflect on this just for a moment, do this, the remembrance of me. We know first of all that it doesn't mean that the Lord is absent from us.

[2:01] We have nowadays the often so-called remembrance services and the one remembered is not present at those services because he or she is deceased and absent from the service.

[2:17] The Lord of course was dead and was buried, but he is alive again. I will remember this morning, we do so not as a dead or absent person, but as a living and a vibrant slave.

[2:35] And it's what is present with us in our gathering here today. We saw yesterday that the Lord dwells in the heart of the humble and the contrite.

[2:48] And this morning we gather here among us because we gather in his name, in the heart of everyone who is confident and humble before him.

[2:59] And so each of us who is in that condition brings them with him into this gathering. He is here, he is very, very much here.

[3:11] The hymn reminds us, we still, for the Lord, the Holy One is here. Bow down before him now in reverence and fear.

[3:24] The Lord is in this place in every believer's heart. In a way it's an almost physical thing. We are near him physically because he is here beside us.

[3:40] But it's also a matter of access to him that we can speak to him and he can speak to us.

[3:51] And so yes, present but also accessible. Present because he is the only all-present God who fears heaven and earth and fears every space in the entire universe.

[4:07] But present to us the one who is all, all present and divine is also our fleshed savior. And present as a God-man who took our nature.

[4:22] Present because, as I said, he is all present but all present as the God-man who has lived our own human life.

[4:34] And present by his Holy Spirit, present beside us as a great Paracet called to be near us. And so beside us and in us and with us, over us and above us is this risen, unexhausted Savior right here in this service this morning.

[4:56] And her solemn and remunicable is that God is in this place in the hearts of the humble and contrite so near you, speaking to you and giving himself to us.

[5:12] And so this one who died and yet is alive, who is invisible to us and yet is near to us, who is in God's right hand on the throne of the universe and yet in your heart.

[5:31] This one says to us, do this in remembrance of me. Now look at the form of those words. They are a command to us, do this.

[5:44] An imperious word from her Savior, do this. Binding every Christian conscious and every believing soul.

[5:56] This is what Christians do. It is normal, it's ordinary standard practice. All over the world today people from every nation language, very kind and tongue and all gathering around the sufferer and the Lord suffer and they are all doing the thing that God commands us to do, do this in remembrance of me.

[6:26] We have no right if we love the Lord, if we believe in the Lord, if we want the Lord, if we fear even the Lord. We have no right not to be doing this thing that God commands us to do.

[6:42] It is as I said an imperator, a divine imperator, God's command to all of us as a children. But notice well that it says to us, do, do this. It is precise thing.

[7:01] Because we can remember the Lord in many, many other ways. You could say well I don't go to the table but I remember him in prayer and in praise and my psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and my thoughts and my imaginations.

[7:19] Away in a sleep I recalls a memory of him. The Lord says yes but do this in remembrance of me, this in everything.

[7:32] This is God's own ordinance that in this way we remember him. By sitting with our fellow believers at the table and by sharing those elements of bread and wine that symbolize for us the body and blood and the death of the Lord and Savior.

[7:54] By receiving that bread from a neighbour, by passing it on to a neighbour, by performing those actions we remember him, commemorate him until he comes.

[8:09] Those elements would speak to us of the body took, of the bloody poured out of a sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. There would remember our Savior and there too would remind each other of our Savior.

[8:28] It is a memory divided which would stimulate each other's memories and the recourse of mind of this person as Christ who says do this in remembrance of me.

[8:43] The reformers were very insistent that in the North Supper we follow, we follow the exact order that he had set for us at the Last Supper.

[8:56] There is bread which symbolizes eternal life. There is wine which symbolizes festivity, this festive meal.

[9:07] That's why four bears, sadness, spoke of the faith of one failure and going to the faith, going to the feast.

[9:18] And God has given us His Feast. It's not bread and water, it's not prison and fair, it's bread and wine and bread of life and the wine of joy.

[9:31] So this where we come, I remember the Lord in this ordained way, the way he said we were to remember him until he comes.

[9:43] And so we gather this morning to remember the water is present, who was dead and Yiddish alive and says to us remember me, you can't see me, but to faith I am here in the hearts of all who love me in the very midst of this gathering I am here.

[10:07] And remember me in this precise way, you can do it other ways to do like, but this is a way that he is ordained for us to remember him.

[10:19] And what are we to remember when it's very plain about it, do this in remembrance of me. And I know it sounds very, very obvious, but you know at this point I encounter a very perplexing issue.

[10:39] Because I hear people speak or professing, is he professing, is she professing, I hear that language all the time, he or she is professing.

[10:53] And I kind of ask if I need to, well what is she professing and I get the answer probably, she's professing her faith.

[11:05] Now if she's not, she's not remembering her faith, do this in remembrance of me.

[11:17] The Lord suffers a great statement, a great proclamation, but it's not a statement about us, about you or about me.

[11:31] It's not that you say here, I am born again, I am converted, I am suddenly saved, I have a month of grace, I am this, I am that.

[11:45] It's not about me or you or anyone else at all, it's about the Lord Jesus. There isn't a believing soul in this audience this morning who can look at her own experience.

[12:01] I tell her she came to know the Lord, I tell her she came to close in with the Lord. I say to herself, I am perfectly satisfied with where I started, I have progressed with my faith, my repentance, my conversion, my month of grace, and that's my testimony.

[12:26] My conversion narrative is my testimony and now believe it or not, it's not. My story, my conversion narrative, that is not my testimony.

[12:41] My testimony is this, we have a great high priest, it's about him, do this in remembrance of me.

[12:53] Can we make that adjustment? You look in. You look in and serve the church for grace within your selfish, marks of grace, signs of this, of this, of all that kind of discourse, important in some ways or other.

[13:14] Remember, that's not your law. Your faith is not your law. Your faith ebbs and flows.

[13:28] The rock is firm, twice. Your repentance is not your law. Your conversion story is not your law.

[13:39] Your month of grace are not your law. George Gershwin said, famous, he wants all your marks will leave you in the dark.

[13:51] He wants all the women who heard the table face. Those who worked in the flesh and the foot of the spirit and she said, somebody so brilliant sadly, I found, she said, both in myself.

[14:08] Those who worked in the flesh and that foot of the spirit, I found them both. I was there in such close fellowship or contact, the one group with the other group, and saw this do not in remembrance of my conversion, or in testament to my months of grace.

[14:32] But I'm here to profess Christ. You are telling everyone in Carly, about him, about your law, how great her precious he is.

[14:44] And I'm telling you all about him, this do in remembrance of me, who he was. God's only and eternal son, pre-existent, divine, possessive, all those glorious, divine, perfections and attributes, all these things that mean God, God.

[15:06] There he was in the form of God. The angels looked at him and at the father, at the spirit of the spirit, they said, I see in God the Father, the form of God.

[15:19] In God the Son, I see the form of God. In God the spirit, I see the form of God. That's what the angels saw. They looked at him and they saw in him all the fullness of the Godhead.

[15:35] But then what he became, would remember that too. He took flesh and blood. He took up the form of a servant.

[15:46] He came to the likeness of our own humanity, and that humanity in such a low condition. He would remember that, he would remember the stable in Bethlehem.

[15:59] He would remember the baby crying, he would remember the cat in the loy. He would remember these things, that child in a manger.

[16:11] He knew the all-behavior, because the healer through all, the God who was from all eternity, became a sucking child.

[16:23] He would remember that, do we not? He was God, he became flesh, became that human embryo fetus infant child, nor its helpless, nor its dependence.

[16:39] Do this remembrance of that baby, that child, that incarnate God in a manger of helplessness and dependence.

[16:50] And would remember then the road from Calvary, the way to the cross, through the desert and its temptations, through ejection and unloquy, and its certain poverty, our shame, hate, and austerity, all these things are a spader loop through, and we will remember him on that journey to Calvary.

[17:23] We're remembering a Jacob's well, God incarnate, God exhausted. We're remembering that with the woman of Samaria, and saying, can you give me a drink please?

[17:39] Because there is God in our nature, and he's thirsty, and he asked this woman, this particular woman, this almost outcast Samaritan woman, the wrong gender, and the wrong race, and the wrong reputation.

[17:57] But he seemed speaking to her and saying, can you give me a drink please? And we see him, he gets seven, he's close to being broken, and crying, lawless, and not some other way.

[18:17] Shattering the presence of God's will for him, but God wanted him to do a trembling list, and this humanity could not endure the burden that God was laying upon him.

[18:36] And so there he cries to God, Lord, let this cup pass from me, and the emotion, he is so amazed, he is very heavy.

[18:48] His soul is sorrowful, the soul of God, of this divine person, that human soul of God incarnate, that soul is so sorrowful, so despondent, so depressed, so weighed down on this road to Calvary.

[19:09] We remember the manger, we remember the road, we remember the night it was betrayal, that last day of a Lord's normal life on this earth, and there were moments here when the day began, it takes a clock on that Jewish evening, this last day of a Lord's life.

[19:39] We remember that moment of respite before the storm breaks, when he sits at the table, and has this supper, this fave, this feast, with his disciples, and from there, downward into the abyss, the betrayal, and the arrest, and the trial, and the flogging.

[20:06] We remember that depth that descend into the depths of Calvary, at the abillation as he is nailed to the cross, we've heard it so often that we no longer shudder the physical sufferings of that fray that massalated, that broken body as a nailer there too, in the tree, and on that cross, as he descends into what the Father called the deceptive to hell.

[20:46] Not before he dies, but in the dying itself, and descending into that place where he is forsaken by God, into that darkness that love cannot reach, and a darkness and a death from which he could cry to God, or search for signs of God, or look for light, and find those signs that see no light, that still cry, my God, my God, why have you abandoned me and let me go? Why do I cry? And I haven't heard.

[21:39] Why are my feet falling, falling, falling? I downward indeed why do I sink? Where's Danny there is none, the floods are going over me down, and it flies, and God the Father hears, and God the Father can answer, because after sacredness is the price of the salvation of those that God loves, the price of my salvation, and your salvation.

[22:19] And maybe God wanted to say, oh my son, how I love to answer you, and love not to be abandoned, you love to tell you how much I love you, but so much hinges upon your people's sake, and I cannot answer.

[22:43] Brother Ford, Ford, for this is twice the same to the Father, is there not a word, dear Father, is there not a word when you not speak to me, you reach out to a loved one, and there is no answer, it's not a word, dear Father, and so we remember, we remember Him, God's eternal Son, God's beloved Son, we remember that child of the mention, we remember the road to Calvary, we remember Calvary itself, we remember that hell into which He descended, so that we should not ever taste it for ourselves.

[23:35] That's what we remember this morning, Him, not me, not you, not us, but the still-remembers of me.

[23:46] And remember, when you go this morning to Luke for him, in your imagination, or where your faith goes, that your faith doesn't now go to the manger to find Him, doesn't go look for Him at the well of Sicherd, doesn't go look for Him against Semmary, doesn't go look for Him on the cross-stock Calvary, doesn't go look for Him in a tomb cold, lifeless, dead, and unresponsive, blind and deaf.

[24:22] No, we go looking for Him at the right hand of the Latter-day or High, in the centre of the throne, that's where you go and look for Him in all the glory of His Father, adored by all the most of heaven.

[24:44] And I tell it to you, to make your heart rejoice, if you loved me, you would rejoice because I go to the Father.

[24:56] I spoke yesterday, we feel the Father. In the darkness there is always light. In the darkness there is always this Christ, yes, with the Father.

[25:11] And as you loved me, you rejoice to know that I have saved the right hand of God, and He has went away all the tears from my eyes. If you loved me, you would rejoice.

[25:27] And so this morning, yes, you hear the professing, professing Christ proclaiming the glory, the greatness of your Savior.

[25:41] That's what this supper is all about, this do in remembrance of me. And this memory, it is, it is so, so precious. You wouldn't let that memory die.

[25:55] How so much you know that you wish could be forgotten. And so much you wish you could forget. But not this, not this memory should ever die.

[26:12] You want the word, as He is praying, to know His name, to bow to the need, because He is so precious to you at a personal level. And so yes, I am professing. Are you professing? Yes, I am professing.

[26:27] Are you professing? Oh, I am professing conversion. Please not. I am professing Christ my Savior. I have a great height. Please, Jesus, the Son of God. That's my testimony.

[26:41] And yet, it's more than a bare remembrance. There is so muchness in it as well.

[26:53] It's also, there is not, a moment of thanksgiving. That the Lord we know to have prayed and gave thanks and broken.

[27:05] This is my body and He gives thanks for it. You know, you turn it over and over in your mind. Yes, you see, giving thanks for that for its body and giving thanks for the broken body, thanking itself for that broken body.

[27:26] But as we take it in this service, we are most infatuated to give thanks for the body of our Lord broken on the cross of Calvary and for the gift of God's love. Thank you, O my Father, for giving us Your Son.

[27:47] The many churches call the Lord's Upper Leuphorist the Greek word for the thanksgiving. And we can say, well, we are the community service, we are the Lord's upper with the suffering.

[28:01] We are the thanksgiving. And I ask you then, is there a new heart, gratitude, for the love that God has shown us in the Lord, the Jesus Christ. And so then we are gathered indeed to remember, but also to give thanks for Him and for all that He has done.

[28:28] And there isn't any as well as there not. We are here to take and to eat, yes, the gratitude, the thankfulness, but also the appropriation that taking by faith. The Old Divine said that at the North Supper at the table, we have two mouths, we have our physical mouth that eats the bread, and we have the spiritual mouth faith that eats the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. And so we take indeed.

[29:10] And here, as He says to us at this very moment, He Himself who is present, take it, this is my body.

[29:21] He is breaking to us the bread of life, and we take it for ourselves. Do we take it as what alone can nourish our souls? And do we take it here in the sacrament? This means a grace, this combination of words and of visible signs. The word is part of the sacrament, the word plus the element, that is the sacrament.

[29:57] Bread by itself is not a sacrament, nor is wine by itself, but bread plus the word, this is my body, and wine plus the word, this is my blood, that is the sacrament, and the Lord is saying to us to you, take, take me, take this bread of life. What can it mean? What can my mind, my reason make of it?

[30:25] The Lord speaks to me in that way, take it, what does He mean? And great, the Master Theologian said, what's known Christ is to know His benefits, the blessings of which He gives, to know them as a part of the experience. Yes, it is great.

[30:48] And so it's spying, so important to know the doctrines, the incarnation, the two natures, the divine person, and so on, glorious, mind-blowing inspiration of truth.

[31:03] But to know all the benefits of Christ, because these are what nourish our souls, the blessings of Christ gives. And what He has convinced us through the Lord's Supper, saying to you, assure me, as I give you this bread, I give you myself, and all that I mean, and all my benefits, and all my blessings, and they are all for you, take it.

[31:36] The bread is saying it to you. It's saying it to everyone to whom that bread is handed out. It's asking you, have you the faith to take this bread, and what this bread means?

[31:54] It's for you. It's for you, He says, this bread is for you. I am for you. I am here for you. With this blessing, because it's all calm, bless this whole body, this whole mass of blessing.

[32:06] Take it, take me, and take every blessing I have to offer you. Take this cup, this cup which is here, the great symbol of forgiveness, this blood you covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.

[32:28] There's a great word of our solution spoken to you this morning in the cup in that why you believe. It's the Lord's word of our solution, the Lord's word of forgiveness.

[32:44] It's spoken to you, it's asking your faith, believe us though this, that in this cup, in my blood, in my sacrifice, it might be sent into hell that there is forgiveness, there is remission, and you can't serve God unless you know that remission.

[33:08] Our solution lies at the very phone range in our whole existence as disciples of the Lord Jesus. Take what this blood means, what this cup means, the forgiveness, the remission.

[33:21] There in Newseekers we have a Revelation 1, who loves us, and who looses us for our sins in his own blood.

[33:33] And it's all what's going to say to you, and I know how close I am here to overworking the symbolism. But I'm saying to you, you know, when you take it, taste it, and how sweet that wine will feel, will taste that wine of absolution.

[33:56] Sinners, pledge beneath this blood, the blood of Christ, knows all the beauty stains that come to save you. Our solution for forgiveness, remission, it's saying to you there is no condemnation, and if you know yourself, what is all that connection of sin means, if you know yourself, then that cup that speaks forgiveness will taste so sweet.

[34:27] So take it, it's first sinners, because only they need forgiveness. You are one of the kind that needs it, and to whom today God is offering it to you in the cup of the sacrament.

[34:47] And beside that forgiveness is so much more we need to serve God Almighty. Yes, there is peace of conscience, and there is joy in the Holy Spirit.

[35:00] Oh Lord, give us this joy, this joy of the Lord, which is our strength, without which we are so weak, we are not able to achieve solitude. Rabbi Dothkin, Pitchy Watson, Psalm 40, that verse that speaks of, He put a new song in my mouth, and He hears the service, He hears the church of God singing, He hears their song.

[35:34] He hears the church singing that song, do you hear the church singing that song in heaven and on earth, this time I use song. And He says, you know, and I said this so often, forgive my quoted, you see this time and again, it's a song, He said, of joy as a grief, an ungrievous joy, because always faith and repentance, knowledge of self and knowledge of grace, they coexist in the one soul. And so there is joy as a grief, ungrievous joy, and He said, then Lord, let that song be mine, that song of joy as grief, and the grievous joy, let that song be mine, that joy, which is our strength.

[36:30] And for it otherwise, strength indeed, with His might, by His Spirit, the inner man, Lord, make me strong.

[36:41] And you know, sometimes that means for us, it all may physical strength, but make my mind strong.

[36:53] Keep my mind, O Lord, how much it only did that in His assembly, He was amazed, He sometimes, God's will will scare us, what God has done will scare us, what God wants me to do will scare me.

[37:11] Lord, keep my mind, give me strength, give me inner man, remind me of so flame, remind me of so franchise, Lord, keep my mind.

[37:23] And so those benefits of Christ, the benefit of our own absolution, the benefit of joy, and there are strength, that bread, that is strength, in my union with the body of Christ.

[37:39] This is my body, and in that body we find our strength in Him, the Spirit endowed Saviour of His body, we are members. And we need stamina. To rock with the hasty time, Judas, the race that is set before us, first sat with such short strength from conversion to glory, perhaps in a day, but for most it's a journey, an obstacle in the race, and it will tie the best of us.

[38:15] And how we need that stamina, that God alone can give. Oh, don't say to God this morning, I don't need that bread, I can cope, I don't need that body of Christ, I don't need His strength.

[38:30] Yes, I need that bread, and what that bread offers to me and to my faith, there this morning, I need that stamina to keep on going.

[38:41] I came across last week, I comment by the great 18th century, Amnico Theologian, Charles Sibion, as an old man, in fact, my own age, or less exactly, and he was pondering those words of Paul, the Philippians, chapter 1, from Eutelius Christ, the Philippians 3, pressing toward the goal, stringing yesterday every single, and people would say to him, Don Sibion, at your age now, perhaps you can relax. No, no, he said, I cannot, I cannot but push forward with all my strength, because I am approaching the goal. He didn't say, oh, I am approaching the goal, I am really home, and I can relax and push home.

[39:48] No, I cannot but push home, because I am approaching the goal. You see, I made the logginesses for Le Beau Phara, for example, just to relax in the last lap, no, that's great.

[40:07] He puts all his effort into that final bed straight towards the tape. Those of us who are old, let us not be saying, oh, we cannot relax, we are really home. No, the very fact of the goal near the end is itself an impulse to press forward even harder.

[40:31] May God help us as we reflect upon these words, may he continue with us.