Sermon delivered March 30, 2002 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Saved by the Lamb

John 1:29 (Communion Sermon)

I would like to speak with you about being saved. You would expect me to do that, wouldn't you. Here it is, Easter weekend, it is the time when we think about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He died on Good Friday, He was resurrected on Sunday, and He rested in the tomb on Sabbath. What a wonderful Savior we have! We're saved by the Lamb.

Never, ever, fall off a roof! Have you ever fallen off of a roof? A workman was repairing the roof of a little country church in Germany. You know, church roofs are steep. I don't know why they do that. I suppose they want the church to point to heaven. But this workman was up there working on the roof outside of the church on top and he started to slip. He got to going and there was no way to stop. The shingles were made out of slate and down that roof he went. Several of the workmen shouted, but there was nothing to grab a hold of. I mean, he was going off of that thing and he got right to the edge and went over. All the workmen came down the ladders quickly and rushed to the spot where he landed. And he was okay! He was there on the grass. Just fine! You know what had happened? A young lamb had gone around to feed on the grass in the churchyard and he had landed square on top of that lamb. It saved his life, but the lam lost hits life. It was crushed to death, but his life was saved by the lamb! By the lamb. There was a red spot on the grass for several days after that. People came and looked at that. That was an amazing thing that happened.

John 1:29 makes a statement of how we are saved, because it says in the King James Version: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." That's how sin-removal is done. The Lamb of God takes it away. We are saved by the lamb, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Peter says we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, 1 Pet 1:19. I've heard of a lot of wrecks. Over here at Dead Man's Curve we find that is one of the most dangerous highways in America. Everywhere I've ever lived has had one of the most dangerous in America. I think you have one of those near where you are. But isn't it amazing, and it isn't right, but this happens so often there's a wreck, there's a drunk walks away and the good person gets killed. Have you noticed that? That is so weird that that happens. Life is not fair. And yet, that is exactly how it is with Jesus. Jesus the spotless lamb is killed and we sinners walk away. We're the drunk. We are the sinner. The innocent One was killed that the sinner might live. That's awesome that that happens.

That perfect little Lamb shed its blood that we might be saved. I will tell you that when the load of our heavy sins fell on Him, Jesus' life was snuffed out. The weight of our sins crushed his heart of love. And yet, because of that, we live.

Today, we are celebrating this event. The Bible says that we do this "in remembrance of Me." So this service here, this Lord's Supper is intended to fully demonstrate to you the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The bread that we have here today was broken, representing His broken body. The cup that we drink of today represents that saving blood that was spilled for us.

Come over here to Matthew 26, an amazing several verses. The disciples had just finished having their feet washed by Jesus. And then they ate bread. Matthew 26:26-28. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." So this bread that we are going to be eating here in a few minutes is a symbol of Jesus' body. His broken heart. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. All of you. So in the Seventh- day Adventist church we have open communion. If you are a member, that's fine. If you are not a member, that's fine, too. "Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Do you need your sins forgiven today? This is the place to come., because this is what takes place.

When you drink that cup and when you eat that bread you assimilate the presence of Jesus into your heart. That's where He is. His body becomes a part of your body. His blood becomes a part of your blood. His very presence is with you!

Up in Wisconsin, there was a priest of a Roman Catholic Church who was having problems and he put this ad in the bulletin: There have been a number of people leaving the church a few minutes after they have received the holy communion... This is a great dishonor to our blessed Lord. The Church tells us that Jesus remains in our bodies (our stomach) 15 minutes after we have received the holy communion. That means that our thanksgiving should be at least 15 minutes long.... We should not leave church until our Lord is no longer with us!"

Now, we Protestants smile at that, don't we. But there is a profound lesson that I want to bring out. Jesus does want to be with His people, but more than fifteen minutes. He wants to permanently come into your heart. He wants to establish a relationship with you. That's why we call the Communion Service, where you can commune and relate together And, that's a wonderful thing. He wants to remain with you. He wants to live in your heart more than fifteen minutes, forever, permanent living.

I will tell you that the roof of life is a very slippery slope, waiting to dash us to kill us. But standing there below that roof is the Lamb, waiting to give His life that each of us might live, ready to save us from eternal death, ready to give us eternal life.

Today we celebrate the supper of the Lamb, the Lord's Supper, the Lamb's Supper. Revelation 19:9 KJV says Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus invites his people at His supper table and to eat there and commune with Him. We are at the Lamb's banquet table. That's where we are, so whet your appetites. we're about to partake of a meal here. The Resurrected Lamb is waiting to save you, to take your load of sin that will cost Him His life and to give you His eternal life!

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before we partake of this supper, we do what they did in the Bible: we practice the foot- washing service. And so we are going to separate at this time into the areas of the church that have been planned for you. The me will go out the double doors to the left. There are two rooms that are prepared for you. The ladies will go out the double doors and go to the right. The fireside room is prepared for you. And if you are a couple, there are two rooms for couples: the upper room and the room right beside the stairway. So, there are plenty of places prepared for each of you. You can do this together as a couple. You can do it as a man or a woman. If you should choose to celebrate as a man or as a woman, I would suggest that you do it with somebody that you don't know. Not with your life-long friend, but with a new person, somebody you have not done it with before.

When we reassemble in this room to have our supper together, I would suggest that we try to sit in the central section so that the deacons can serve us better and that nobody would sit in the wings. So, I think that would help augment our service. We'll be back here in a few minutes and if you choose not to participate, then just stay in your seat where you are. Let's have prayer before we separate.

"Dear Father in heaven, Thank you for being our loving God. Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to be our Lamb. Help us to cast our load of sin upon Him so that we will not be crushed. And we thank you for His death, taking our sin.

"Bless us during this foot-washing service and during this supper. I pray in Jesus' name, Amen."

Let us separate at this time.

[We sometimes think of the foot-washing service as a chance to be sure we are fight with all of our acquaintances. I have seen two men confess to each other and forgive each other for problems that have come up between them. With tears of joy they acknowledge their equality before God and return to the sanctuary arm-in-arm to the Lord's Supper.

Our church family has now returned to the sanctuary and the deacons and ministers have taken their place by the table. Elder Anderson speaks:

"I read in the eleventh chapter of first Corinthians, beginning with verse 23: (1 Corinthians 11:23) For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, 'Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.'

"After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, 'This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance if Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come.'

"As far as possible, shall we kneel together in prayer.

"Heavenly Father, We are thankful that we can kneel before Thee as our God. We do thank you, today, for Thy great Love which was wiling to come to this world to shed His blood that we might have eternal life, to allow that body to be broken. And as we partake of these emblems, we do pray that that beautiful and wonderful character of Love may indeed dwell in us. You have told us to glorify You in these days in which we live, to go into all the world. And we know that as we glorify Thee it means that that beautiful life of love will be seen in us as we live with our families, our neighbors and our friends. And, today we are thankful that we can have assurance, we can have hope, we can know, even today that because of that broken body and that shed blood we have eternal life, even today. And one day soon You will come in the clouds of heaven to take us home where we can dwell where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain and no more death, to have joy forevermore throughout the ceaseless ages. Bless each of us here today in a very special way as we partake of these emblems. May we realize fully what they mean to each of us as individuals. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen."

[Elder Gettys and Elder Anderson break the bread and then hand the trays of bread and grape juice to the deacons, who in turn pass the bread and juice to the congregation. The deacons return and are served by the two elders. Then the elders serve each other.]

Elder Gettys speaks: "You are holding in your hands the symbols of our Savior, of His body, of His blood. Why is that important to us? Because His body and His blood are what enable us to have eternal life. This is our ticket to heaven. Our assurance, because He died we don't have to die. And considering His body for a moment, this little piece of bread is a symbol of his body. Bread is what I eat at home. With peanut butter and jelly on it. But this is more important than that. This is not even twelve- grain bread. This is eternal-life bread given to us, free of charge. All we have to do is eat it. And Jesus said, 'Take, eat, the is My body.'"

All of us now take the bread and eat it.

Elder Gettys again speaks: "The grape juice is also a symbol of Jesus. It's pure, unfermented, probably the most wholesome of all the juices that you can drink, a juice that He has not tasted for almost two thousand years. It's unique. It also represent Jesus. If you spill it on yourself it will stain your clothing. If you spill it on your sins, it will blot them out. It's meant to be spilled. Jesus' blood was spilled for you. Jesus said, 'Drink ye all of it.'"

All of us drink the juice together.

The Bible says they sang a hymn, and we're going to sing a hymn and then we will go out. As we go out, the deacons will be at the door to receive an offering that will go to our assistance fund. If you've been blessed and you would like to contribute to that it will be your opportunity. The hymn that we are going to sing is number 300. The fourth word (cleft) of that song is very pertinent to what we're doing here today. The Lamb of God. We're saved by the Lamb. And he was crushed, He was broken, He was cleft for us.

Bulletin

Hymn of Praise: #338, Redeemed!
Scripture: John 1: 29
Hymn of Response: #300, Rock of Ages

020330#273



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