Good Friday 2022

The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is so much more than just some words to recite and a small wafer and cup to eat and drink. In this Good Friday service, John Elmore helps us more fully understand the gravity, depth, and richness of the cross and how we remember it through the Lord’s Supper.

John ElmoreApr 15, 2022

In This Series (8)
God is Here | John 2:13-22
Timothy "TA" AteekSep 3, 2022
From Good to Godly | 2 Samuel 6:1-16
Timothy "TA" AteekAug 14, 2022
Living a Life of Faith, Not of Logic | John 2:1-11
John ElmoreAug 7, 2022
“Why Doesn’t God Do Something?” | Revelation 21:1-8
Timothy "TA" AteekMay 29, 2022
Marriage and Family | Psalm 78:1-8
Chris SherrodMay 8, 2022
All Hands on Deck | May 2022
Blake Holmes, Kyle Thompson, Todd Anders, Ben Caldwell, Mickey FriedrichMay 1, 2022
Good Friday 2022
John ElmoreApr 15, 2022
Leveraging Our Lives for the Sake of the Gospel | 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2
Timothy "TA" AteekApr 3, 2022

Summary

The Lord’s Supper, or communion, is so much more than just some words to recite and a small wafer and cup to eat and drink. In this Good Friday service, John Elmore helps us more fully understand the gravity, depth, and richness of the cross and how we remember it through the Lord’s Supper.

Key Takeaways

  • In the beginning, Adam and Eve were in perfect fellowship with God. But then sin entered the picture. Instead of wrath, God gave love. But the love that He gave came through a sacrifice—an animal that was slain to cover them both physically and spiritually (Genesis 3:21).
  • After the Garden of Eden and that break in man’s fellowship with God, there are four tables of reconciliation: the Passover table, the Last Supper, the Lord’s Supper, and the wedding feast of the Lamb.
  • The Passover table pointed forward to the coming Lamb of God.
  • At the Passover, a spotless male lamb would be killed (Exodus 12:5-6), with not a bone to be broken (Exodus 12:46). They would put the lamb’s blood on their door frames, making the symbol of the cross, and because of the blood God’s wrath would pass over them (Exodus 12:7-13). All of this was a foreshadowing of the cross.
  • At the Last Supper table, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples and explained that He was about to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God (Luke 22:14-22).
  • There is no way to get from the Last Supper to the Lord’s Supper without the cross.
  • The Lord’s Supper looks back at the cross, remembering Jesus’s death for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
  • One day, those who are saved through faith in Jesus’s death and resurrection will be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9).

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • How can you show your gratitude for what Christ did for you on the cross?
  • Who can you share the good news with?
  • Suggested Scripture study: Genesis 3:21; Exodus 12:1-24; John 19:36; Luke 22:14-22; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Revelation 19:6-9

Brothers and sisters, family of God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, today is Good Friday. I am altogether insufficient to explain or put forward the greatness of God in flesh, having laid down his life for the forgiveness of sins for all who would believe, except for the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives and reigns and moves in the souls of men, women, and children to awaken their hearts and draw them unto the Father through the Son, and by his living and active Word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword, able to pierce and lay bare our souls.

So, with that hope today we proclaim Jesus Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sins. In doing so, I hope today that we will more fully understand the gravity, depth, and richness of the cross of Christ through a biblical theology of sin, sacrifice, and reconciliation, because it is the narrative of Scripture that finds the pinnacle in the cross, all of it pointing to and back to when God would take on flesh and give his life for the salvation of souls.

The four tables of reconciliation I want us to look at today are the Passover table, and then we'll get to the Last Supper table, the table of the Lord's Supper for the church, and finally, the table of the wedding feast of the Lamb. Before we walk through those tables to understand this sin, sacrifice, and reconciliation, we have to go all the way to the beginning.

So here, in the garden, where Adam and Eve, God's beloved, dwelt with him in perfect union, perfect fellowship, with no separation between God and man until sin entered in, as Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They took it, and as such, sin entered into them and, thus, all their progeny for all the millennia, that every single person who would ever breathe would have sin within.

God, in seeing that, rather than pouring out his wrath, where there was no table because there was no need for fellowship… It was there in place. Before there even was a table, rather than wrath, he gave love, but the love he gave came through a sacrifice, an animal that was slain. As they were hiding in the shame of their sin, that animal was slain for a physical covering, but much more so for a spiritual covering…the wrath of God poured out on that sacrifice.

It says in Genesis 3:21, "And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them." We know then, for hundreds and hundreds of years, mankind would continue, and God would call the Israelites to become a people. Then they were found in the land of bondage, as the Bible says, in Egypt. For 430 years, they would remain in bondage, crying out to the Lord as slaves, and then the Lord would say to Moses, "I'm giving you the table of the Passover." So now, from Exodus, chapter 12:

"Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. […] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. […] In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt."

We're told later in verse 21, "Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin."

The Lord commanded the people of Israel there in captivity, enslaved for all of those years, to take a lamb that had dwelt among them for those days that they would have grown endeared to and to slaughter it, and with the blood in the basin, to then take a branch of hyssop and put it across the lintels of the doors and across it, which would have made the symbol of a cross, a blood covering.

They would have partaken of the lamb, personally partaking of the lamb, and then there being a blood covering over where they lived, where they would reside. It says this lamb was to be spotless, without blemish. It was to be a male. Later we would see in Exodus that not a bone was to be broken, which would find a prophecy again in Psalm 22. "I can count my bones. Not one of them is broken."

Then again we would see at the cross, as the Roman soldiers went to break the legs of the thieves, Jesus had already given up his spirit and was dead, and thus they did not break his bones. All of this pointing to the cross of Jesus Christ. They were to do it in haste, because they were in slavery, and at the moment of death, they would leave. In the death under bondage they would go free. And to do so in haste, because the wrath of God was going to be poured out, but because of the blood, the wrath would pass over them.

So, the animal in the garden pointing to the cross. Now, here, we have the Passover instituted for the people of God, pointing to the cross. It was a type. It was an image. It was a mirror reflecting forward to the cross. From this Passover table with the lamb came freedom. Wrath of God, a blood covering, begat freedom…this tangible reminder, but it was a foreshadowing.

Then we find ourselves at the next table. From the Passover table, now we find Jesus at the Last Supper table in Luke 22. "And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And [Jesus] said to them, 'I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.'" There they are, gathering, commemorating the Passover the Lord had instituted.

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul writes, "Christ, our Passover Lamb." Here, you have at the Last Supper the Passover Lamb incarnate, Jesus Christ, having and partaking of the Passover. He says, "I have longed to partake of this Passover." Of all of the Passovers through all of the thousands of years that had taken place, here Jesus is, and he had longed, God in flesh, to take this particular one.

He says, "Before I suffer," telling them, "In moments, in hours, this Passover Lamb is going to the cross to find fulfillment in what Genesis was pointing to, Exodus was pointing to. What I'm now telling you, I will go to, as I prepare to suffer." "For I tell you I will not eat it [again] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." That's a point to the fourth table.

"And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, 'Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And he took bread, and when he had 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 likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant…'"

Not the old covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the Law, declaring the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. Now he says, "This body broken, blood shed… This cup is poured out. It's my blood in the new covenant." A covenant required a death and bloodshed. "But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!"

So, here we have the Passover Lamb conducting the Passover with his apostles, and he's saying, "Do this now in remembrance of me." Old things have passed away; the new has come. He says, "This is the new covenant, and I've longed to partake of it before I suffer," pointing again to the cross, just like the garden, just like the Passover table. Now at the Last Supper table, he's pointing to the cross where he would soon go.

He says, "The new covenant." The new covenant from Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 31, where the Lord, by the Spirit, through the prophets, says, "I will make a new covenant with my people, and I will pour out my Spirit upon them. I will take away their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in them and move them to follow my decrees, no longer according to a written law, but the law written upon their hearts." He says, "I will be their God, and they will be my people, and I will remember their sins no more."

When the apostles heard the words new covenant, all of that would have flooded to their minds as they were beholding at this table the Passover Lamb. It is why John the Baptist, at Christ's appearing, declares by the Spirit, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!" The Lamb of God. From the animal that was slain in the garden to all of the Passover lambs, now God in flesh, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

It is why Good Friday is good, because apart from that, God's wrath would have fallen upon us, apart from partaking of the Lamb and the blood covering, the atonement, so the wrath of God might pass over because of Jesus. But even this at the Lord's Supper, the Last Supper, at his table, was just pointing to the cross. There is no way to get from this table to that table, from the Last Supper to the Lord's Table, apart from the cross.

After he gives that Last Supper and institutes the new covenant, it says they sang a hymn. Matthew records in chapter 26 that they sang a hymn. We know from Jewish tradition that what they sang was called the Egyptian Hallel, the song of praise from the land of Egypt or bondage. It's Psalms 113-118. I want to read to you now some from Psalm 118, because it's incredible to think about Jesus there, receiving praise from his apostles, as the Lamb of God.

Verse 19: "Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation." They're singing this in Jesus' hearing. "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

The fulfillment of the new covenant, the Christ having come and laying down his life for our salvation. "Save us, we pray, O Lord! […] Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us." The light of men, Jesus in the flesh.

So he goes to the cross. He goes to the garden to pray, sweats blood, is betrayed by Judas, led astray by the Roman soldiers, taken before Caiaphas and the high priest and the courts, then Pilate. As he is there, he is spit upon, struck, taken of his clothes. The Roman soldiers put a robe around him, a crown of thorns, put a reed in his hand, and fall down in mockery. "Hail, King of the Jews!"

They take the reed from his hand and strike him, embedding those thorns into his skull, and then put a cross upon him, having whipped him and stripped him, and lead him to Golgotha, the place of the skull, where he would be nailed to a cross through his hands and feet, but not a bone broken, just as the Passover table would tell us in Psalm 22. He was raised up, as the serpent was raised in the desert, that whoever would look upon him would not perish, and there he was for the forgiveness of sins, the Lamb of God sacrificed, poured out in the new covenant.

The only way to get to that next table would be through the cross. It had now had its fulfillment in Jesus' obedience, where he says in Hebrews 10, "Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me." His body broken and blood shed. So, by faith through Jesus Christ, whoever confesses with their mouth Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart God raised him from the dead will be saved.

By faith in the Lamb of God slain for us, we now can be reconciled to God from our sin, given the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now here at the Lord's Supper, the Table of the Lord's Supper. If you've been with us on Sundays, you know we have been in 1 Corinthians. Today, out of sequence, we're doing 1 Corinthians 11 right now because it is a passage of the Table of the Lord's Supper for the church. Here's what it says, starting in verse 23:

"For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."

The Scriptures make clear that apart from the cross of Christ, apart from placing our faith in Jesus, we stand condemned. We are enemies of God, children of wrath, aliens and strangers separated from the promises of God, but if we place our faith in Jesus, we are no longer enemies but, rather, adopted sons and daughters seated at the Lord's Supper, at his Table, reconciled to the Father through the Son, now indwelt by the Spirit, and we have fellowship again with our Creator because of the Son. This is the promise of the cross of Christ.

So, as the garden pointed to the cross, the Passover table pointed to the cross, the Last Supper pointed to the cross, now here we are at the Lord's Table, the Lord's Supper, and it's all, as it says, "In remembrance of me," pointing back to the cross. As it says, we proclaim the Lord's death every time we partake of it, proclaiming his death to the watching world and anyone who would come and listen, that Jesus Christ died for your sins that you might be reconciled to God, forgiven, and set free, as the wrath of God is laid upon Jesus, that you might walk out of bondage to sin.

The perfect substitutionary atonement, being fully God and fully man…fully God that he might satisfy the wrath of God, living in perfection, and fully man that he might be the substitute, a one-for-one exchange, man's life for mankind's life. He took on flesh as the substitutionary atonement that we would go free…this Jesus upon the cross.

It concludes with "We proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." Implicit there is the resurrection, and explicit is the second coming of Christ, that he is no longer on the cross and there will be a day of a fourth table. That fourth table is the table of the wedding feast of the Lamb. All who have trusted in Jesus Christ will be seated at that table, having spent our earthly lives at this Table, proclaiming the Lord's death, one day at the wedding feast of the Lamb. From Revelation 19:

"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready…' And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God.'"

Reconciled to the Father through the Son with all of Scripture pointing to the cross or this side back to the cross. God loved us so much he gave his only begotten Son that whoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life. Let's pray.

Lord Jesus, our words fail us. There are no words adequate to thank you for rescuing us from sin, death, Satan, and hell forevermore. As we, too, once were in bondage of slavery to sin, the perfect Lamb of God was crushed, his body broken and blood shed, that anyone who would partake of the Lamb of God and be covered by his blood could walk out in freedom, reconciled to you. And now the church partaking of this ordinance, the Lord's Supper, proclaiming his death until he comes. Come, Lord Jesus, amen.