(Message on communion – 4/27/2005)
Communion consists of symbols. Symbols of Christ’s love – John 13:1
Communion is not for perfect people
- Context of spiritual warfare – John 13:2
- Later during the meal, disciples would argue about who was the greatest
- Jesus washed Judas’ feet
Communion is for loved people – loved by Jesus Christ.
Communion consists of symbols expressing Christ’s love.
You are invited … to the feet washing intended for clean feet.
It was customary for guests to wash their feet upon entry to a home. Therefore it is safe to say that when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, those feet were already clean. The feet washing Jesus commanded we do is washing of clean feet.
It is a symbol.
- Disciples did not understand Jesus washing (clean) feet (6-7)
- Required for fellowship (8)
- Not salvation, but forgiveness (9-11)
- I John 1:9 – if confess, then forgive and cleanse
- Wash one another’s (clean) feet (12-17)
Practical: Clean your feet before coming communion tonight at 6:00
Symbol: Forgiveness (“cleansing”) we receive when we confess our sins to God
For Deeper Meaning: Take time to confess sin to God this afternoon
Transition: Revelation 19:6-9 – wedding supper of the lamb
I imagine being able to eat as much as I want and not feel too full
I imagine I’m not going to be hungry before that meal
You are invited… to the meal prepared for satisfied stomachs.
Strange meal! – I Corinthians 11:33 – eat before you eat!
It is a symbol.
Practical: Fill famished stomachs before coming at 6:00. Bring salad and bread.
Symbol: The meal symbolizes fellowship together with Jesus in the coming Kingdom.
For Deeper Meaning: Prepare to share a short testimony of what God has done for you.
You are invited… to the bread and cup given to those already eating.
Note the four activities Jesus did with his disciples on the evening before his crucifixion.
- the washing of feet (John 13:1–17),
- the fellowship meal (Luke 22:15–18),
- the bread taken in the midst of the meal (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:23–24),
- and the cup taken after the supper (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25).
The bread and cup were taken out of a full meal. They are symbols of the reasons we are part of a cleansed (feet washing – forgiven) and Christ-seeking (kingdom meal) communion.
Practical: Make sure you are depending on Jesus Christ for your life.
Symbol: The bread and cup symbolize the body and blood of Christ which give us life and make us one body.
For Deeper Meaning: Meditate on the question “In what ways does my life now depend on Christ?”
Jesus instituted these symbols for our communion service: the washing of feet, the fellowship meal and the bread and the cup. We do not sit and watch while someone else acts for us. Instead, by participating in all these symbols of communion, we are impacted again by the awesome and deep reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus and his forgiveness and presence in our lives.