Proclaiming His Death!

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Pastor Mark Mikels – August 2, 2009
(1 Corinthians 11:26)

Intro … This morning as we prepare ourselves for Communion, I would draw
your attention to Today’s Key Scripture – it’s found in the Apostle’s Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian Church – 1 Cor. 11:26

Today’s Key Scripture…
“Whenever you eat this BREAD and drink this CUP
You PROCLAIM the Lord’s DEATH.”
(1 Corinthians 11:26)

This morning we will “Proclaim the Death of the Lord Jesus Christ” as we share this communion together … It’s the most important proclamation that has ever and will ever be made. It’s the central truth of our Christian Faith … it’s the truth that makes all other truths irrelevant until it is understood and embraced.

Nine chapters earlier in that same letter to the Corinthians Paul had written these words concerning his initial ministry among them …

“I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.”
(1 Corinthians 2:2)

There’s a sense in which the most important question we could ever ask another human being is simply this …
“Do you know that Jesus Christ died for you?”

Christ’s death on Calvary accomplished some awesome things – this morning in this brief meditation I want to touch on several of them – four to be exact.

In the next few weeks we will look at them more exhaustively.

Through His Death …
The LAW has been crucified FOR me
(Colossians 2:13-14)

Now the law is what tells us how we should live – the rules and regulations of life; the Ten Commandments and all the other directives found in the Word of God.

And if your experience is like every other human being who has ever lived (except Jesus Himself), the law is something that we fall short of – way short. No one (except Jesus) has ever kept the Law of God perfectly.

The bottom line is as long as the Law lives and stands, we stand condemned and the Scripture says …
“The soul that sinneth; it shall die.”
Ezekiel 18:4

It’s in light of that long-standing truth that we read Paul’s great announcement made to the believers in Colosse (Colossians 2:13-14) …

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

If you think the People of Munchkin Land were excited to announce that the ‘Wicked Witch” had been removed from their lives permanently, how much more all of us who live under the tyranny of an unkeepable law!

God has stepped in and crucified the Law for us – never again will it have the final say in our lives. Through the death of Jesus Christ, the law has been crucified for us. More of that next week.

Through His Death …
The WORLD has been crucified TO me
(Galatians 6:14)

In his wondrous letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes …

“Do not allow the world to squeeze you into its mold.” (Romans 12:2)

The honest answer of many new believers is …

“Are you kidding – the mold of the world is the only mold I know.
I was born ‘molded’ to the world. I don’t even recognize when I am living
‘worldly’ … it feels so completely normal.”

Here’s the wondrous answer contained in the Gospel’s Good News …
Paul declared it in his letter to the Galatian believers:

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

The “World” was nailed to the cross as surely as the Law was – it no longer has a death grip upon me. I can distinguish myself from it and live contrary to it.
More of that in two weeks.

Third thing …Through His Death …
The FLESH has been crucified IN me
(Romans 6:6)

The flesh is that “enemy within” … the one that Alan identified several weeks ago as the main combatant in the “Gospel War”.

The flesh (like the world) feels completely normal to us – if the world is the ‘mold’ we are in, then the flesh is the wardrobe that we wear.

We have worn the “clothing of the flesh” ever since we were born – we almost unthinkingly respond to its urges – we’ve felt them our entire lives. The flesh would seem to have the ‘upper hand’ as we seek to ‘follow Christ’ – it wins many skirmishes in the day to day warfare.

But here too the Gospel contains some incredible information –
Paul shared it with the believers in Rome …

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin …”
(Romans 6:6)
Bottom line … our own flesh was nailed to the cross as well … it is dead with respect to its former ability to control us. The fleshly part of me has been crucified in conjunction with the Death of Christ.

There will be lots more to say about that in three weeks.

Now one last thing as we Proclaim the Lord’s Death and the Benefits of it in our communion this morning …

Through His Death …
The DEVIL has been disarmed BEFORE me
(Colossians 2:15)

Now the Devil can be a major annoyance in the life of one who would seek to follow Jesus …

The Apostle Peter wrote these words of warning in his day …

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

The Devil is always ‘out for blood’ … He would seek to see us destroyed; he would seek to see the Work of God completely derailed; He would seek to intimidate God’s People into complete paralysis. He would seem to be a most scary adversary.

Here though is the reality of the situation … He has been disarmed!
Hear these words from Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church …

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Through the Death of Jesus Christ on the cross, the devil and all those associated with him have been disarmed so that they can inflict no “permanent damage” to those who belong to Christ. The stronger armaments are now in our hands – can’t wait to talk more about that in four weeks!

Final Thot …
On the cross Christ defeated every FOE that I face …
As I LINK myself to him I participate in the VICTORIES He has won!

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