Jesus, the Lamb of God

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I. Preparation

Request that the band play/sing Twila Paris’ song “O Lamb of God” directly before the communion.

Request that there be silence during the passing of the trays. A pianist/guitarist can quietly and softly play a variation of the melody of “O Lamb of God”.

II. Scripture & Introductory thoughts

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

You know…Passover must have been a pretty uneasy time for Jesus each year.

The head of the household would be responsible to slaughter the Passover Lamb –  to remember that IT’S BLOOD saved the Jewish firstborn.

In Jesus’ mid-late ‘20s, it appears that HE became the head of the household.

He himself  prepared the Passover Lamb

And he realized that HE would eventually BE that Lamb.

And the “FUTURE Passover Meal” (our COMMUNION) would be a reminder of HIS BLOOD –  to save you and me

The Passover was a time of Awe and Remembrance.

And that’s why this bread/wine is also a time of Awe and Remembrance.

III. What we’re going to talk about:

Your sins have literally been taken away by Jesus.

They haven’t been:
brushed over,
ignored,
avoided,
concealed,
diminished
or postponed.

Understanding this will revolutionize how you view God & how you look in the mirror.

IV. This got me thinking:

I was recently was watching the television show “24”. The hero, Jack Bauer, had broken protocol (no surprise to any fans of the show) in order to get a terrorist to reveal the location of a nuclear bomb. When his supervisor found out, he pulled Jack aside and asked him about it. Jack didn’t deny what he had done. And since the supervisor had so much trust in Jack, he told him, “OK, I will change the details of my report before sending it in. Everything will be OK.” Jack’s response was indicative of the conscience that God has given us all. He replied, “Don’t do that. Write it the way it happened. I will have to face the consequences.” Jack understood: concealment of sin/misreporting the truth does NOT absolve us of responsibility. Only a pardon by someone in authority actually takes away our sin.

As a viewer I was torn. Part of me wanted Jack to get away with it so that he could go on more quickly to locating the bomb. But the other part of me was proud of this fictitious character — doing the right thing and demanding either consequences or forgiveness…rather than concealment or brushing over of sin.

A. Now how does that relate to you and me?

I have watched other parents and learned how to express forgiveness. In our family, when a child has done something wrong, the consequences are also accompanied by the words, “I forgive you.”

Although you will be without the gameboy for a week, I still forgive you.”

In our home we have learned to express apology and also express, “I forgive you.”

Left to themselves, the absolute best our kids will learn is, “Sorry” and “It’s OK”.

But “It’s OK” does not free your conscience.

It does not bring you back in relationship. It does not let you bask in security.

B. At the cross, Jesus did not say, “It’s OK”.

Reality is that it is NOT OK. Sin is not OK. It demands consequences or forgiveness.  So Jesus offers forgiveness.

But many of us still live in the paradigm of our family.

My family never expressed forgiveness. We expressed anger. And there were no apologies. At best there were gifts.

After a big fight with my mom, it was not uncommon for her to buy me something or take me shopping the next weekend.

Before she became a Christian, that was her way of expressing reconciliation in her love language, gifts.

And left to myself, that is how I view God’s reconciliation too.

C. But Jesus didn’t “cover up” your sins.

He didn’t ignore them.
He didn’t put them in a drawer so he could pull them out later and use them against you.
He didn’t brush them aside and thus minimize them.
He didn’t postpone them – allowing them to add up.
He didn’t reduce them.
He took them away.

As Isaiah says so prophetically “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white.If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool” (1:18, The Message).

V. The upward call before each of us is…

To DECIDE to accept Jesus’ offer of forgiveness

Rather than you project your family values onto Him.

Question yourself as to which paradigm you tend towards:

  1. The “24” Scene: It’s OK to misrepresent the truth (be slippery)
  2. The Parent Trap: Just keep dealing with stuff the way I grew up
  3. The Snow-White Paradigm: Jesus TOOK it all away at the cross.

Then re-read John 1:29 and accept the fact that your sins have been taken away.

They have been removed as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12).

VI. Prayer for Bread and Wine

Reference
Max Lucado, He Chose The Nails (Nashville: Word Publishing, 2000), P. 95

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