Station 3: Jesus falls again under the weight of the Cross
I love all those who fall and come to Me asking for forgiveness; I love them still more. I will never reject them even if they fall millions of times...I will not see you fall; I will be near you to sustain your falls.
Forgiveness is a central teaching of Christ:
John 10:28 (Amplified New Testament)
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.
· Without it we have no access to heaven…with it we are free to approach the throne of God…
Jude 24,25 (NASB95)
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, Jude
Jude 25 (NASB95)
25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
1 John 3:21-24 (NASB95)
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
We come to celebrate the Supper whose symbols of the Bread and Wine represent spiritual truths:
1. The promise of our resurrection—a fact we know because of the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ…
a. We understand that all the blessings of redemption, justification, sanctification, eternal life, and all other benefits are ours, because Jesus rose and gave them to us…
b. We are reminded that we are not to stop short of the sight or mere knowledge of Christ, but that we may enjoy true communion with him…
c. But that communion only comes through faith as we surrender our lives to Him unconditionally…as He rose from the dead, we too may rise in Him to new life…
2. The Supper has a mysterious element to it—the symbols of bread and wine, are reminders of Christ body and blood, given on our behalf, without reservation at the cross, in order to obtain righteousness for us…
3. While the Supper is symbolic, having to no power to deliver us from sin,; nor any power to provide salvation—it is nonetheless spiritual in nature:
The sacred bread of the Lord’s Supper is sweet spiritual food, to the genuine worshippers of God. Those that partake feel that Christ is their life, and long to give thanks to Him. True believers love their brothers and sisters and the Supper is a symbolic reminder of all that Jesus has done for them.
On the other hand, it is noxious poison to all who partake of it, while living in their sin. It does not nourish or confirm their faith, rather it stands as a reminder of the need for repentance, and the need for Christ. Just as poisoned physical food causes grievous pain to the stomach, so this spiritual food also, if given to a soul polluted with malice and wickedness, plunges it into greater ruin, not indeed by any defect in the food, but because to the “defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure” (Titus 1:15).
For this reason, the apostle Paul says,
1 Corinthians 11:26-32 (Amplified New Testament)
26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are representing and signifying and proclaiming the fact of the Lord’s death until He comes [again]. 27 So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ’s] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself. 30 That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death. 31 For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. 32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.
So how do we prepare?
1. Lean solely on Christ Jesus for salvation…
2. Examine your heart, confessing all known sins to God and receive His forgiveness…
3. Aspire to imitate Christ…
4. Maintain peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ…
The bread, does not become the body of Christ, but does remind us He is the Bread of Life!
John 6:50-51 (NLT)
Jesus said, “…the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.”
Luke 22:14-20 (Amplified New Testament)
14 And when the hour came, [Jesus] reclined at table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, I have earnestly and intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 For I say to you, I shall eat it no more until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
Prayer and Pass out bread
19 Then He took a loaf [of 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.
The cup of suffering; taken in our place! The wine is the symbol of suffering, redemption, resurrection and return!
17 And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He said, Take this and divide and distribute it among yourselves; 18 For I say to you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine at all until the kingdom of God comes.
Prayer and Pass out wine
20 And in like manner, He took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant ratified in My blood, which is poured out for you; [do this in remembrance of Me].
1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)
26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.