Passing Out Hope

Passing Out Hope

Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and we put our trust in Him.  Christian hope is a confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass.

Hope is rooted in God’s trustworthiness.

Hope is anchored in Christ.

I would like us to dig into 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 because in 1 Corinthians 11, we are given the basis and focus of our hope as believers.

1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26 says, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread,  24 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.”  25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”

What do we find passed out to us in these verses?

VERSE 23: HOPE IN THE MIDST OF BETRAYAL

As the Apostle Paul describes what we call “the Last Supper,” he frames the entire evening as “on the night He was betrayed.”  All of the hope we are about to talk about happened with full knowledge that betrayal was going to happen.  What betrayal?  This night for Jesus was full of betrayal in three areas.

First, we see that Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ dearest friends premeditatedly betrayed Jesus for money.  Notice I said “premeditated.”  This was a plan by Judas Iscariot.  Mark 14:10-11 says, “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them.  11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand Him over.”  Jesus is handing out hope even though He knows one of His closest followers has a plan to betray Him.

Second, Mark 14:30 tells us, “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today– yes, tonight– before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”  Who was Jesus talking to?  Jesus was talking to Simon Peter who was the leader of the followers of Jesus.  If anyone would stand by Jesus, it would be Peter!  If anyone would have firm faith in the midst of hardship, it would be Peter!  Peter wants to be faithful, but Jesus knows his faithfulness will fall short.  Jesus is handing out hope even though He knows the faithfulness of leaders will fail.

Third, Mark 14:50 describes what happened when Jesus was arrested.  Mark 14:50 describes what the most committed followers of Jesus did when their faith was tested.  Mark 14:50 says very simply, “Then everyone deserted Him and fled.”  Jesus is handing out hope even though He knows all of His disciples will flee from their faith and from Him.

Jesus gives hope in the midst of betrayal.  How is that possible?

It is possible because hope in Christ has never been dependent on circumstances or feelings or wishful thoughts.  It is possible because hope in Christ has never been dependent on good intentions or hollow promises.  Our hope is rooted in God’s trustworthiness because He will do as He promises.  Our hope is anchored in Christ Himself who is faithful, gracious, powerful, and full of divine integrity.  Our hope is in Him.

VERSE 24: HOPE BECAUSE OF HIS BODY

Jesus is eating and drinking with His disciples and He literally thankfully passes out bread to them which is a symbol of hope in Him.  The bread symbolizes His body.  The body of Jesus gives us hope.  Why?

Two other passages (among many) in the Bible give us the answer to our question.  Hebrews 10:10 says, “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  1 Peter 2:24 says, “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.”

The body of Jesus represents the sacrifice Jesus makes on our behalf to pay for sin.

The body of Jesus represents the death that He would endure as a result of our sin.

The body of Jesus represents the suffering that He chose in order to save us.

You and I can have hope in Jesus because He literally laid His life on the line to make it possible for us to have a relationship with God.  The hope that He offers us is wrapped up in His willing death.  He paid the price so we can have hope in a God that can be trusted.

VERSE 25: HOPE BECAUSE OF HIS BLOOD

Jesus is eating and drinking with His disciples and He literally thankfully passes out the cup filled with wine to them which is a symbol of hope in Him.  The wine symbolizes the blood of Jesus.  The blood of Jesus gives us hope.  Why?

Two other passages (among many) in the Bible give us the answer to our question.  The blood of Jesus carries with it quite a few significant meanings for believers.  John 6:53 highlights, “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”  Hebrews 13:20-21 highlights, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will

The blood of Jesus represents the life Jesus offers us in Him.

The blood of Jesus represents the eternal life promise given by God and paid for by Jesus.

The blood of Jesus represents the suffering plan that Jesus fulfilled as the Messiah.

You and I can have hope in Jesus because He literally laid His life on the line to make it possible for us to have eternal life with God.  The hope that He offers us is wrapped up in His willing death.  He paid the price so we can have hope in a God that can be trusted.

VERSE 26: HOPE BECAUSE OF HIS RETURN

Jesus is eating and drinking with His disciples and He literally thankfully passes out the bread and cup filled with wine to them which are both symbols of hope in Him.  The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus.  The wine symbolizes the blood of Jesus.  Jesus tells them that by eating and drinking these symbols of the covenant between Jesus and believers, we proclaim His death until He returns.  Why?

First, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ reminds us of our sure eternal bond with Jesus.

Second, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ is central to the gospel message because He left and will return for His people.

Third, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ gives hope beyond this life that ‘something’ else exists and He has taken care of that ‘something.’

Fourth, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ joins us to an eternal kingdom full of believers.

Fifth, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ motivates us to holy living and to live ‘up’ to the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Sixth, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ affirms the promise of eternal life.

Seventh, the bodily resurrection and the return of Jesus Christ declares the victory of Jesus over sin and death and that same victory is offered to believers.

Our hope in God is not empty.  The hope that we have in Christ is not hope that is pointless.  The hope that we have in Christ is because He will return and bring with Him renewal and purpose and resurrected eternal life.  We trust in this hope because of the proven track record of Jesus.

THE POINT

We have shared together all about hope that is in Christ Jesus.  That means everyone that believes that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God and has been baptized into Him has that hope.  That is true.  What is also true is that not everyone reading this is a believer.  If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you do not have that hope.  You have empty hope in wishes and an uncertain future.  You have hope based on other people.  You have hope based on yourself.

What Jesus Christ offers is hope that has proven itself through betrayal.

What Jesus Christ offers is hope paid for by His life.

What Jesus Christ offers is hope assured by His blood.

What Jesus Christ offers is hope that He will return and make all things new.

 

TMB

 

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