Sermon:  Imperishable Food

Summary:  When we take the Lord's Supper, the bread reminds us that Jesus became 
flesh, and is our life, our mediator, and has brought us together as his body to live together 
with him eternally.  As such, he is our imperishable food.

Know:  The bread in communion that reminds us of his body ought to remind us that 
only in the flesh is Jesus our mediator as one family to God

Feel:  The desire to reflect more deeply on the incarnation, especially during the Lord's 

Do:  Reflect on the significance of the incarnation, and how Jesus's manner of ministry in 
the incarnation should shape your life and ministry

Text:  John 6:52-63; Heb 2:9-18; 1 Cor 11:17-34

Scripture Reading:  2 Jn 7

1.  Imperishable Food - What is it?
	a.  Not refer to frozen goods, or fresh meat
	b.  Canned goods sometimes
	c.  Maybe Twinkies are imperishable
	d.  We will be looking at the ultimate imperishable
2.  God loves you.  Reminded of this in Lord's Supper
3.  What is the Lord's Supper
	a.  Last week - Saw it was a memorial and participation
	b.  Many today misunderstand it
	c.  Some see it as a strange ritual 
		- In Russia, wondered why we do Catholic rituals
		- Needed to explain what the Lord's Supper is Biblically
	d.  Western Medieval Church - Transubstantiation
		- Sacrifice of the Mass
		- You "re-present" and "re-enact" the sacrifice of Christ
		- Cannot have eternal life without the Mass
4.  Some of the confusion comes from the words, "This is my body"
	- What does that mean?

I.  (Jn 6:52-59) The body in John
	A.  If you don't read this carefully, it will contribute to the misunderstanding
	B.  What is Jesus trying to get across?
		1.  Background:  Fed 5000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves
			a.  Jesus left in order to avoid becoming military king
			b.  When they found him, Jesus seized a teachable moment
		2.  (v.27) - Do not work for perishable food, but for imperishable 
			a.  (v.28) - How do we work?
			b.  (v.29) - Believe in Jesus
			c.  (v.30-33) - The imperishable bread comes from God
			d.  (v.34) - They want this bread.  How to get it?
		3.  (v.35) - Jesus said, "I am the bread of life"
			a.  He is true food - True satisfaction and peace is in him
			b.  (v.40) - To eat = belief in him = eternal life
			c.  (v.49) - Jesus is not like manna, they died when at it
			d.  (v.50-51) - Jesus is the bread that gives eternal life
		4.  (v.53) What does it meant to eat his flesh and drink his blood?
			a.  Is it sacrifice of the Mass like the Medieval church said?
				- Do we eat his flesh & drink blood at Lord's Supper?
				- (v.58) - No, It is not physical bread like Manna
			b.  3 passages shed more light on this
				- Dt 8:3 - Not live by bread along, but by every word
				- Jn 1:14 - The word became flesh
				- (Jn 6:63) - "Words I have spoken are spirit and life" 
			c.  Jesus is the word of God, therefore the bread of life
	C.  ILL:  We can eat Matzah and Juice all our life
		1.  That in itself will not give us life
		2.  It is Jesus himself, he is our life
		3.  When we believe in him, we have life
		4.  We are reminded of this at Lord's Supper
	D.  This is my body reminds us that Jesus is our Life

II.  The body in Hebrews
	A.  2 John 7 - Those say Jesus not come in flesh - deceiver & anti-Christ
		1.  Cardinal doctrine - The incarnation
		2.  Why so important?
	B.  Let's look at the significance of the incarnation
		1.  (Heb 1:1-3) - God spoke to us in his son
			- Jesus represented God in human form
		2.  (Heb 2:9-11, 14, 17-18)
			a.  (v.9-11) - Made lower than angels, became our "brother"
			b.  (v.14) - Participated in our humanity
				- Like participating in wormdom, or amoeba-dom
				- Jesus lowered himself & transformed himself
			c.  (v.17-18) Result - Merciful and faithful High Priest
			d.  Jesus is also OUR representative in human form
				- Represented God by becoming the message
				- Represented us by becoming flesh & sacrifice
		3.  (Heb 4:14-15) - Yet Jesus remained untainted by sin
			a.  We eat "unleavened" bread
			b.   Leaven connotation = sin and purification
				- Mt 16:6; Lk 12:1 - Beware of leaven of Pharisees
				- 1 Cor 5:6 - Your boasting is not good, do you not 
				   know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of 
				   dough (immorality)
				- (1 Cor 5:8) - "Therefore let us celebrate the feast, no 
				   with old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and 
				    wickedness, but with unleavened bread of sincerity 
				     and truth
			c.  (Heb 4:16) - But Jesus without sin, so can approach God
		4.  (Heb 5:7-9) - In incarnation & suffering, he was made "perfect"
			a.  What?  I thought Jesus was already perfect
			b.  Became a "perfect" High priest in flesh and on cross
			c.  Is God's representative because from Heaven
			d.  Is our representative because was made flesh
	C.  ILL:  Jesus was a go between
		1.  In Belarus, needed translators
			a.  One had ome to our country, learned our language
			b.  Served as lead interpretor, overcame language barrio
			c.  Able to communicate Gospel & have fellowship
		2.  Our barrier to God much more serious than language
			a.  The barrier was sin
			b.  Jesus became flesh & suffered for us on cross
			c.  Brought us and God together 
	D.  This is my Body Reminds us that He is Our Mediator

III.  The body  in 1 Cor
	A.  Are you beginning to see how, "this is my body" is rich with meaning?
		1.  Early church practice closed communion
		2.  Restoration churches in 19th century also practiced it
		3.  Some churches today emphasize that communion is for 
		     Christians only
		4.  This comes from the passages we are about to look at
	B.  Paul develops idea of body of Christ in communion in different way
		1.  Applies communion to a problem in Corinth
		2.  (1 Cor 11:17-20) - Only place "Lord's Supper" is used
			a.  Whose supper were they eating?  Their own
			b.  Problem not that they were eating meal that consisted of 
			     more than a pinch of matza and sip of wine
				- (v.21) Some hungry, some drunk (engorged)
				- (v.22) Shamed those who had nothing
				- Supposed to be a fellowship meal (potluck)
				- Were eating selfishly
			c.  1 Cor 13 - Problem was division, factions, lack of love
		3.  v.23-24 Paul reminds them Jesus said, "this is my body"
			a.  (v.27) Eat in unworthy manner is guilty.  
			b.  (v.28-29) - Shows how to eat in worthy manner
				- Examine yourself
				- Discern the body
			c.  What is the body here?  Look at some context
				- (10:17-18) - All of chapter 10 is about the "body"
					 - We are one
					- Have consideration for each other
				- All of chapter 12 is about the body
					- Build each other up as a body
					- (12:12-13) - Brought together as one body
				- Christ's body remind us that we are his body
		4.  (v.33-34) - Discerning the body = consideration for each other
			a.  Lord's Supper not just an individual act
			b.  It is a family affair, we are his family around his table
	C.  ILL:  I remember sitting down at dinner table growing up
		1.  Parents expected a certain level of behavior
		2.  I remember storming the table, being snappy & disrespectful
		3.  Sent to my room until I changed my attitude
		4.  If that was expected at Telgren table, anything less at God's?
	D.  This is my body reminds us that we are his body
		1.  Communion is not just between me and God
			a.  It is between all of us and God
			b.  It is a family affair
		2.  Implication for communion apart from assembly
			a.  Communion at home by self?
			b.  Communion on Sunday evening?
				- Looks a little more like Mass
				- Looks individualistic rather than family affair
		3.  Communion is a family affair
		4.  "God's loves you" should be followed up with, "I love you too."

1.  This is not an empty, dry ritual, but rich with meaning
2.  We are not commemorating the establishing of the Lord's Supper
3.  We are remembering
	a.  Jesus is our life if we believe in him
	b.  Jesus is our mediator
	c.  Jesus made us his body, his family
4.  (Invitation)