Sermon:  How To Remember Who You Are


Summary: God has given us various physical things, such as ritual, tradition, and liturgy, in order to vividly remember and pass on the meaning of our identity and heritage as the redeemed people of God.  For the Israelites, this was the Passover and Exodus.  But for us as Christians, it is the Lord's Supper and the freedom from bondage to sin through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.


Text: Exodus 11-13


Scripture Reading:  2 Tim 2:8-11



1.  To introduce us to the lesson, want to try an experiment

          a.  See if you know any of these:

                    -  My Baloney has a first name . . .  do you know the rest?

                    -  Twinkle twinkle little star… do you know the rest?

                    -  Little miss muffet, … do you know the rest?

                    -  Hey diddle diddle…. can you finish it?

          b.  Let's try something a little more meaningful

                    -  Without opening the book, sing Jesus Loves Me

                    -  Without opening the book, sing Amazing Grace

          c.  Why is it you can do all this from memory?

          d.  When you hear something enough times, makes impression

                    -  It has probably been years since sang Oscar Meyer song

2.  Most significant even in Old Testament, the Exodus

          a.  God is about to do something to help them remember it

          b.  They were to repeat it until it became second nature to them

3.  Text: Ex 11-13

          a.  God announces last plague in chap 11, and story slows to a crawl

                    - Covered 80 years in first two chapters - fast speed of narrative

                    - Chap 3-11, contest between Pharaoh and Moses, narrative slower

                    - Then we approach the final plague on Egypt in chapter 11

                    - Suspense builds as Pharaoh threatens Moses & God describes

                      what will happen for the final plague

          b.  Expect climax of the story to be a detailed telling of the 10th plague

                    - Since this is the final plague, story will hover over 10th plague?

                    - Expect it to give at least as much detail as other plagues

          c.  But, there is only one verse devoted to the 10th plague (12:29)

                    - Before that, there are 28 verses devoted to ritual

                    - In fact, chapter 12-15 alternates between narrative and ritual

                    - Narrative slows to a crawl to give details, not of plague, but of a

                      ritual and liturgy they were to perform

          d.  There are 3 rituals in this section

                    - Passover

                    - Feast of unleavened bread

                    - Consecration of redemption of the first born

4.  What do you think of when hear word, "ritual" or "liturgy?"

          a.  Tend to think of ourselves as anti-ritual, anti-liturgical and anti-tradition

          b.  Interesting, because we have all of these things, and not realize it

                    - We have weekly rituals we perform

                    - We have a "liturgy," which means the way we say and do things

                    - We definitely have traditions we hold dear

          c.  Here, God instructs Israel on ritual and liturgy.  Why?

          d.  Can learn something about our ritual and liturgy from this.


I.  What did God want to Accomplish?

          A.  (12:13-14) Establishing a memorial

                    1.  The day will be a memorial on the calendar

                    2.  What is a memorial?  A Remembrance

                    3.  This holiday to call to remembrance what God did for Israel

          B.  Bringing the Israelites together as a people

                    1.  (12:4) If a family is too small, join your neighbor

2.  12:42) All Israel to do this TOGETHER, a community activity

                    3.  (13:8) To you son, it is because of what the Lord did for ME

4.  (13:14) The Lord brought US out of Egypt, house of slavery

a.  Brings all God's people together

                              b.  Not "what happened to people long ago"

                              c.  But "What God did for us/me" - ALL the people of God

          C.  Root future generations in their identity

                    1.  Notice the liturgy that is to go along with all of this

                              a.  (12:24-27) When children ask, tell what God did

                              b.  (13:12-15) Children ask, why redeem firstborn?  Tell what

                                   God did to firstborn, and how spared Israel

                    2.  Look at text, how narrative and ritual and liturgy woven together

                    3.  This was to prevent this from becoming an empty ritual

                              a.  Became tradition for youngest to ask questions

                                        - Why is this night different from all other nights?

                                        - Other nights we eat bread leavened or unleavened,

                                          but tonight only leavened?

                                        - Other nights we eat all kinds of vegetables, but

                                           tonight we eat bitter herbs?

                              b.  Then the head of the table would tell of the story of the

                                    Exodus, of Joseph and his family, and of the promise

                                    made to Abraham

                    4.  This helped to remind adults, and root children in their heritage

                          as the redeemed people of God

          D.  What does all this Israelite stuff have to do with us Christians?

                    1.  We all know Jesus instituted the "Lord's Supper"

                    2.  When did he do it?  During Passover


II.  How does the Lord's Supper Function?

          A.  Memorial

1.  (1 Cor 11:23-25) Do this in "remembrance" of me

                    2.  This is also a memorial to remember Christ

                    3.  He is our redeemer, freed us from bondage to sin

          B.  Fellowship - Brings us together as a redeemed PEOPLE

1.  (1 Cor 10:16-17) - A sharing/fellowship in body/blood of Christ

                              a.  Like Passover, Lord's Supper not individual, taken alone

                              b.  We participate in it together as the family of God

                    2.  (1 Cor 11:33) Says to wait for one another

                    3.  This is why we pass the trays to everyone on Sunday evening

                              a.  Not a sacrament, not individual act, but a family act

                              b.  It is a fellowship, participation together as people of God

                              c.  We don’t' separate some into a room, or do it only in the

                                   front pew

          C.  It is proclamation/teaching, like the Passover (1 Cor 11:26) - We

proclaim the Lord's Death Until He Comes

                    1.  Bread teaches & reminds us - This is my body, which is for you

                              a.  Jesus gave his unleavened body for you!

                                        - Only way to make unleavened bread is purity

                                        - Dough must have no bacteria, impurity

                                        - Even the utensils and bowls clean of bacteria

                                        - Jesus himself was pure, not puffed up with sin

                              b.  He never sinned, but suffered for you in his body

                                        - He became flesh, could suffer, get tired, bleed

                                        - Unleavened bread has holes poked in it

                                                  = To keep out air pockets

                                                  = Air pockets cause bacteria, yeast

                                                  = Also reminds us Jesus pierced for us

                                        - Became human so he could redeem humans

                              c.  Died in his body and rose bodily for you

                                        - Not some phantom, but his body from the grave

                                        - But he rose from the grave - defeated death

                              d.  Brings us together as his body to love and serve

                                        - Jesus left this earth and ascended to the father

                                        - He calls us, the church, his body - we are his

                                        - He calls us to serve God as he did

                    2.  The fruit of the vine teaches and reminds us - This is the new

                          covenant in my blood

                              a.  Covenant is a legally binding promise

                                        - Ancient times, sacrifice executed the covenant

                                        - Jesus shed blood to execute a new covenant -

   promise to forgive & redeem by paying our penalty

                                        - Jer 31:31f - Will make new covenant, they will all

                                           know me, for I will forgive their iniquity and

                                           remember their sin no more

                              b.  Mt 26:28 - This is my blood of the covenant, which is

                                    poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins

                                        - Not a donation of a pint to a blood bank

                                        - Was the giving up of his life for our forgiveness

                                        - Paid price for our sins that separated us from God

                    3.  Another part of image Jesus not specifically mention - table

                              a.  Some refer to it as an altar, but it is not

                                        - No sacrifice is being made on it

                                        - Sacrifice already made once for all by Christ

                              b.  Not a sacrifice, but a memorial - at the table

                                        - Table implies fellowship with the host, Jesus

                                        - Similar thought in 23rd Psalm, he prepares a table

                              c.  Jesus is present at the table in the kingdom of God

                                        - Jesus preached Kingdom was near

                                                  = Mk 1:15  Kingdom of God is at hand

                                                  = Mk 9:1 - Some not taste of death until see

                                                     kingdom come with power

                                                  = Greatest power, resurrection from dead

                                        - Kingdom has been inaugurated by Christ now

                                        - Mk 14:25 - Never drink fruit of vine again until I drink

                                          it new in the Kingdom of God

                                        - Mt 8:11; Lk 13:29 - Many will come and recline at

                                           the table in the Kingdom of God

                              d. Jesus and God's family all over world are present

                    4.  There is also anticipation of the final table

                              a.  Rev 19:7-9 - Marriage supper of the Lamb

                              b.  Also called Abraham's bosom, Lk 16:22 (banquet image)

                              c. The eschatological table is in Heaven, and we look

     forward to his invitation to the marriage supper

          D.  Lord's Supper, by the Lord's design, fulfills same purpose as Passover

                    1.  Content is different, we focus on Jesus's rescue from bondage

                         to sin, rather than Pharaoh

                    2.  But function is the same


III.  How well do we fulfill purpose of Lord's Supper?

          A.  Prepare for it

                    1.  Look at preparation for Passover

                              a.  (Ex 12:3) 10th Day, select a lamb

                              b.  (Ex 12:6) 14th day, sacrifice the lamb

                              c.  (Ex 12:19) 14th day, all leaven cleaned out of houses

                    2.  4 Days of preparation, at least

                    3.  What kind of preparation can you make for the Lord's Supper?

                              a.  This not a typical meal

                              b.  It is a fellowship and memorial

                    4.  Prepare mind and hearts

          B.  Take your time

                    1.  Passover did not last for 5 minutes, passing trays

                    2.  Took time to tell the story as they ate the food

                    3.  The Passover meal lasted all day, then week long festival

                    4.  Don't try to rush through Lord's Supper with no comment

                              a.  Take the time to tell the story

                              b.  Take time to reflect on the meaning together

          C.  Do it regularly and purposefully

                    1.  11:26 - As often as you do this, you proclaim the Lord's Death

                         Until He Comes

                              a.  This not a one time thing, but do be done "often"

                              b.  Like Acts 20:7 and early church, we do it on first day of


                              c.  We don't do it monthly or annually, thinking it would be

     less meaningful (we sing weekly, gather weekly, kiss wife


                    2.  It forms the basis of our calendar

                              a.  Passover was for Israel the first day of the first month

                              b.  Lord's Supper for us is the first day of the week

                              c.  Life begins for us at the empty tomb, we remember this

                    3.  When done regularly it roots us and future generations

                              a.  Jewish children had no ambiguity as to the Passover and

                                   their story

                              b.  The Lord's Supper tells the story

                                        - Sin separated us from God, we can't sit at table

                                        - Jesus became flesh, died, poured out blood, rose

                                        - New covenant, forms us as people of God

                                        - Until he comes, we at his table, anticipate return

                              c.  The table, bread, fruit of vine, vivid reminders weekley

                    4.  Don't rush, take time to explain and remind of our story/heritage

          D.  How are we doing on all of this?

                    1.  This is for worship leaders, parents, and everyone

                    2.  God gave all these for us for a reason



1.  What does it say, if children can recite Twinkle Twinkle, but not the Gospel?

2.  How does Lord's Supper remind us of the Gospel? 

          a.  Before Christ's death and resurrection, we in bondage

          b.  Not to Pharaoh, but sin - He who commits sin is a slave to sin, Jn 8:34

          c.  (1 Cor 15:1-4) - Gospel saves us - Death, burial, resurrection

          d.  (Rom 6:4,6) - Freedom from sin comes when we die, buried, risen with


3.  Traditions, rituals and their stories root us and children in our heritage

          a.  We do it when we tell the story at the Lord's Supper - Gospel

          b.  We do it when we are baptized, and share its meaning - Gospel

          c.  We do it when we learn and pass on our songs - Many is Gospel

          d.  We do it when we talk about spiritual things with children - Gospel

4.  Only when rooted in heritage, can we face the future meaningfully

          a.  Our identity and heritage comes from God who redeems us

          b.  We belong to his family, and serve his purposes

          c.  We look forward to the return of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ

          d.  He is coming back, and will consummate his eternal kingdom

5.  Rituals are not meant to be dry, dead, lifeless things, but rich with meaning.   Hopefully this will help you do that.