Humanity was in desperate trouble. We were doomed. There was no escape, no way out. And it was all our fault–as always, we were the victims of our own evil. God knew the desperation created by our need. And God responded to our desperation.
God loved us when He made us. God loved us when we failed Him. God loved us when we gave ourselves to evil. God loved us in our desperate need.
God loved us more than words could declare, but not even God’s words could solve our problem or address our need. So God gave us a gift–a gift that was very precious to Him; a gift that would become very precious to us. He gave us His son. He sent him into this world to be just like us–but without sin. He sent him to correct our wrong impressions of God. He sent him to correct our wrong impressions of evil. He sent him to give us the perfect escape route from our doom.
He sent Jesus to live among us, and that was a huge gift from His love, but it was not God’s greatest gift of love. He let Jesus minister and teach among us with power and truth, and that was a huge gift from His love, but it was not God’s greatest gift of love. He let Jesus die. God let His own son to be object, the target of all the evil God despised. God let religious people shame him, abuse him, ridicule him, and taunt him. God let hardened, godless men disgrace him and spill his blood in the dust. God gave us the most precious thing He knew, and He let us, in all our evil, kill him. God loved us enough to let us kill His Son.
Because God loved us that much, we learned who God is. We learned what evil is. We learned what forgiveness is. We learned what life is. Because God loved us that much, we have a Savior. It is because we have this Savior that we are here this morning.
God loved us so much that the gave us the death of His son. In that death, God gave us a Savior. Every Sunday we remember God’s gift. Every Sunday we remember the price Jesus paid to be our Savior.
Suppose that you tried to inform people that they needed to make serious preparation for the “big one.” This preparation would take serious time and major effort. Suppose that as you warned them, day after day you watched people living life as usual–they stayed very busy living life as if the “big one” would never come. This thought would scream in your mind: “How can all these people invest life and time in so many things that just will not matter?”
All of us know about investing life and time in things that just do not matter. We know about it. But we permit ourselves to be so distracted that we never think about it. We are so busy, so involved, so committed. Nothing we do can be neglected. Every commitment requires 110% of us 200% of the time. We are slaves to our commitments. It is as though everything depends on us. It is as though the world would stop without us.
And then one day Moma is rushed to the hospital at the point of death. And we stop. And the world goes on. And we wonder, “What is really important?” Or, one day our child is critically injured in a horrible accident and must be flown to specialists in a hospital three states away. In grief and anxiety, we drop everything and go with our child. And all those things that we simply had to do, either someone else does them, or they weren’t urgent enough to be done. And the world kept going. And we think about what is really important.
God knows planet earth has an appointment with a fiery destruction. God knows that physical life, time, and physical realities will end on that day. God knows that all of us, and everyone else who has ever lived, already has an appointment to keep on that day. The appointment is with justice. If we live life and use life in Christ, in God’s forgiveness, justice will have no jurisdiction over us on that day. If we live life and use life for our own earthly purposes and objectives, only justice will have jurisdiction over us on that day.
God knows that day is certain. God knows the precise moment it will come. He has done and is doing everything possible to help us make serious preparation for our “big one.” And He watches as we invest life and time in countless things that just do not matter. From that comes the second message of communion. Invest life and time in the eternal. God did. He invested life and time by investing Jesus. He invested Jesus to give you and me opportunity to invest our lives and time in the eternal.