One Final Song
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 102 · 7 months ago

One Final Song

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

After the last supper, Jesus sang a final song with His disciples as they made their way to the garden. Imagine being by the campfire on the hillside with Jesus during His final days on earth. Message by Denny Foreman.

Okay, I know you're thinking, what in the world is form and doing sitting by a camp fire? Now, I know I'm probably the least likely person you will find sitting at a campsite anywhere on the planet, but we've been talking about the songs of summer for the last weeks and I would guess that most, if not all, of us have at least at one time in our lives, sat around a campfire and sang some campfire songs, some familiar choruses. Let's see, we're gonna try something. Let's see how well you can finish the verses on these songs. I'm going to start, stop and point to you and you're going to finish the song. For instance, I might say comb by yeah, you guys are awesome. Yeah, you're not testing the whole song, just just just just finish it out. But before we do that, I I think it would be really fun to do it with a southern dialect. Now, I lived in this out for a while, so I'm I can do this, and I thought joy did a great job because she started the morning out by doing exactly what I'm going to tell you to do. I want you to turn to the person next to you and say morning y'all. Oh No, a little bit louder that. That's so much better. Okay, so now here we go. I'm going to start singing, stop, point to you and you're going to fish it up. We're going to start with a hard one. On top USPGAINTY. Pretty good. Yeah, how about this? The wheels on the bus go pretty good. Have a lean on me when you're now. This next one's the hardest of the lot. I'm just warning it. So here we go, Sweet Carol Line. Yeah, nice going. Songs of a summer. I'm thinking about a Demon Shannon and John, who are out on the Appalachian trail this morning in this humidity. God Love Them. So, since this is our last message of this particular series, I've entitled this particular Sermon One last song. While it is true that you would usually find me at a Marriott rather than seated by a campfire, the best times in my life when I was a youth pastor were those times that I spent at our national conferences. I was part of the great brother and fellowship at the time and every...

...summer group of teens from around the country country would converge on a college campus and literally two thousand kids with their their adult chaperones would be on these campuses and we were there. We were gathered to worship, we were gathered to praise God and the week always culminated in a closing night celebration that ended with the Lord Supper or communion. Now, no matter what you might have heard about teenagers, I've worked with them since one thousand nine hundred and eighty one and continue to this day. Teenagers are great. They understand worship, they understand the symbolism that sometimes involved in worship. If they didn't have unloven bread or grape fruit juice. Are Grape for yeah, grape juice. At at our communion services they use whatever was available. It might have been popcorn and might been diet soda, whatever was handy, that's what they used. And I was really fortunate in that the Church that I was part of at that time had a small hill connected to the side of the Church and on warm summer nights and on cool autumn evenings, a lot of times we would be out on the hillside and the teens would or organize their own service and try and recreate those out those experiences that we would have at National Youth Conference. So this morning I would like you to imagine yourself seated around a campfire and I'm going to be using Mark Fourteen, twelve through twenty six as my scripture for this morning. But we're not going to be reading yet, nor are you going to see it behind you on the screen. Instead, I would like you just listen and I'm going to tell you the story that we find in that particular passage in Mark Fourteen, Jesus knew that his time on earth was nearly complete. In fact, in Luke Five One, he tells us that he resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He was resolved, he was determined, he was going to Jerusalem to die. The fact that he had resolutely set his face towards the city is a clear reference to a prophecy found in Isaiah that says the Messiah would be resolute and set his face like flint, determined to complete his ministry. And so now, at the beginning of Mark Fourteen, we find Jesus at his disciples camped outside the gates of Jerusalem.

He'd been telling his disciples for some time that he was going to Jerusalem to die. Jesus had come to redeem mankind and he's determined to complete that mission. Jesus disciples, on the other hand, they aren't so resolute. In fact, John Recalls Thomas Say Hey, guys, we might as well go along and die with him. Well, you all know the story. Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem to the shouts of a claim. They proclaimed him King Hallelujah. They threw their their garments before him, they laid palm branches down before him waved them in the air. And Mark One thousand four hundred and twelve tells us that on the first day of the festival of unloven bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, Jesus disciples turned to him and say said, where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover meal? How many of you noticed in the past few weeks as we talked about these songs of summer? Have you noticed how many times pastor Kevin had is referenced the Exodus Story and God's redemption of Israel during this sermon series? And that includes every single week that we've done this series, including last weeks with pastor mark. But you can't get away from it. Abraham's descendants had been slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. And then, in the book of Exodus, Chapter Twelve, God tells Moses and the Children Y'all better get ready. Redemption is on the way. God is about the past judgment. He's going to pass through the land of Egypt and execute judgments against all the false gods. But for their protection and safety, God had provided a solution. God's chosen people were to sacrifice a lamb for each family, put its blood on the doorpost and the lintels outside their homes. The instructions God gave them were really quite specific. They had to prepare a meal and eat its standing dressed and ready for travel sacrificial lamb. God's goodness of providing a redeemer for his people...

...roses, and the people are told that this event should be something a festival that they do throughout their lifetimes. Some of you may be familiar with Phil Wickham, composer, worship leader, one of my favorite singers as a matter of fact, and he writes who need to read this for you. If you fast forward a millennia and a half later to the birth of Jesus, you'll find that his family flees to Egypt for a time to escape Herod years later, Jesus is called out of Egypt and back to the land of Israel. Any Jewish reader at that time would have made the connection that Jesus life is a retelling of Israel story. This connection is important, and here's why. After the Exodus, despite God's faithfulness, his people were unable to live faithfully for him. Jesus, by coming in human form, was able to retell not only Israel story but all of our stories. On this Jesus final earthly night, with those who had been traveling with him, it was important, incredibly important, that he had to celebrate were with them. So Jesus had instructed his disciples where to find a room and how to prepare the Passover meal. The menu was simple and that also followed strict traditions. Each aspect of the meal symbolizes the redemption God provided for the children of Israel. That night, that very first pass over night in Egypt, there was carsette. It's a fruit salad a little bit similar to to our apple sauce. has some apples, figs, dates and some nuts in it. It represents the mortar that the Israelites had to use to put the bricks together. They would have also had parslely dipped in salt water. That reminded them of the tears of slavery, and there was horseradish that represented the bitterness of slavery. There was an egg Mazza, type of unloven bread and, of course, lamb and wine, each aspect of that pass over meal symbolic of all that had transpired that long ago time in Egypt. Here's something that we, who are...

...more than likely non Jewish, we might not be aware of. This Passover was a celebration, it was a festival, it's a party celebrating freedom. There would have been laughter, Games, singing, for sure, perhaps even dancing. For certain. They would have been singing the Hellel Psalms, beginning with some one hundred and thirteen to start the meal and continuing with some one hundred and fourteen, and so on through six songs that were used to celebrate the Passover. So when I got back, we started out on the camp fire. Want to go back to that Youth Camp Fire Service on our National Youth Conference, and this is how this meshes with our story. My teens and I would have had a really great time interacting with groups from all around the United States, in fact even from some other parts of the world. And at the end of the week we had gathered and because we were going to celebrate the Lord Supper Communion as grace brethren, we also washed feet. We're not doing that this morning. We thought about it, but we changed our mind because two of the guys that we're going to involve with that went on a camping trip. But anyhow, the symbolism was the same, the heart of servant Hoood, humbling ourselves to other people, caring for others, illustrating Jesus Pattern and recognizing the work of salvation in our lives. But at some time, as Jesus was celebrating the pass over meal, things change. He drops a bombshell and mark one thousand, four hundred and eighteen. He says. As they were at the table eating, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, one of you eating with me here will betray me. I get this. Jesus had just washed the feet of his disciples. He washed the feet of somebody that was betraying him, that was getting him up. He was washing the feet of somebody who would deny even knowing him. That friends, is great love. According to mark's account, immediately following this exchange, Jesus guides his followers in what is one of the most familiar passages and scripture for many of us who are believers, a passage that's repeated in First Corinthians and it's used in communion services around the globe. Now, when...

...you arrived this morning you received a baggy, and I really like to know how many of you cheated and already looked in your baggy by won't ask. Not Going to shame anybody this morning. It's okay if you did. We're going to do what our youth group would have done many years ago when I was youth pastor at those grace brother I know we had a communion service two weeks ago, but if you would like to participate this morning and your you don't have to. Inside your baggy you're going to find some grape juice and some crackers, a little bit similar to what we had, not quite a popcorn and diet soda that we might have had on our youth conferences. And again, if you're not comfortable doing communion like this, you got a snack, so there you go. Mark tells us that while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, blessed it and he broke it in pieces and he gave it to his disciple, saying take eat, this is my body. So, if you like to participate in this, now would be a good time. Lord Jesus, I thank you for your sacrifice, thank you for dying for us. Thank you that you willingly turned over your body to be broken so that we would have healing. Lord Jesus, we praise you this morning and we eat this in your name. And then he took a couple of wine and gave thanks to God for it, and he said to them, this is my blood, which confirms the Covenant Between God and his people. It's poured out as a sacrifice for many. I tell you the truth, I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it a new in the Kingdom of God. She would like to participate at this time. Thank you, Lord Jesus, again for Dying for us. Thank you for shedding our blood that we could be cleansed whiter than snow. Amen. And it's with that passage of scripture, that's the celebration of Passover, that Jesus and his disciples had been celebrating changes and become something entirely new, a new covenant between God and his people. It's a covenant that's sealed with the blood...

...of Jesus, and on this night a Passover, God's lamb is about to be sacrificed, not to redeem Abraham's children from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but to redeem all of us from the bondage of sin and death. Now, I can guarantee you that when we were doing this as a youth group back about forty years ago now, those teens that were with me around those camp fires long ago, without the usual trappings of unloved bread and Welsh's grape juice, they got to the heart of the message. They understood. They were gathered together with friends and realizing that Jesus, the lamb of God, had died for them so that they could live. There were tears, there were hugs, there was rejoicing and on Sunday June twelve, when we read those same verses, we ate the bread and we drank the cup with those verses, verses that are so poignant, so familiar to us, so important to our worship, that many times we stopped and we don't read the next verse. In fact, usually it's totally omitted, so much so that a friend of mine just resis recently said, Hey, I never saw that verse before. Marked Fourteen, twenty, six reads. This is where we get to the songs of summer. Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew also includes this information in his Gospel Account. Following this, they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus had come to Jerusalem to die. Jesus knew that one of his own had betrayed him. Jesus knew that this had been his final Passover meal. Jesus knew that his time had come. As he left that room where they had just completed the Passover meal. The Passover celebration, the festival of unleaven bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrifice. It is more than likely that they had opened the meal singing Psalm one hundred and thirteen and continued...

...singing the Hell Psalms one hundred and fourteen, one hundred and fourteen, one hundred and fifteen, one sixteen and seventeen throughout the meal. These hellal psalms were as much a tradition of the Passover meal as was the menu. The Hellal Psalms, yes, the word from which we get our Hallelujah. And now, as the meal ended, they had one more Hallelujah Song to sing, and as Jesus and his disciples left to walk to the Mount of Olives, they are likely singing the final Hellal Psalm one hundred eighteen. We printed that for you. It's on a handout that you should have received as you came in this morning. I believe we have the first four verses that were also going to put on the screen. As we read these first four verses of the song together, follow along and consider that these are more than likely the opening words that Jesus is singing as he walks with determination towards completing his mission of redeeming us. I'm going to start out. You chime in. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Let all Israel repeat, let Aaron's descendants the piece repeat, let all who fear the Lord repeat. His faithful love indoors forever, his love indoors forever. Folks, there are songs that we say that are so entwined with events, with people, with holidays. For example, you won't know this one. If I start singing a Turkey sad on a backyard fence and he's Sagn this sad, sad tune, you might not know that song, but my family, the foreman family, would know immediately that Thanksgiving had arrived. It's that I've got to say it every year. So what happens? What do you immediately think of when I start saying so the night, very good one, Mord Christ, the Lord is risen. Today. What holiday? Of course, resurrections,...

Sunday, as it were. Well, the same could be said of these hell L Psalms, psalms one hundred and thirteen to one hundred and eighteen. It's likely that Jesus and his disciples, being Jewish and celebrating Passover, they likely sang these particular psalms every year when they celebrated the pass over meal. Let's simplify as how often do you celebrate Christmas? Pretty much every year, right, and I could almost guarantee you that sometime during that holiday you will hear the words to silent night sun, if in fact you didn't sing them yourself. It's so entwined with that holiday. So Jesus and his followers, on this night of celebration, this night when they considered the slaying of the sacrificial lamb whose blood was placed on the doorway to each home, the night that God would free his people from the bondage of slavery, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, was marching towards the place where he would place himself on the altar. And while he's going in that direction, singing a song the reminds us all of God's unfailing, matchless love that endures forever. His faithful love endures forever. This is the day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice. We don't know what circumstances prompted the Psalmist to write psalm one hundred and eighteen. We know, of course, that all scripture is God breathe. That's inspired. Knowing it was used as part of the Passover celebration, we can certainly see the story in of the exodus found in verses five through eighteen of Psalm one hundred and eighteen. You received a copy of this psalm when you came this morning. I'd like you to just shut your eyes close your eyes and listen to some of the words as I read them. Remember that Jesus is about to lay down his life as the sacrificial lamb of God for the sins of all mankind, for your sins, for my sins. Close Your eyes and imagine that Jesus is singing these words as he moves nearer and nearer to completing his mission. Words like this. The Lord...

...is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? And within hours of eating this Passover meal, Jesus would stand horrifically beaten before an angry mob crying crucify him. Yet Jesus on his way to the Mount of Olives, singing the Lord is for me, he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. In verses eight through thirteen of Psalm W A T, he sings that it's better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. He already knew that he couldn't trust one of his own, and he knew that one of his closest would deny knowing him. Jesus knew it's better to take refuge in his heavenly father than to trust in the princes of Rome and the temple leaders who were trying him. He would be surrounded and attacked by the enemy, but he sings about the enemy being destroyed. Jesus and his followers climb the hill to the olive grove overlooking Jerusalem, singing words like my enemies did their best to kill me, but the Lord rescued me. The Lord is my strength, my song, he has given me the victory. Words like songs of Joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things. For anyone who thinks that the road to mount of oloves was a solemn march towards death, the lyrics to this song that Jesus was likely singing is anything but you could almost hear the shout of victory in verses seventeen and eighteen. I will not die. Instead, I shall live to tell what the Lord has done. The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not let me die. Perhaps it is as they near their destination that this small group of disciples and Jesus finish singing psalm one hundred and eighteen. This hell song, and we recognize that this song is about the long promised Messiah. Open for me the gates where the righteous enter. Jesus had, days before, literally entered the city gates to the shouts of Halleluyah. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. And then, beginning in verse twenty two, and I'm going to read twenty two right through the end, the stone that the builders rejected has now become the core Nur stone. This is the Lord's doing and it is wonderful...

...to say. See, this is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord is shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God and I will praise you. You are my God and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever. Now, anybody that knows me knows I love old movies and if you watch any old prison movies, prisoners condemned to death are we're frequently allowed to request their last meal. You have. What would you choose? I only have to think about it. It would be Chilian grilled cheese or Cincinnati Firehouse Chili, which is basically Spaghetti with Chili served on top of it, but that's another story. What would you choose as your final meal? It's not by chance that Jesus final meal was the past, ever said. or it was not by chance that on this festival of UN loven bread, when the sacrificial lamb is slain, that Jesus, God's lamb, gives himself for us. And so the time had come. God was about to bring freedom to mankind. The one promise to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is, at that moment, walking once again to a garden to stare the enemy in the face and willingly give himself to pay the penalty for our sin. If you were walking your final mile, knowing you were facing eternity, what would be your final song? Could you lift your voice, as Jesus days did, singing this is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice. Forget about the final Moll Mile. Can I wake each morning and perhaps face a job that is unfulfilling, or face a relationship that is headed south and still saying this is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it. We have spent the past several weeks considering the songs of summer. Music is a hugely important part of our lives. Hearing a tune will immediately bring up name to mind or a place. Music will cheer us, perhaps invigorate us. God, Jesus,...

...music to teach, challenge, to bless us, incourage us. Consider that one of the books of the Bible is nothing but a hundred and fifty songs. Several years ago, I was struggling. I had a pretty much about had it with churches and with Christians in general. I'd all but given up, bottom line, I'd walked away from from God. But as I was considering the mess the world was in, I'd like, you know what, for me and you, you need to get your act together here. And so I started reading my Bible pretty much non stop, and as I read I kept coming upon this phrase, the God of Angel Armies or the commander of the Lord's armies. I started listening to a local radio station, a Christian radio station, and see that every time I turned the car radio on, that particular song was playing. It was again and again and again, I get got are you trying to tell me something? Well, Duh. Anyhow, after reading and hearing that phrase, the Lord of Angel Armies, God of Angel Armies, I thought, okay, I need to get reconnected to a church. More importantly, I recognize that I needed this God an angel armies to take charge of my life. And so I began to pray specifically that God would lead me to a place, the place that he wanted me. And I remember a pulling visiting various churches and I ended up pulling into the parking lot at a church that was meeting at Lancaster Mennonit high school at the time and I parked my car. I'm thinking this is hopeless. I've been to several churches. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Blah Blah. But I thought, okay, I pray, say God, just let me know if this is where you want me. Just please give me assurance that that this is is where you would like me to be. I opened my car door and as I open my car door, the truck that was next to me, they opened their car door and this guy said, Daddy, I didn't know you went to this church. Well, I don't. This is my first Sunday here. Said, well, my wife and I just started going here a few weeks ago. Why don't you come on in and sit down with us? Now? I had met this guy, oh, couple years previously to that at a men's discipleship group. That was more of a counseling group, to be honest with you, and but we had seen each other since that time. So I went in...

...and we sat down and the worship team took their place and sure enough, the very first song that morning was God of Angel Armies. That the team just saying. Throughout this series we've been encouraged to turn to Christian music before turning to other music. Turn to Christian music first. I'm going to go a step further this morning. I would like to encourage us, each of us, you me, to start your mornings, Start Your Day with Christian music, one Song, God's Word and prayer. Christian music God's were not necessarily in that order. Seems I've been working for me the last few weeks here. But make it part of your quiet time, before you even get up in the morning, if it's all possible. I don't have to tell you that we're living in pretty dark times, difficult times. The world seems to getting to be getting darker and darker each day, and it shouldn't really be surprising. As we've read scripture, Jesus knew that on that pass over night so long ago, that he was walking looking smack DAB into the war against evil. He was aware that the next few hours of his life would be horrendous, but he also knew that this was the day the Lord had made. It was all part of God's plan. Would that we would recognize that this day, each day, God is in control, no matter what we hear on the news, no matter who sits in the White House, no matter what the doctor may have to tell us, no matter what relationships were in, no matter the escalating prices, no matter what, this is the day the Lord has made. He is not surprised. I.

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