Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship, by the word to the world.
I'm going to be sharing with you out of the Book of Luke, Chapter 22 tonight. And we're going to put the scriptures up on the screens as we go so you can be a part of this meditation. This is a night where we want to focus in on what this season is all about in preparation for what we're going to do Friday, and that is take the Lord's supper together, take communion on Good Friday outside. And that will further prepare us for what we're going to celebrate on Sunday, that the war is over. The victory has been won. And our Savior is alive and well and moving on planet Earth.
So tonight is going to be a devotional of sorts to just focus our hearts in. And then hopefully I'm going to quit a little bit early so you can be prayed for. And we're going to have some leaders up in the front praying for those who just want prayer for anything at all. So we'll take a few minutes doing that.
Let's pray together. Father, we want to calm our hearts even though we have prayed for a team, we pray for us as a team, the body of Christ, the church gathered here in this place for this midweek Wednesday night service during holy week.
Father, we pray that you would ready us, that we would think about the season we have entered into, what it represents, what we are called to remember. As Jesus said, do this in remembrance of me. And also, Lord, if there are things in our lives where we need to repent, we need to change, we need to ask your forgiveness, we need to ask somebody else's forgiveness.
And perhaps, Lord, there are some who are here tonight who have never personally asked Jesus, the messiah, God in human flesh to be the Lord of their lives and to occupy the uppermost tier of their existence. We pray, Lord, that that would change here tonight. In Jesus' name, we pray. And everybody said, amen.
Think of this. The Church of Jesus Christ began with 12 frightened men locked in a second story room in Jerusalem. They were going on the most incredible journey. And I thought today of four words that could sum up their journey with Jesus in the last hours and days of his life and then after he rose from the dead, just this period, this one week.
And the four words are these. Closeness, they were close with the Lord, especially during this meal time that we're about to read of. The second word is concern. As the meal goes on and as Jesus makes some predictions during that evening, their closeness gives way to concern.
And then, as the evening wears on, the third word that describes their journey is cowardice. Because they leave the upper room, they take a walk with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is arrested and they all flee. And then the fourth word is courage. They end on that note. By the time this week is done, at the dawning of the first day of the following week, they are filled with courage.
So the night begins in intimacy. Jesus takes his 12 closest friends, the ones that he has personally chosen who are disciples and he called them apostles. He trained them. He spoke to them. He loved them.
He walked with them. He was with them. And then, in this upper room, they shared this final meal together. There was intimacy.
But the intimacy gave way to anxiety. He said I'm going to be betrayed by one of you in this room. Not only that, but I'm going to be killed. I'm going to be beaten.
And then I'm going to rise again from the dead. That part, they edited out of their thinking. They didn't really hear that part. So they went from intimacy to anxiety.
Then, as I mentioned, they were down in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested. And once they laid hold of Jesus with all of those soldiers, after Peter tried to slice a guy's head off and missed and nicked his ear, cut his ear off, the anxiety was pure timidity. They ran. They hid themselves probably in that same upper room where they had Passover and they locked the door.
But then, finally, something happened to them that brought an audacity of faith, of boldness, that changed them from men in a locked room hiding to people who opened the door of their hearts to the whole city of Jerusalem. And we know what that was, right? That was the Resurrection.
When their doors were locked in that upper room, we're told in Luke Chapter 24, after Jesus walk with two men on the road to Emmaus, that Jesus appeared in that upper room suddenly. He just showed up. He didn't go through the door. He didn't knock on the door. He didn't crawl through a window.
He just appeared. And they saw him standing there and he said, peace to you. And that changed everything for them as witnessed in the Book of Acts.
Now, this whole week is referred to by those in Christianity as Holy Week. This week here that we're celebrating is called Holy Week. So let me give you a rundown of how Holy Week went day by day.
It begins with Sunday, the Sunday we just celebrated, Palm Sunday. Jesus entered Jerusalem from the east. He had been in Jericho. He healed a man named Bartimaeus who was blind and another blind beggar who was with him. After that, he made that steep ascent up to Jerusalem.
I say steep ascent. Jericho is below sea level. Jerusalem is 2,500 feet above sea level. And the road is quite steep and treacherous.
So Jesus had entered Jerusalem from the east and he stayed with his friends on the back side of the Mount of Olives, the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives in a little town called Bethany. It was with his buddy, Lazarus, whom he had already raised from the dead, and his sisters, Mary and Martha.
On that Sunday then, which begins Holy Week, Jesus entered into Jerusalem from the east, from Bethany, in toward Jerusalem and was worshipped by a crowd of people. He presented himself to the nation on that day, the Sunday, the 10th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Nisan, the day when the lambs were taken, selected, presented to the families, and taken home. Jesus presented himself to the nation of Israel and, in particular, to the city of Jerusalem as their lamb, The Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.
Sunday evening, he retired back to Bethany where he spent the night at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. On Monday, Jesus once again left Bethany, came down the Mount of Olives on his way to the city of Jerusalem to the temple. And on that Monday, he sees a fig tree that did not bear fruit and he cursed it.
And he walked past it, walked into the city of Jerusalem, went into the temple, and he cleansed it, meaning he took a cord of whips and he drove out the buyers and the sellers and overturned the tables. And then he left the temple. At the end of the day, at the evening, he went back to Bethany on the Mount of Olives and spent the night.
The next day, Tuesday, he once again leaves Bethany, comes toward the city of Jerusalem, this time walks past the fig tree that he cursed yesterday and today has withered. And so he stopped there and he used that as an illustration to teach a small little sermon on faith. Then Jesus walked into the temple.
It says he looked around and he left it once again on his way back up to the Mount of Olives to where he would be staying in Bethany. However, this time, as he's going back, leaving the city, going back up to Bethany, it's then that the disciples say, look at how big these stones are and how massive these buildings are that we've been hanging out in every day this week. And that's when Jesus says that they're all going to come crumbling down.
And Jesus gives one of his greatest, most notable sermons ever called the Olivet Discourse. It's about the end of times. It's about the tribulation.
It's about the future history, way into the future including the abomination of desolation. He tells all of that in Matthew 24, also found in Luke 21, also found in Mark 13. After that, he goes back to the top of the Mount of Olives to the other side and he stays once again at Bethany.
Then we come to Wednesday, this day. Jesus spends that day in the vicinity of Jerusalem. And, by the way, did you know that, traditionally, Wednesday of Holy Week is known as Spy Sunday-- I'm sorry, Spy Wednesday, not Sunday. It is Wednesday after all.
It's called spy Wednesday. Why is that? Because it is believed that it was that Wednesday that Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin for how Jesus would be betrayed and how much money he would be betrayed for. The final ramifications of that betrayal, of that nefarious act, were put into place on Wednesday.
That takes us to the next day, Thursday. That day, Thursday, was the 14th day of Nisan, the day the Passover is celebrated. Now, it was celebrated during that era on two different days, one to accommodate a Galilean time frame, so that was on Thursday, and another to accommodate a Judean, down south time frame. That was on Friday.
So it was on that Thursday that Jesus sent two of his disciples, Peter and John, into this city and said, go make preparations for this final Passover meal. He told them where to go. He told them who to look for. They were showed a large upper room that was furnished. And that is where the Passover celebration with the disciples was going to take place after the meal. And we'll get to that in just a second.
Jesus escorts, after a hymn, his Twelve Apostles. I should say 11. Judas had left toward the end of the feast. He goes out with those 11 outside of the gates of Jerusalem down over the Kidron Valley onto the Mount of Olives to an olive farm, a working farm where olives were harvested and crushed called Gat Shmanim, or Gethsemane, the place of the olive press.
And there he prayed. There he waited with his disciples. And there Jesus was arrested, which brings us to Friday.
Friday, he went through six trials from early morning. It would be late night but past 12. Into the early morning hours, he went through three trials that were religious trials before Annas and Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin and then, at daybreak, three more civil trials before Pontius Pilate, Harrod, and Pilot once again, six trials altogether.
Pilot had Jesus scourged, brought back, and then condemned him to die where he went out to Golgotha, was put on the cross at 9 o'clock in the morning. And by 3 o'clock in the afternoon, he was dead. He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Aramithea. He spent that Friday afternoon, the rest of Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday. And early in the morning, we know the rest of the story. The tomb was vacated and Jesus conquered death.
Now, that's Holy Week. And we celebrate every year. Christians around the world celebrate Holy Week. The question is, why is holy week such a big deal?
It's a big deal because it's a big deal in the Bible. What do I mean, it's a big deal in the Bible? Well, if you were just to look at how much text of the New Testament gospels is devoted to Holy Week, it would astound you.
One third of all the events that we have recorded in the New Testament of Jesus' life, a full one third of all the events we have concerning Christ, happened in the last week of his life, during holy week. In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those four gospels, between 20% to 40% of the textual real estate in those books is devoted to the final week that Jesus was on the earth. In your New Testament gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, there are only four chapters that tell us what happened during the first 30 years of Jesus' life, four chapters, four chapters for 30 years. For the last week of Jesus' life, there are not four but 29 chapters in the four gospels devoted to the final week.
So let's step back into this scene. Try to, in your mind's eyes, set yourself among the olive tree. See the stone structures of Jerusalem. Hear the hubbub of the Passover traffic.
Hear the lambs as they're taken up into the temple and they go from bleating sheep to bleeding sheep. They are killed, slaughtered. Their blood is spilled in those temple courts. Try to smell, if you can, the roasting of the lambs that took place at all the various homes around the city and throughout the countryside.
We decorated the stage tonight in this low-level lighting to hopefully set the mood. And behind me is the menorah, the seven-branched candlestick That is a symbol of the nation of Israel. This will represent for us the very nation that Jesus Christ came to speak to, to be presented to and for and would die for in just a few days.
Now, what I want to do in looking at just a few verses of this in our meditation is look at it through three different lenses, three different perspectives. The historical, first of all, I want to give you a little bit of historical background on the Last Supper. So historical, second, prophetical. There's something here that this is in fulfillment of a prediction was made in the Old Testament about a new covenant, a New Testament that was coming. So historical, prophetical, and then, finally, the most important, personal. We want to personalize it.
So I begin with historical. Now, this is a Thursday. This is the 14th day of Nisan. Up on that Temple Mount, I mentioned lambs are being slaughtered. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian during one of the Passovers around this era, not this particular one but a few years later, he recorded that 156,000 lambs were slaughtered at the Passover.
What's even more amazing than that number is that they were, according to Jewish tradition, all killed within a two-hour period. Because it was between the evenings, it says in the Old Testament, and there is an early evening and a later evening, and that was 3 o'clock and 5 o'clock before the sun would set at six. So you have to imagine hundreds and hundreds of priests with knives and basins to drain the blood slitting the throats of the lambs, killing about two lambs every minute, hundreds of priests slaughtering two lambs per minute during that two-hour period between the evenings.
Now, with that much blood, there had to be a lot of water that washed that blood away. There was. There was a pool very close, a few different pools. And the water was brought in and it was flushed down a huge pipe from the Temple Mount from the altar down under the Temple Mount, out into the Kidron Valley. So, essentially, you have blood on top of the Temple Mount, you have blood under the Temple Mount, and you have blood in the Kidron Brook around the Temple Mount.
So, for days, the river or the Brook Kidron flowed with the blood of lambs. So whenever you would see that little river, it would remind you, this is the price of sin. Sin kills. It destroys.
And, in this case, something else in my place is being destroyed. A lamb is being slaughtered and my sins can be forgiven. That was the whole picture behind this.
So this is Thursday. In a few hours, Jesus will be arrested. The next day, Jesus will die as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. But before he dies, he dines. He dines with his men. He sits around the table in a long and leisurely fashion and teaches them and serves them.
In verse seven, of Luke 22, we are told, then came the day of unleavened bread when the Passover must be killed. He sent Peter and John saying, go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat. So they said to him, where do you want us to prepare?
And he said to them, behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him into the house which he enters. And then you will say to the master of the house, the teacher says to you, where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room. There make ready.
And so they went and found it just as he had said to them and they prepared the Passover. So preparations had to be made. The room had to be secured. The lamb had to be taken up between three and five o'clock to the Temple Mount. They would come in with a live lamb. They would leave with a dead lamb.
They would then go to this upper room. There were probably some ovens or a kitchen close by where they would have to roast the lamb. They would have to bring in matzah bread, bitter herbs, and all sorts of trimmings for the Passover meal itself. The recipes I'll explain in just a moment.
And they would recline, we are told. They didn't sit. I've told you this before. They would lie down on their left elbow with their feet away from the table on a cushion in a very leisurely, relaxed manner with their right arm free to grab utensils, food, wine, et cetera on the table.
Why would it be leisure? Because slaves stood free men, reclined. They're celebrating their freedom from Egypt, their freedom from slavery. And so they reclined. It was a leisurely, long meal.
In verse 14, when the hour had come, he sat down-- or as newer translations will say, reclined-- and the Twelve Apostles with him. And he said to them, with fervent desire, I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.
And then he took the cup and he gave thanks and he said, take this. Divide it among yourselves. For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.
And he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them saying, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, he also took the cup after supper saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you.
But, behold, the hand of my betrayer is with me on the table. And truly the son of man goes as it has been determined. But woe to that man by whom he is betrayed. Then they began to question among themselves which of them it was who would do this thing.
As the meal began, as this intimate setting began, as the Passover Seder was kicked of, Jesus looked around and he said, with fervent desire, I have been looking forward to this. The actual Greek reads, with desire, I have desired. Now, whenever you see a word like that from the original language mentioned twice, it is to bring intensity to the meaning of the verse.
With desire, I have desired. So it's translated, with fervent desire. So sometimes in the Bible you will see the words repeated like grace upon grace or from glory to glory. It's the same word but it is used from one stage to another, the intensification or the emphasis on this.
So what this tells us is that, by this time, Jesus' emotional state is heightened. The weight of the sacrifice of the cross is starting to be felt by him. And his emotions are heightened. And he knows that this is the last Passover and the first communion. And so he says to them, oh, I have longed, I have looked forward, I have anticipated this time of intimacy with you, my disciples, before I suffer.
We know that the Passover meal was focused on four cups of wine. Throughout the evening, it would open with a toast, so to speak, a spiritual toast. Not like, oh, I want a toast to so-and-so, but it was a special blessing that was given.
That's the first cup. The fourth cup ended the meal and a hymn was sung. But there were four glasses of wine in this Seder. Why four?
Because in the Book of Exodus, when God was delivering them, in Exodus, Chapter Six, the Lord said this. Therefore, say to the children of Israel, I am the Lord. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will rescue you from their bondage and will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as my people and I will be your God.
Now, the four glasses of wine were attached to these four statements that are made in these two verses. So the first glass of wine, the kiddush, the cup of blessing or sanctification revolved around that first promise. Therefore, I say to the children of Israel, I am the Lord. I will bring you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.
The second glass of wine, the cup of affliction, was attached to the second promise where God said in that verse, I will rescue you from their bondage. And then the third cup, the cup of redemption, I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. And the fourth glass, which ended the meal, was attached to the promise in verse seven, I will take you as my people and I will be your God.
There's something else. The wine at the Passover was kept warm. According to Jewish tradition and their writings in the Mishnah, they took warm water, heated water, and added that to the wine. So the wine would more or less be body temperature. It was to further remind them that it represents the blood of a lamb that was slain for them. So it was kept at body temperature and it was used throughout the evening.
So this is how the Seder went down. Jesus would have taken the glass of wine, the first cup, would have raised it. It was the cup of blessing, the kiddush, the cup of sanctification. And he would give the traditional Jewish blessing, part of which is written on here.
This is the cup that we got when we were first married. And I've kept it all this time. I bought in Jerusalem.
So he would say, Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam, borei p'ri hagafen. Blessed art thou, Lord God, King of the universe who has given us the fruit of the vine. He would drink the wine and so would all the others.
Then there would be a hand-washing. Now, it seems that during this time at the beginning of the meal, the disciples, probably around this first hand washing, started to argue. Remember what they argued about? Who's going to be the greatest in the kingdom.
And so as the banter went back and forth-- I'm going to be the greatest. No, I'm going to be the greatest. No, I'm going to be the greatest-- the Bible tells us in the Gospel of John, Jesus rose up from the supper table, girded himself with the towel, instead of washing their hands, washed their feet like a servant, like a slave, bringing a hush on that room, a holy hush. And he dried the feet with the towel. Then he sat back down.
Next on the agenda was the bitter herbs. They would take herbs like horseradish and parsley and endive and dip it in salt water. At every Passover table, there was a little vessel of salt water.
Why saltwater? It reminded them of the tears that were shed because of the bondage they experienced in Egypt. And, also, the salt water reminded them of the Red Sea, which was a salt body of water that was opened up in this great deliverance during the Exodus. So they would dip the bitter herbs in the salt water and they would taste it. That bitter taste would remind them of the bitter bondage in slavery their forefathers went through.
Next, they took some of this bread called the matzah, a single matzah cracker broken up. And the host would begin and so they would all dip in a mixture of paste called charoset, a mixture of apples and nuts and pomegranate. It was just a thick, pasty stuff. And they would dip it and they would eat it. And that paste reminded them of the mortar that was used by their forefathers in Egypt to build the cities for pharaoh while they were slaves during those 400 years in bondage.
After that came the second cup, the cup of affliction. The blessing was given in Hebrew. Everybody would sing a psalm or two, the Hillel psalms. Psalm 113 through 118 were the psalms that were sung during that Passover meal.
After the second cup, after the cup of affliction, was the meal. This was where the lamb was brought out and they enjoyed, for a period of time, the main course of the meal. It was during the meal that Jesus in dialogue announced to them that somebody at that table was the betrayer. And they started wondering, well, who could it be?
And they even ask, is it I, Lord? Is it I, Lord? Jesus said it's the one that I give the sop to. He gave it to Judas.
Judas got up from the table, John tells us, and he left the room. Jesus said, what you do, do quickly. Peter didn't know. They all didn't know. They thought, well, Judas is the treasurer. Perhaps he's giving money to the poor or he's bringing extra supplies that are needed for the Passover.
Then came the third cup. The cup was raised again. A Hebrew blessing was given. But this third cup was the cup of redemption. And that was attached to-- do you remember-- God saying, I will deliver them with an outstretched arm. Interesting because the outstretched arms of Jesus would be outstretched in a few hours on a cross and God would deliver the world through his outstretched arms.
That was the promise. And it was after this cup, the cup of redemption, which is after the meal, that Jesus took the bread, afikomen, broke it, and he gave portions of it to his disciples, gave them the cup to drink, the cup of redemption, and he said these words in verse 19. This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
Likewise, he took the cup after supper-- verse 20-- saying, this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you. So that's the historical view. That gives you the background of what went down in the Seder feast 2000 years ago in that second story upper room, in Jerusalem with his disciples.
But let's move to a second level. That is the prophetical level. And there is a single verse in verse 20. It says he took the cup after this supper saying-- this is the third cup of redemption. And he said this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you.
What new covenant? What was he talking about? He was talking to them about something they already knew about. They knew the prophecy of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 31. They knew the prophecy of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 36-- 46, where God announces a new covenant that will be made six centuries before this night ever happened.
Jeremiah the prophet wrote these words. Jeremiah 31:31, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant, which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel.
After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every man his brother saying, know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.
Now that was given 600 years before Jesus announced that the new covenant had come. Year after year, Passover after Passover, lamb after lamb, bloodletting after bloodletting, they waited and they yearned until one night a Galilean peasant held up a glass at the third cup of redemption and he said, this is the cup of that new covenant. Do this in remembrance of me.
He announced, wait no longer. The new covenant is upon you as that lamb of God would go to the cross. What Jeremiah predicted, what Ezekiel had predicted had come to pass.
The cross is monumental. Yes, God forgave some sinners before the cross. He forgave them as they looked forward to the cross by faith. God saved some sinners since the cross.
But god saves all sinners because of the cross. It all points to that sacrifice. So that's the historical and that is the prophetical. I want to end on this note, the personal. We need to personalize this.
The best way to personalize it is to put your name where it says you. I'll do it and show you what I mean. In verse 15, Jesus said, with fervent desire, I have desired to eat this Passover with you, Skip, before I suffer. Verse 19, this is my body which is given for you, Skip. Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, he took the cup after supper saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you, Skip.
You insert your name there. You personalize this. Yes, this was a stage. This was a dramatized reminder of the deliverance of their forefathers from the Old Testament and is something he commanded us to do.
However, it was interactive for the disciples. It wasn't like you have one actor on the stage, namely Jesus, and 12 people in an audience. They had to participate. It does no good to break the bread if they didn't eat it. It's not enough to pour the wine. They must drink it.
And so it is with Jesus' death. It's one thing for Jesus to die, but you have to appropriate his death personally in your life and enjoy the benefits and accept the ramifications of that sacrifice in your own personal life. It's one thing to say for God so loved the world. It's quite another thing to have whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
A lot of people are ignorant that salvation requires a response. I was one of those people. I grew up in a church. I heard about Good Friday. Easter, every year, we celebrated. We did the thing.
I knew that God loved me. I knew Jesus died on a cross. And I remember when somebody tried to witness to him and say, you know, God loves you. Jesus died on a cross.
I said, just stop right there. Let me finish the story for you. Of course I know this. I grew up with this. Let me tell you how it goes. I was so ignorant that I thought knowing the facts equals salvation.
And it does not. Salvation is not automatic. You have to personally receive Christ as many as received him. The Bible said he gave them the right to become children of God.
I remember when I was five or six years old, this writer puts down in ink. Having a big writing tablet on which I do block printing, one day I took a sheet of tablet paper, folded it in half, and wrote I love you on the inside. I put my daddy's name on the outside, covered the sheet with hearts, and set it on his dresser. I had made a Valentine for him and it wasn't even Valentine's Day. Eagerly, I anticipated what I thought would be an enthusiastic response. It never came.
The next afternoon, I discovered the Valentine in the wastebasket. This has to be a mistake, I thought. He must not have seen it. I lifted the Valentine from the trash and carefully stood it up in the center of his dresser.
My heart was pounding the next day when I checked the waste basket. It was there again. Only this time it was crumbled with some other papers. He must not have liked it, I thought, or maybe he didn't see it. I smoothed out the creases as best I could and placed the Valentine on his dresser once more. I made sure that it was in a very conspicuous place so this time he would see it.
The next day, Dad called me to him. I remember feeling very shy. Will you quit putting that note on my dresser, he demanded. I already know that you love me.
Listen to me. Jesus has given you a Valentine, not written in pencil but written in blood. And you can do this to it or you can do this to him and receive him with outstretched arms because of the outstretched arms on your behalf on that cross.
May our hearts be ready as we proceed through the rest of this week and meet on Good Friday and celebrate the elements of the Lord's supper together and then on into Easter. As we pray, I'm going to ask the pastors to come forward.
We're going to have a time of music. You might have something on your heart to have prayed for. We're going to take the next 10 minutes and we're going to let you come up and we'll just pray for you before we go. But let's bow our heads.
Father, we thank you for the time to reminisce, to remember, to stir our hearts, our minds into pure thinking. Paul said, if there's anything noble or praise worthy, to think on these things. And we have done so.
Father, I pray that, as your message of love, the gospel, has gone out, even in a simple and even meager fashion this evening, I pray for those who have never made it personal. They've equated knowing things with belief, personal belief, in Jesus. But you said clearly in your word, as many as would receive him, God would give them the authority to become his children by faith in his name.
So you might be here tonight and you've never placed your faith in Jesus personally. I want to give you an opportunity. As our heads are bowed, our eyes are closed, if you've never given Jesus the chance to run your life, you've never released control of your life over to him, you've never asked him to forgive you of your sins and you've never received him as the Savior and the master of your life, you might have gone to church all your life but you've not done that, you've stopped short of what I just said, if you're willing to do so tonight or if you need to come back home to him because you've walked away from him, I want you just to raise your hand up in the air.
Just raise it up so I can see it. Raise it up high so I can see it. I'll acknowledge you and we'll move on. God bless you, right here in the middle to my left. Anyone else? Thank you. Anybody else? Raise that hand up. Toward the back, thank you. Anyone else?
Father, thank you for those who are acknowledging that. Right where you're sitting, would you just say this? If you raised your hand, say this to him. Say it right now. Mean this from your heart.
Say, Lord, I'm a sinner and I know it. Forgive me. I believe Jesus died on that cross, shed his blood for my sin, and raised again to life three days later. I turn from my sin. I repent of it. I turn to Jesus as Savior, as Lord. I want to follow him today and everyday. Help me. In Jesus' name, amen.
What binds us together is devotion to worshipping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying his word, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.