COMPLINE ADDRESS Sermon 225

8th January 2016 Off By Derek Buckthorpe

Compline Address

Wednesday 7.30pm . 27th March 2013

Bible References :

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Prayer to start

 

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ                                      AMEN

 

INTRODUCTION

Today – if we want to be successful – carryout something that requires responsibility and commitment – we might first be asked to take a test –

It might be an exam to study for a vocation – or a profession – an interview for a responsible position in business –or the community – or to learn how to drive a car on our roads –

We first have to show that we are up to the challenge –

Thankfully Jesus doesn’t insist that we meet a minimum requirement in order to deserve His love

 

But if we had to take a test – to reveal how faithful and devout a Christian we are – how we would get on? –how would we fare? – how would we stand-up to the challenge of Christian discipleship?

Point 1        Judas went his own way

In the reading this evening – we are taken into the upper room – where Jesus is having His last meal with His disciples-

 

The evening began with Jesus washing the disciples feet – there was no servant in attendance – to provide this usual courtesy of the day – so Jesus rose from the Table – with a towel and a bowl of water – and washed each of his disciples feet –

 

This was to show– what it means to be humble – and to serve – and how far His love extends to each of them

 

Then as they began to eat – Jesus says that one of them – that night – will betray Him –

The sequences of events that followed are then aimed principally at His betrayer – Judas  – as Jesus demonstrates to Him and to those close to Him –  what it means to try to reach out and forgive someone

He doesn’t name Judas outright – or identify him – until Peter motions to John – to ask Jesus who it is

Judas was inclined to Jesus’ left – and John – ‘The Disciple whom He loved’ inclined to His right –

Peter must also have been sitting quite close – as the rest of the disciples didn’t seem to be aware of what was happening between them.

 

It was the custom at the Passover feast for the presiding Father – to break off a large piece of bread and give it to the honoured guest first – and Jesus used this custom to identify Judas to them –

 

‘It’s the one to whom I give this piece of bread,’ He says, ‘when I have dipped it in the dish’

 

But in this exchange with Judas – Jesus is actually giving Judas – another chance to change His mind – He is making  it clear to Judas that He knows what is happening – but by identifying him as the honoured guest – He is also telling him – that its not too late to turn back and ask for forgiveness –

The key thing here is that Judas is given every opportunity to turn away from the sin he was about to commit.  Jesus was there beside him – to help him but he chose not to trust in Jesus and decided to take His own way –

Judas stays quiet – accepted the bread from Jesus – and in so doing  – took his path to darkness

 

Point 2        Jesus calls us to go His way

With the betrayer gone -Jesus then begins to talk about what it means to be a disciple –

 

The number one priority- He said – is to Glorify God –

 

Jesus will soon be going to the cross – to defeat sin and death once and for all – And His journey to the cross will bring glory to God

 

As Jesus is glorified – so God will be glorified-

 

And through Jesus’ death God’s justice –grace – love, mercy, power and righteousness will be revealed –

 

People’s separation from God will be healed for ever – Jesus will provide a way for mankind to return to God’s kingdom – to return to the fold –

 

Those who repent of their sins and turn to Jesus– will be made right again with God –

 

We all sin – and fall short – when it comes to matching and following Jesus’ ways – and because some lessons cannot be taught –they often have to be lived to be understood –

 

But Jesus offers us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes – to repent and turn back to Him – He offers us a new start – if we are intending to commit the worst of crimes – no one is turned away from His love –

 

Jesus calls us to be Like Him – to love one another – to humble ourselves and serve each other’s needs

 

And whenever we show the world the love and mercy and grace of God – in our lives – then God will be glorified through us –

 

Judas didn’t pass the test – didn’t accept the new start – that was on offer – failed to seek God’s grace’ and mercy –and to ask for His power to turn back from his sins –

Ending

 

Jesus knows our inner most secrets – He knows all our needs – and no matter how hard it gets  – He is always there to help us when we stumble – urging us to take His path rather than the one to darkness

 

Judas failed to see the opportunity Jesus presented to him – and in the end lost his life –

 

So when it comes to it – will we pass the test – or will go our own way – like Judas? –

 

In this Holy Week – let’s rise to the challenge – turn again to Jesus as our Saviour – accept His love – and offer of forgiveness and salvation –

 

There can be no better aspiration in life than that –

 

Prayer:                           AMEN