October 4, 2020

Psalm 23 Communion

Psalm 23 Communion

Communion Psalm 23

Verse 1 The Shepherd’s job was to protect the sheep.

  • To deal with any enemies that came to attack the sheep. (Wolves, lions, depending on location)
  • Jesus even identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11.
  • John 10:11, Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd, the word “good” there in the Greek means winsomely good.
  • And unlike the hired hand that will run at the threat of danger. Jesus is not sacred of the devil.
  • Psalm 23 verse 1 goes on to say that we will not be in want.
    • The shepherd’s job was to lead the sheep to green pastures with fresh grass to eat.
    • Jesus is the shepherd and he not only leads us, He becomes our sustenance. He is the bread of life.
  • And in this Communion meal, as we eat His body and blood, we are also reminded that He sustains us.

Verse 2 Again, the shepherd was to lead the sheep to new pastures with fresh grass and clean and safe waters.

  • But here, with Jesus, it is different. It says he makes us to lie down.
    • The verb in the Hebrew used here is a specialized one in the Hebrew referring to making animals lie down. It’s also a causative statement in the Hebrew.
      • He makes us lie down, but He does not force us.
    • His provision, His grace, His care, His mercy are so great, we are left with no option.
    • But to lay down and rest in His provision and grace
  • In John 4 Jesus tells a thirsty woman drawing water from a well that the is in fact the living water.
    • We drink the living water of Jesus himself, not from a dirty stream or river.
  • This Communion Table reminds us of that provision and grace.
    • Jesus doesn’t just lead us to water, but he is in fact living water Himself.

Verse 3 This language now begins to move away from traditional shepherd language and roles.

  • This now begins to speak specifically of Jesus.
  • The devil is out to destroy our souls. But Jesus came to defeat the enemy and restore our soul.
    • The word in Hebrew that is often translated as restore or restoreth actually means life or breath.
    • The image here is of someone who has almost stopped breathing and is revived, brought back to life.
    • This Communion table is a reminder that Jesus brings the dead back to life, physically and Spiritually.
  • When we eat these Communion Elements, we become righteous.
    • Not because we ate them. Not because there is something special about the bread and juice.
  • But because of what Jesus did on our behalf on the cross.
    • In God’s Kingdom righteousness only comes through blood and sacrifice of Jesus, not our efforts.
  • These elements remind us of Jesus’ blood and sacrifice. When we eat them, Jesus gives to us, His righteousness.

Verse 4 We no longer have to fear death. Jesus overcame death when he arose from the grave.

  • Communion reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead and overcame death.
    • Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him.
    • If He has all authority, then the devil had none.
  • Only those who reject God and walk in the ways of evil have to fear.
    • But the care of Jesus in the rod and staff protect from evil ways.
    • The rod and the staff of course are the traditional tools of the shepherd to protect and retrieve sheep.

Verse 5  Jesus prepares a table of abundance for us.

  • This speaks of Jesus’ total care and provision for us.
  • Here is the best part.
    • He prepares this table right in front of the devil.
    • The devil has to sit and watch Jesus prepare the table
    • And he has to watch us eat from the table.
    • Every time we eat from the Communion Table, we are reminded that the devil is defeated.
  • But the devil also can’t touch this table or what is on the table unless we let him.
  • Then Jesus also anoints our head with oil and makes our cup overflow.
    • Anointing was a sign of provision and care. it was a sign of Honor and respect as well as blessing.
      • The verb used here is not the one often used for anointing but rather to make luxuriant.
    • This Communion table reminds us that Jesus cares for our health, and provides for us.

Verse 6 Jesus is Good, everything about Him is good, and everything He does is good.

  • Jesus is also love; God is love. This Communion table screams of Jesus’ love for us.
  • The goodness and love of God are constantly pursuing us.
    • All the days of my life, even when I don’t deserve it or seek it.
  • This Communion table reminds us, that God’s love and goodness are chasing us down.
  • The devil intended that we would live forever with Him in Hell.