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Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2006

Maundy Thursday                    Trinity Lutheran Church
13 April 2006                             Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

St. Mark 14:12-26

It’s the night He’s betrayed.  During this Passover meal Jesus takes the bread.  He’s in charge.  He’s the Lord after all.  He instituted the Passover.  It’s His last will and testament.  Blesses the bread.  Gives thanks for it.  Then He speaks words that were never heard at a Passover before.  Concerning the bread He says:  “Take eat; this is my body.” 

What is the bread?  His body.  It is what He says.  He gives what He says.  With the bread He gives His body.  To eat.  With our mouths.

Through His words the bread is His Body.

And then He takes the cup of wine.  Not unfermented grape juice.  Not sparkling soda.  A Passover cup of wine.  Gives thanks for it.  Then more of what had never been said before. “This [cup] is My blood of the new testament which is shed for many.”  

The cup of wine.  Now it’s the Lord’s Blood.  Because He says so.  He does what He says.  He gives what He wants to give.  It’s His last will and testament. 

The Old Testament Passover is now the Lord’s Supper.  He’s the Lamb.  Slaughtered and roasted.  To be eaten.  He is our Passover from death to live.  Now when you eat the bread – when you drink the cup – Jesus gives you an inheritance:  His Body and His Blood.  The Body and Blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

But do you receive the Body and Blood born of the Virgin Mary?  The Body and Blood that suffered and died on the Cross?  The resurrected and ascended Body and Blood?  Yes.  They’re the only Body and Blood Jesus has.  He has no other.

The congregation at Corinth needed such pastoral care.  So do we.  The Lord’s Supper is a meal.  A meal in which you use your mouth.  Bread.  Wine.  To eat and drink.  But there’s also Christ’s Body and Blood.

The apostle Paul asks:  “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?”  Well, is it?  Yes it is.

And then he asks another question:  “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”  Is it?  Yes.  It certainly is.  Why?

Because Jesus says so.  Does what He says.  Gives what He says.  With His words.  Just like in Genesis 1 when He said:  “Let there be light.” 

What’s that?  You don’t believe what the Lord says?  You doubt His words?  What?  You don’t even care? You say you’re going to scarf it down just like you wolf down your meals at home or in the mini van after you’ve gone through the drive through?

That’s very Corinthian of you.  Exactly what the Corinthian congregation was doing.  They came to church. To eat and drink like at home or Round The Bend.  No big deal.  “It’s just bread Reverend!  It’s just wine Reverend!  What’s your problem?  First come first serve.  Every man for himself.  Better get yours.  Guzzle as much as wine you can and more. Get wasted!  It’s our supper Reverend!  We can do whatever we want!”  

That’s very dangerous.  Deadly dangerous. Treating what’s extraordinary as ordinary.  Profaning what is most holy.  Treating what’s the Lord’s as yours.  Not believing what He says and gives in His last will and testament.  Then you’re corinthianly guilty of sinning against the Lord’s Body and Blood.  Now wonder, the apostle says in 1 Corinthians 11 that “some of you are weak and sick, and many have died.”        

Brothers and sisters, it is the Lord’s Supper.  His most holy Supper.  His Body with the bread.  His Blood with the cup of wine. 

His gift for you.  To be received in the way He gives it.  His Body and Blood given and shed for you on the Cross.  His Body and Blood for you in the Sacrament.  For the forgiveness of your sins.  And where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation.

In addition, Jesus unites you to Himself.  And also to each other.  “For we, though many, are one bread and one body;  for we all partake of that one bread.”   You’re not a lone ranger Christian.  You’re a member of the Body of Christ, His church.  And so are those who commune here with you.  Bodied and Bloodied together.   

So, tonight is the time for faith.  To trust that what Jesus says with His words He gives.  It is the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and drink. 

And tonight is also the time for love.  Love for your neighbor.  Love for those who commune with you tonight, Easter morning, and every Sunday.  You’ve all been loved by the Lord who gave His Body and Blood into death.  Calvary.  And now more love from Him. 

So that you are free to recklessly love each other as Jesus loves you.  “For we, though many, are one bread and one body.”    

Let us pray:  “Lord Jesus Christ, help us to use this sacrament of your Body and Blood that the fruits of your redeeming work may continually be manifest in us.  Amen.” 

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