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It Is the Lord’s Supper!

March 28, 2013

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Maundy Thursday

28 March 2013

+Jesu Juva +

St. Luke 22:7-20

 

“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me  .  . . . This cup is the new covenant (testament) in my blood which is poured out for you.” 

Whose Words are these?  They are not mine.  They are not yours.  They are the Lord’s!  The Words of the Lord who created everything by means of His Word!  Through His speaking!  His speaking that does and gives precisely what He says.   Like at the beginning when He spoke “Let there be . . .” and there was light and everything in creation!  This is the same Lord who speaks to the dead.  Yes, that’s right, He bosses around the deceased!  “‘Talitha koum (Little girl get up!)’” and, “‘Lazarus, come out!’”

Was His speaking a nothing?  Were His Words just the words of a man?  No!  They are divine – Holy Spirit filled – words of power!  Words that contain and carry all the weight of His divinity!  His words do what they say!  When He speaks even all of death’s say-so just melts!  And the dead are raised!

Now on the night before He dies the Lord Jesus draws up His last will and testament.  He is of sound mind.  He is quite sober.  He knows what He is doing.  Everything is very deliberate and in order.  From the directions about all the preparations of the room to what He does and says regarding the Passover meal’s bread and wine.

Will you let the Lord Jesus have His say?  Or will you dare to interrupt Him?  Put your own super spiritualizing spin on what He says?  Adjust His Words to what you think He should have said?  Would you presume to appoint yourself as a preacher with better words than Jesus?  Preach your own sermon as an upgrade to Jesus’ Words?  A Lord’s Supper Version 2.1?

“Yes, that’s right Reverend!  My Lord’s Supper 2.1 goes like this.  The bread only symbolizes Jesus’ body!  The cup of wine is simply a symbol of His blood.  In other words, all that’s there on the altar and in my mouth are bread and wine – and since alcohol offends me I’ll use grape juice as a substitute!  The body and blood of Jesus aren’t there!  Can’t be!”

 

“We all know Reverend that reason teaches that finite, temporal, creaturely things like bread and grape juice cannot contain or hold the Spiritually infinite and almighty body and blood of Jesus! His body and blood are way up there in heaven where Jesus sits comfortably at the right hand of God!  All that’s on the altar – all that I eat and drink with my mouth are bread and grape juice.”

Is that what Jesus said?  Of course not!  Not even close!  You’ve subtracted!  You’ve taken away what He clearly proclaims!  “Is” means “is”!  The Lord Jesus, in His last will and testament categorically proclaims that the bread IS His body and that the cup of wine (not grape juice) IS the new covenant (testament) in His blood!

He tells you what it is.  He preaches what He gives.  What He says He gives!  What He gives is what He says!  Lord Jesus gets the first and last word!  Not you!  He has His say-so!  Not you!   It is the Lord’s Supper!  Not your Supper!  He emphatically says that the Bread IS His Body.  He definitively declares that the cup of Wine is His Blood.  To be eaten and to be drunk with your mouth!

What’s this?  There’s still another here today who insists on interrupting the Lord?  Setting himself up as a superior preacher than Jesus?  This time it is done in a more religious way?  And that he has millions of people and a very persuasive preacher from Rome who have your back?  Really?  A Lord’s Supper Version 2.2?

Tell me sir, how does your Lord’s Supper Version 2.2 go?  Let’s see if it jives with the original Lord’s Supper on the night when He was betrayed!

“It’s all about sacrifice Reverend!  Haven’t you heard?  Where have you been?  You’re the typical bigoted, doofus Midwestern Missouri Synod country pastor!  All the best scholarship and all the top notch liturgical academics with PhD’s from Notre Dame to Princeton, from Harvard to Creighton lecture us that the Lord’s Supper is all about what the church does or “sacrifices” together with the clergy! 

 

Good grief Reverend!  Wake up from your insular, zombie-like Missouri Synod Rip Van Winkle slumber!  All the Christian Worship specialists tell us that we have to add hefty loads of our own words – or prayers — to Jesus’ Words.  That our words, our really religious praying, our Eucharistic-ing is on par if not better than Jesus’ Words!   And more!  Check it out Reverend!  The liturgy experts tell us that all our pious praying makes the Good Friday sacrifice of Jesus really present again so that we can offer up the body and blood of Jesus to the Father as a sacrifice! 

 

And not just any garden variety sacrifice!  It’s the biggie!  We extend Christ’s body and blood to the Father as the sacrifice that atones for the sins of the living and the dead!  Our sacrificial praying goes something like this:  ‘Grant that the sacrifice which we have offered  . . . may be acceptable to You [Father] and through your mercy be a propitiation [atoning sacrifice] for us and for all those for whom we have offered it up both living and dead.’  We call this the sacrifice of the Mass, Reverend!  God requires sacrifice Reverend!  That’s the whole enchilada of worship, don’t you know?”    

Wow!  That’s quite a Lord’s Supper 2.2!  I have to ask you again.  Where did you get all that from the Lord’s Words?  Is that what the Lord Jesus says?  Of course He doesn’t!  You’ve added to what He said!  Like Eve did in her conversation with Satan in Eden about eating from the forbidden middle Tree!  And you know how all that ended!  In total disaster!  For Adam and Eve!  And for all their descendants!  So why in the world would you want to pull another Adam and Eve and add to the Lord’s Words?

Nowhere in His Lord’s Supper Words does He command that His body and blood be offered up to the Father as a sacrifice that atones for the sins of the living and dead!  His “once for” all time and “once for” all people Good Friday death did that!  So don’t try and make the Lord’s Supper into the very Golgotha sacrifice of Jesus that somehow appears before your very eyes!  Instead, Jesus is quite clear what you are to do with His body and blood.  According to His Words you are to eat His body and to drink His blood!  You are to believe what He says and gives – according to His Words!

It’s time that you die to all this thinking and practicing that the Lord’s Supper is something that you do for God!  Good grief!  That’s getting the Sacrament totally backwards!  Jesus is very clear that His Supper is “for you” and not for His Father!  It is pure gift from Jesus to you!

When He institutes this Sacrament as His last will and testament He is talking – proclaiming – preaching TO HIS DISCIPLES!  “Take this bread and eat it.  This is my body GIVEN FOR YOU.  Take this cup and drink from it.  It is the new testament in my blood poured out FOR YOU.”   “For you” talk is gift talk!  His Body and His Blood are for you!

THE LORD’S SUPPER IS NOT WHAT WE DO, GIVE OR SACRIFICE TO GOD!  IT IS THE LORD’S GIVING – HIS PREACHING – HIS HANDING OVER AND GIVING OF THE GOSPEL TO YOU!

Finally, when Jesus asserts that the cup of wine is the New Testament in His blood, His point is that God’s prophecy through Jeremiah is at hand!  Right before your very eyes every time you go to the Sacrament!  “‘The time is coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah . . .  This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel . . .  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 . . . For I WILL FORGIVE THEIR WICKEDNESS AND WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.’”

“I will make a new covenant . . .  I will be their God . . .  I will forgive their sins!”  Jesus does and gives these promises in the Lord’s Supper.  For you!  In Matthew’s account of the Lord’s Supper Jesus says about the cup of wine:  “‘‘Drink from it, all of you.  This my blood of the new testament which is poured out for many FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS,’” (Matthew 26:27-28)!

This is how Jesus is God for you!  His Body and His Blood He gives you to eat and drink with the promise that all your sin is forgiven. Those are the Words of the Lord Jesus who died for you! He says so!  He does not lie!  It is most certainly true!

Happy eating and drinking tonight according to the Lord’s Words!

In the name of Jesus.

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