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The Gift of the Lord’s Supper

April 19, 2019

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Maundy Thursday                                   Trinity Lutheran Church

18 April 2019                                            Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

Luke 22:7-20

 

How do you know what the Lord’s Supper is? Where do you go to find out?

 

You go to the Lord Jesus! Or to be more precise you listen to what He says. Hear His words. Let Him have the say so. Let Him say what the Sacrament is and what He gives in it.

 

What does He say? What does He give? Listen. With the bread in His hands He categorically declares what He gives: “This is my body which is given for you.”

 

Together with the bread He gives His body. Which body? The body conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary? The body that brutally suffered and dreadfully died on the cross? The body that victoriously rose from the dead on the Third Day? The body that sits at the Father’s right hand ruling over the universe? Yes! That body! It’s the only body He has!

 

He has more to say. It has to do with the cup of wine. “This cup is the new testament in My blood which is shed for you.”   Together with the wine He gives His blood. That’s the very blood that flowed through His arteries and pumped by His heart. It’s the very blood that reddened the cross and the ground below as it flowed profusely out of His body.

 

Bread. Wine. Body. Blood. Not a symbol. But for real. He really gives with the bread His body and with the wine His blood. Just as He says. His words do and give what they say.

 

What are you supposed to do with the bread/Body, wine/blood? Ignore them? Sit and stare at them? Offer them to God the Father as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead? Parade the body through the streets in an ornate fancy glass case so that you can bow down and worship it? No. No. And triple no!

 

Jesus says to EAT His body and to DRINK His blood with the bread and wine. And you do that with your mouth. In Matthew and Mark both record these words of Jesus as so does St. Paul: “Take, eat … Drink from it” (Mt. 26:26-27; Mk 14:22-23; 1 Cor. 11:24-25).

 

Body. Blood. Bread. Wine. Eat and drink them as He says.

 

Note too another very important point from the Lord’s words. The Lord’s Supper is all GIFT from the Lord to you. Listen again. “This is my body which is GIVEN FOR YOU… my blood WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU.” Gifts are always given with the words: FOR YOU. A birthday gift. An anniversary gift. A graduation or confirmation gift. “Here, this is FOR YOU.” For you talk is gift talk. He gives His body and His blood FOR YOU as His gift to you.

 

Let’s push this gift talk for all of its gospel worth. On what night does Jesus institute the Sacrament? The night on which He was betrayed! Or the very day before He goes to His death on the cross. Ok. So what do people draw up in preparation for their death? Yes, that’s right, their last will and TESTAMENT!

 

That’s precisely what the Lord’s Supper is! On the night in which He was betrayed Jesus drew up His last will and testament! In the Words of Institution of the Lord’s Supper you are named as His heirs and He gives you the inheritance of His Good Friday salvific atoning death on the cross in the Sacrament of the Altar. He bequeaths to you His body and His blood with the bread and wine that WON, ACHIEVED AND ACCOMPLISHED your salvation.

 

And this brings me to my final point. Keep the distinction straight. Keep the proper distinction between salvation’s achievement and salvation’s bestowal.

 

Good Friday is the day Jesus wins, achieves and accomplished salvation or the forgiveness of sins. That’s the only sacrifice that does that! His Good Friday sacrifice is the only sacrifice that atones for sin and sinners.

 

The Lord’s Supper is how Jesus Himself gives us the very forgiveness and salvation that He won on the cross. Listen to His words from Matthew 26 about the Lord’s Supper: “given … and shed for you for the remission of sins.”

 

Again note the distinction. Jesus does not win, achieve or accomplish the forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s Supper. He did that on the cross. In the Lord’s Supper Jesus bestows or donates the very forgiveness He won on the cross as He gives His body and blood to eat and drink with the bread and wine.

 

All this from His words. He does what He says with His words. He gives what He says with His words. He is faithful and true. You are forgiven. You are saved. Accomplished on the cross. Delivered in the Lord’s Supper.

 

A blessed Maundy Thursday as you beneficially eat and drink tonight trusting what Jesus says and gives – FOR YOU.

 

In the Name of Jesus.

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