Holy Thursday (2023)

Lent--Our Greatest Needs  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  20:36
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Jesus instituted His Supper on the night He was betrayed. He gave his disciples a Sacrament that proclaimed his death before it even happened.
See the extent of the love of Christ: He gave them his body and blood sacrificed for sin, before it had been done! He had come to be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, and nothing would stop his mission. Indeed, He is the Lamb slain for from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
In order to save mankind, God needed to provide a savior who could live under the law for us and die in our place. That meant God had to become one of us, he had to become a human being. God took on flesh and blood that he might be our Savior period, from the Garden of Eden onward. The solution for sin was the flesh and blood of God period. Now, in this sacrament, he shows us the full extent of his love for us. He gives us the flesh and blood of God. The solution for sin he gives is for us to eat and drink, to be part and parcel of our being, to feed and nourish us until he takes us out of this House of bondage to the Promised Land.
When Jesus instituted the Lord's supper, he called it a “New Covenant.” A covenant is ordinarily a contracted agreement between two parties. The Lord's Supper, however, is a unilateral contract in the sense that Christ instituted it for no other reason than that he loves us. And so, here we have The New Covenant of Jesus Christ.
This covenant is crystal clear; It’s a loving covenant; and it is a responsible covenant.

It Is A Clear Covenant

There is no indication that a Christ intended His Words to be understood in any but a literal sense (1 Cor 11:24-25).
He did not say that the bread and the wine represents His body and blood.
He did not say that the bread and the wine change into His body and blood.
We believe what Christ said even if we do not understand how it is possible for His body and blood to be present.
The human mind is limited even with regard to earthly things; we do not fully understand what electricity is, how the body converts food into energy, or how a seed produces a plant.
It should not surprise us to find things beyond our understanding when it comes to heavenly things, and how God is present with us.
It really is the epitome of hubris to draw conclusion, which contradicts what Christ Jesus has said.

It Is A Loving Covenant

It’s loving because Jesus gives us Himself.
Since we receive His body given for us on the cross, and His blood shed for our sins, we can be sure that we are also receiving forgiveness and salvation — eternal life.
Christ’s real presence is a powerful assurance of His love and grace.
It’s loving because it brings us into fellowship with God.
The barrier of sin between us and God has been removed.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand” (John 10:28).
It’s loving because it paves the way for fellowship with one another (1 Cor. 10:17
1 Corinthians 10:17 (NKJV)
“For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.”

It Is A Responsible Covenant

We are to partake as believing people.
We believe that Christ is truly present.
We believe that we receive in and with the bread and wine His true body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins.
We believe as Jesus said, that this gift is for you.
We are to proclaim His death until He comes again (1 Cor. 11:26).
We live as forgiven people.
We live as instruments through which Christ carries out His work in the world.
By coming to the Lord’s Supper we live giving testimony not only that we repent and believe, but also we proclaim that Jesus’ death was for the good of all people.
In His new covenant Christ Jesus is saying to us: “I am your Lord. I give Myself for you. Now I give Myself to you.”
This is truly an awesome and inspiring occasion, and it is also a time for rejoicing that God is so good to us that we leave the Supper eager to live by his will. Martin Luther said, “That person is well prepared and worthy who believes these words: ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sin.’”
Once more tonight, Maundy Thursday, the night on which Jesus was betrayed, we are gathered here to do what Christians have done for nearly 2000 years since that time. We come at Jesus’ direction: Do this. What we do is come to eat and drink and so, by a miracle, receive Jesus anew into our hearts and lives. Repenting and believing we are worthy because of Jesus.
Now let us respond by saying, “We are Your people. We believe in You. We want to live for you.”
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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