160324 Luke 22:19-20

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 March 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Luke 22:19 – 20
Sermon Theme: Tonight We Enjoy a Feast!

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

What picture comes to mind when you think about a feast? Maybe you picture the dinner table at Thanksgiving that is filled with food from one end of the table to the other. As we gather for our worship tonight, you and I are invited to a feast. I'm not talking about a meal that will be served after our Service. Rather, it is a meal that will be served during our Service tonight. You won't see a table filled to over-flowing with food. Rather, what you will see is a small amount of bread along with a small amount of wine. Yet, it is far better for you and me than ANY other meal we may enjoy. And it is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ himself, who has prepared this meal for you and me. So, as we gather together on this Maundy Thursday: Tonight We Enjoy a Feast!

When we go on a trip, quite often we end up eating a bunch of snacks as we travel. After a while, we may begin to feel a little sick to our stomach because of all the junk food we are eating. Tonight, our Lord gives us a meal, he gives us a feast, that is far better than the spiritual junk food the sinful world would like us to eat.

Tonight, as we enjoy this feast, our Savior invites you and me to eat and to drink two very ordinary, earthly things, namely, bread and wine. But, when the bread that we eat and the wine that we drink is combined with his powerful Word, our Lord also makes them his body and blood—the same body that he gave up and the same blood that he poured out on the altar of the cross.

In a very real and personal way, our Savior comes to you and me in his Holy Supper. He is able to do this because his body and his blood are really present in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Remember what Jesus said as he gave us his Holy Supper. The Bible tells us that Jesus "took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" And, as you and I enjoy this feast, our loving Lord Jesus brings you and me into a very real and very close relationship with himself. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10, "Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ."

As you and I read the Bible, we read about our sins and our need for a Savior. As you and I read our Bibles, we hear the Good News about Jesus and the forgiveness of sins that he won for you and me. Since our gracious Savior-God has revealed himself to us in his Word, why did Jesus give us his Holy Supper? Two thoughts come to mind from the verses before us. First, Jesus tells, "do this in remembrance of me." In 1 Corinthians chapter 11 we are told, "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." Each time we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we are to remember that he was willing to give up his body and shed his blood for the forgiveness of all of our sins.

This brings to mind the second answer to the question: "Why did Jesus give us this supper?" The Lord himself tells us that it is "a new covenant." A covenant is a promise or an agreement made between two people or two groups. In the Old Testament, the Lord God made a covenant with his chosen people, the nation of Israel. He promised them that if they remained faithful to him then he would continue to be their faithful God. But his people didn't keep their end of the agreement. So, in love for sinful mankind, the Savior-God made a new covenant with his people. The promise is that through the body and blood of Jesus there is a right relationship between the one and only true God and his people; and this includes you and me here this evening.

In his Small Catechism, Dr. Martin Luther asked a question about the blessings you and I receive each time we come to Communion. Martin Luther answered in this way, "That is shown us by these words, 'Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.' Through these words we receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation in this sacrament. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation." Tonight, as our Savior gives us his Holy Supper, he gives you the complete forgiveness of all of our sins. He gives you the power to live for him. He gives you the promise of eternal life at his side forever in heaven.

As you and I come forward tonight and receive the Lord's Supper, it may not look like a very glorious scene. But, as we come before our Lord with a humble and repentant heart, the comfort we have is that Jesus your Savior and mine is here with us. His body and blood are really present together with the bread that we eat and the wine that we drink. May God the Holy Spirit fill your heart with peace and joy as your Savior-God reaches out to you with his forgiving grace and love. My dear friends in Christ, join me at the Lord's table for TONIGHT WE ENJOY A FEAST. Amen.

 

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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