140417 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Sermon Theme: "Do This in Remembrance of Me"

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

I want you to think of your most favorite food. Do you have it in mind? Now, I want you to think about how often you eat that favorite food. Most likely, if it is one of your favorite foods, you will eat it more than once a year. Tonight, you and I are offered a meal that has far more benefit that any food we might enjoy eating. It is a meal that we are to enjoy celebrating time after time after time. Just this past Sunday, we had the opportunity to celebrate the Lord's Supper as part of our Worship Services. So, why are we celebrating this meal again tonight? Because our Savior says to you and me, "Do this in remembrance of me."

If you eat too much junk food, you may begin to feel a little sick to our stomach. Tonight, our Lord gives us a meal that is far better than the spiritual junk food the sinful world would like us to eat. Tonight, Jesus invites us to eat and to drink two very ordinary earthly things: 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 the bread and wine his body and blood.

In a very real and personal way, our Savior comes to us in his Holy Supper. He is able to do this because his body and his blood are really present in the Lord's Supper. Remember what Jesus said as he gave us his Holy Supper. The Bible tells us that Jesus "took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.'" As you and I celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, our loving Lord Jesus brings us 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 our Bibles, 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 also give us his Holy Supper? Two thoughts come to mind from the verses before us. First, 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 obeyed all his commandments 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 disciples; 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. He then answered the question 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 you and me 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 once again this evening you hear Jesus say to you, "do this in remembrance of me", and your one and only Savior reaches out to you with his love and with his forgiveness. 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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