S-1427 MT/3A 4/17/2014 Hymns: (O) # 440; #431; S #445; LS. 634; 633; (C) # 436
Texts: Psalm 23; Exodus 12:1-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 22:14-23
Theme: “A Meal To Remember” (Luke 22:19-20)
Question: “Do you remember a meal you had?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, the text for Maundy Thursday is from the Gospel lesson “And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood’” (Luke 22:19-20).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Most beautiful and loved children of God Perhaps some of you can remember meals you have had that stick in your mind. Maybe it was going to grandmas for Christmas or Easter. Maybe it was mom’s specialty that you fondly remember.
There are two meals that I remember well. The first, when I was about 13 years old, mother sent me on an errand to buy a thermometer. Well, being young and uncaring, I spent the whole day playing and broke the thermometer I bought. After being gone from home for almost 8 hours, needless to say my father wasn’t very happy with me. I got a good whipping and was sent to the kitchen to eat. My sister dished the meal for me, but in my anger I didn’t want to eat. My sister told my dad that I refused to eat and he demanded I should do so. I refused. Finally, he opened my mouth and shoved the food down my throat. Well that didn’t set well. That which went in quickly came out, and still to this day I can’t even look at that meal. But I also remember a meal my mother making me a special meal (stuffed grapes leaves and zucchini) as I returned home, having spent a year in the States. What a delicious meal that was. These meals conjure up memories be it good or bad. Thinking of these meals brings back memories of people who may not be here anymore. Along with the memories often come thoughts of love and connectedness.
Dr. Luke describes the events in the Upper Room as the Disciples gathered with their Rabbi to observe and celebrate the Passover Meal or the Meal of remembrance as God commanded the Israelites to do for generations to come. In the book of Exodus chapter 12, the O.T. Lesson for this evening, we have the story of God telling His chosen people to kill a lamb they purchased 4 days before and eat it in haste; in preparation for their deliverance from the bondage of slavery. After butchering the lamb, blood was to be smeared on the door frames and when the angel of death came to claim the first-born of the Egyptians, he would pass over the houses marked with blood. Here is the command of God for this Meal of remembrance. “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast” (12:14).
Thus, centuries later, this Man from Nazareth with His Galilean followers gather to commemorate this event of deliverance by the Awesome God, who comes to the aid and rescue of His people! Jesus in humility observes the same event as a common ordinary person. Scripture gives us a clear picture that He came from an ordinary family just like ours.
In the text this evening we find Jesus and His disciples observing the final Passover together. At this Passover, He instituted the Lord’s Supper. The Passover was and is a Jewish feast that reminds them of how God delivered them from Egyptian slavery. It was a feast wherein many lambs were slain, perhaps as many as 250,000 in Jesus’ time. The blood of these lambs, however, could never pay for people’s sins. It took a greater sacrifice to do that, and it came in Jesus’ giving of Himself as the Lamb which God Himself has chosen to be pure and blameless to take away the sin of the world on the cross. It was this blessed Meal which Jesus instituted to commemorate the world’s deliverance.
Little did the disciples know that this would be the final meal they would have with their friend, teacher, Rabbi and Lord. Little did they understand what He was about to do. Everything that night was different. First, He humbles Himself and washes their feet. Then gathered around the table He breaks bread and utters those life giving Words: ‘This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ And then He lifted the cup saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.’” PAUSE.
The Meal that we come to observe tonight should do for us what the memory of other memorable meals does for us. It should draw us closer to the Savior and show our connectedness to His sacrifice He endured for our redemption. Jesus told His disciples to partake of this Supper in remembrance of Him and what He would do for them. They certainly had no idea at this time that this Meal would later mean so much more than just a meal. It was not until after Jesus was crucified and resurrected that they would know the full impact of this Meal they observed with Jesus before His betrayal and crucifixion.
Tonight, as we gather to celebrate and observe our Passover from death to life—we remember with fondness what Christ has commanded—do this in remembrance of Me. This meal has great meaning and benefit for us—Christians. This Meal is offered for sinners as Jesus dies for the sins of the world and becomes the world’s SAVIOR. This meal reminds us that Jesus died for the sins of all people—for us—for you. It reminds us of His broken body as it hung on the cross and the blood that flowed from His body as He lay dying for our sins. It reminds us that this is the Medicine of immortality.
Just as the blood on the door frames of the Israelites in Egypt, saved them from death; likewise, the blood of the Lamb of God given in this Meal of remembrance saves us and delivers us from death and hell. That is why we never force anyone to eat this meal; like my father did to me. Instead, Jesus offers us the privilege to dine with Him and receive all of the blessings He has to offer us. As you come look closely at this gift and treasure it and hold it dear to your heart; for you are eating Christ’s body and drinking Christ’s blood for the forgiveness of your sins.
For this reason, we, Lutheran Christians spend a lot of time educating young and old of the treasures of the Church in this Meal of remembrance. In this Meal, we are reminded of the cost Jesus paid to win our freedom. In this Meal, we are reminded what Jesus suffered to free us from the bondage not of Pharaoh, but a worse tyrants-Satan, death and hell.
Therefore, as we gather to observe the Passover Meal this evening, we remember it as a Meal of remembrance. The Meal we get tonight is a meal of peace. It is a Meal of forgiveness. It is a Meal of healing for the soul. It is a meal of reverent joy. This is a Meal that nurtures and nourishes and a Meal that brings about deliverance.
This is not just a meal but a Meal of Remembrance of the greatest sacrifice the world has even seen given and shed for you by the Lamb slain on the Altar of the cross.
What blessing awaits you, as you shall dine, celebrate and observe this Meal of remembrance for YOUR good and for His glory. Come, now, everything is ready. Amen.
Now the peace…