Thursday, April 8, 2004

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday
April 8, 2004
1 Corinthians 11:23-34
A Real Supper for Real People

INTRODUCTION:  Once again we have come to celebrate a simple meal. Yet, throughout the centuries this meal has turned to be the most meaningful meal of all. What is the meaning of the Lord's Supper? Why celebrate it over and over again. St. Paul tells us in clear and simple terms why this is a meal far and above all others. Why is this meal so special?

I.        There is a perpetual nature to the Sacrament

Jesus says: "This do in remembrance of Me” We recall what Jesus has done for us first at the cross when he suffered and died for the sins of the world. There He bore our sins in His body that we might receive forgiveness, life and salvation.  We also remember what He has done in our own lives. Those times we needed Him He was there those times we needed His strength and the assurance of His presence never has He let us down.

This meal is perpetual in nature by what we are doing when we gather: “Whenever we eat of the bread and drink of the cup we proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.”  We proclaim the Lord’s death every time we gather for this meal. We proclaim salvation every time Communion is celebrated. We proclaim forgiveness, life and salvation every time we gather with Jesus as both host and guest.
Transition: We proclaim the Lord’s salvation when we share in this meal but we come individually to receive for ourselves from the Great Physician a cure.

II.     We "do this" because there is a great need.

God know we have need of Him
1.      We come because we are sinful. “Unworthy though I am 0 Savior, Because I have a sinful heart, Yet Thou Thy lamb wilt banish never. For Thou my faithful Shepherd art. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!” [TLH #315 stanza 3]

2.      We come because we need forgiveness. “Thy heart is filled with fervent yearning That sinners may salvation see Who, Lord, to thee in faith are turning; So I, a sinner, come to Thee. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!” [TLH #315 stanza 5]

3.      We come because we need strength. I come, O Savior, to thy Table, For weak and weary is my soul; Thou, Bread of Life, alone art able To satisfy and make me whole; Lord, may thy body and thy blood Be for my soul the highest good!” [TLH #315 stanza 1]

His benefits are given every time we come. He gives us what we truly need in this meal.
1.      The forgiveness of sin. This is why we have come this night. We are in need of His forgiveness. The forgiveness of sins has been won for us at the cross. Here we have a guarantee given to us that in this simple meal we receive what we have come to receive –absolution for all of our sins.

2.      Life – We also come to receive the promise of life. “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly,” Jesus has said. We receive the gift of life with God in this meal for it is a foretaste of the things to come.

3.      Salvation – Salvation is the satisfaction the Father demanded from a rebellious people. The Father is satisfied for the Son has paid the price for each and every sin. The Father is satisfied. His anger is stilled. God and man are now reconciled.

CONCLUSION:  As simple meal? Yes it is, with simple elements. But do not let the simplicity fool you. This is a real meal for real people. Come, receive the gifts of God given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of all of your sins.

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