Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

A Congregation of Lutheran Church-Canada

Scripture & Sermons

MAUNDY THURSDAY AD 2024 2024-03-28

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples
said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent
two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will
meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says,
Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show
you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and
went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and
eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is
one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it
is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been
better for that man if he had not been born.”
And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and
said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to
them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is
poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that
day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. This is what the Lord Jesus says
about the cup that He took and gave to all of the disciples, who all drank from it. This is the
blood of the covenant. After Jesus says “is” the wine is not just wine, this wine is now His true
blood. It was His blood when He said “This is” two thousand years ago, as it is His blood when
He says “This is” through the servant that He has called and sent to speak in His place for Him
Ever since Jesus said, “This is” on the night when He was betrayed, He’s continued saying it
through the men of whom He says, “He who hears you, hears me.” Indeed, beloved, no man can
make wine into the blood of Christ, but Christ can and does make wine into His blood through
such men, when they speak His Word over it, as He has told them to do. And so you must not
doubt but believe that when the Pastor says, “is”, Jesus is saying “is” through him in that very
moment, and what was just wine, before the “is” was spoken. now is the blood of the covenant.
When the Word of God meets the wine it is a Sacrament, it is Christ’s blood.
What kind of blood? The blood of the covenant. What is a covenant? It is a binding legal
agreement between two parties where one promises to do something for someone else in return
for something that they will do. The covenant between God and Israel, was the promise of God
to be their God and in return Israel was to be His people. In other words God promised in His
covenant to be their God and all that they were asked in return was to let Him be their God.
Letting God be their God was simply what the 10 commandments were all about, which is why
they all flow out of the first commandment that they are to have no other gods.
So if a covenant is an agreement between two parties, what does blood have to do with it? Well,
that’s just the way that it’s always been, when it comes to God’s covenants - there is always
blood shed when He makes them. God’s covenant’s are always sealed with blood - often a lot of
blood. Why? It’s actually a bit of a mystery until this night. Many look at all the blood being
shed in the Old Testament and think that it was just a barbaric religion like so many other pagan
religions of old, but there is a lot going on here beloved, when you look at it all in the light of
Jesus. God seals all of His deals with blood, because of the blood of Jesus that will seal His
eternal covenant with us.
Blood was used by God to seal His covenant with Israel because the life was in the blood and so
He was showing how a life would seal His new and final covenant with His people. The life that
would guarantee His final agreement with His people - the agreement that would last forever -
would be the life of His only begotten Son. And so the blood of the new covenant is the blood of
Jesus - His blood guarantees the covenant even as it brings it into effect. The blood of Jesus so
to speak is the ink with which God signs His name to His agreement with us that He will be our
God and that we will be His people, that He will forgive our sins and remember them no more.
The blood of His Son is poured out as He suffers and dies to save us from our sins and God signs
the agreement with the blood of His Son to bind Himself to it forever.
And so if God promises to forgive us, what is our part of the agreement? Simply that we let Him
forgive us. As all that God wanted from His people of old was that they would let Him be their
God, all that He asks of us, beloved, is that we would let Him forgive us. Sounds so very simple
doesn’t it? And yet it is a hard for us to do as it was for God’s people of old to keep their


covenant with Him to allow Him to be their God. How hard can it be to let God forgive us?
Well, it can be very hard at times, because first of all to receive forgiveness you need to
recognize that you need it.
Yes, it can be hard to see and accept our sin at times. Sometimes because we can’t see how bad
what we’ve thought, said or done really is and at other times because we can see just how bad it
all is and so have a hard time accepting that we actually have done it. Either way we prefer to
excuse our sin, by explaining it away or blaming someone else for it, rather than simply
confessing it. And so we fail to keep our end of the agreement by letting God forgive us as He
has promised to do, as we also fail to let Him forgive us when we fail to believe in His
forgiveness, when we continue to beat ourselves up or allow the devil to beat us up for past sins
or when we think we are being punished for them when bad things happen.
God has made a covenant with us in the blood of Christ to forgive us because of Christ, all we
have to do in return is receive it, but the sad truth is, that the very reason why we need God’s
forgiveness and the reason why He in mercy gives it to us is also the very reason why we have a
hard time receiving, accepting and believing in it. Our sin which is the reason why we need
God’s forgiveness in Christ gets in our way of receiving the forgiveness that we need. If you
could imagine it, it’s as if your hunger or thirst were the very things that kept you from eating or
drinking. The idea seems ridiculous, but that’s what sin is and that’s what sin does. And so it is
easy to see why St. Paul when he saw sin’s vicious cycle and circle in his life would say, “O
wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death?”
Thanks be to God, Christ Jesus. Yes, thanks be to God, Christ Jesus, and the blood of the
covenant which is poured out for many. The blood of the Son of God poured out to pay for all
our sins and save us from them. The blood that God poured out to seal the deal of His covenant
with us to be our forgiving God. The blood that God poured out on Calvary to earn our
forgiveness and to ever testify to it. The blood that Jesus poured into the cup on the night when
He was betrayed and that He has been pouring out ever since every time the Church gathers in
His name and His servants speak his Word over His cup. This blood is God’s constant sign to
you that He is your forgiving God, who is ever ready to forgive you even as it is this blood that
bestows His forgiveness upon you every time you drink it.
And so you see beloved, as much as your sin gets in the way of you receiving what you need,
how much more so is God’s forgiveness in the blood of Christ the answer to your failure to
receive His forgiveness and live in its truth. And so this night, as Jesus once more takes the cup
with my hands and blesses it to make it His blood through my speaking of His Word, He wants
you all to know that each one of you are one of the many that He poured out His blood for, as He
pours it out for you now. And so hear Jesus as He says to each of you, “Drink of it all of you.
Come receive the forgiveness God has committed Himself in me to give to you, drink deeply
from the spring of salvation that flows out of my side into the cup and taste and see that my
Father is good and that His steadfast love for you endures forever, come let Him be the forgiving
God that He has promised to be and wants to be for you in this moment in time and into all
eternity.” Amen