† Take, this is My body and My blood of the new testament †
1. Corinthians 10,16-17 2312
Gründonnerstag 030 weiß
The Martyrs killed in the church on Easter by King Genseric of the Vandals & Alans, 459
5. April 2012
1. O Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us the joy of Your bread to eat and Your cup to drink in remembrance of Your sufferings, we pray, enlighten us so that by true self-examination we may worthily receive that Sacrament, in true discernment of Your presence. Amen.
2. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
3. Tonight, on Maundy Thursday, we begin the pinnacle of the Church Year and remember die große Heilsgeschichte (the great salvation history) of our Lord Jesus Christ. The final three days of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday) constitute what the Church calls the Triduum, and take us through the final hours of Jesus’ precious life, His humiliation, suffering and death on the cross.
4. On the night before His death, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper and celebrated it with His apostles. This Abendmahl (evening meal) is the first Sacrament delivered unto Christ’s Church. Jesus tells us that this bread is His body and this wine is His blood. Which body and blood is this? The very body of Christ that would be crucified tomorrow, and the very blood of Christ that He would shed on the cross. Thus the Church teaches the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Altar. This (bread) is the body of Christ; this (cup) is the blood of Christ. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, the Apostle Paul teaches that we participate in the body and blood of Jesus. Thus we participate in Christ’s death. »For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He arrives« (1. Corinthians 11,26).
5. Holy Communion thus links us to the crucifixion of Jesus. The Holy Gospels take us to the foot of the cross, and the Mass unites us to the crucified Christ with the Effect that the forgiveness Jesus purchased on the cross is given out to you tonight, and every time, when you receive the Lord’s Supper. Christ has achieved the forgiveness of sins on the cross, but this forgiveness is not distributed or given out on the cross (Luther 213). Christ distributes the forgiveness won on the cross through the Word and the Sacraments (Luther 213). „If you now seek the forgiveness of sins, you do not run to the cross, for you will not find it given there. Nor must you hold to the suffering of Christ ... in knowledge or remembrance, for you will not find it there either. But you will find in the Sacrament or the gospel the word which distributes, presents, offers and gives to you that forgiveness which was won on the cross“ (Luther 214).
6. If you desire the forgiveness of your sins, then come to the Lord’s Supper and receive the absolution that Jesus paid for with His very own body and blood. Receive Him in this Sacrament in faith and believe that in this Sacrament Jesus gives you what He has promised, what He has merited for you on the cross, namely, the forgiveness of all your sins.
7. This is why the Apostle Paul proclaims that there is only one bread and only one body (1. Corinthians 10,17). There is only one Savior from sin, death and hell; and that Savior is Christ Jesus. There is only one people of God; and that is the Church. There is one Christ and one Church. There is one gospel: that of Christ crucified, and one bearer of that precious gospel: the Church.
8. To the Church alone has Christ instituted His Holy Sacrament. Only the Church administers the gospel of forgiveness through her pastors and bishops. In doing so, Jesus has intimately united His Church, yes, each one of you, to His salvific crucifixion. You are united to Christ’s death, and since you are united to His death then you are united to His life everlasting. The gospel proclaims your forgiveness: »For the death Jesus died He died to sin, once for all, but the life Jesus lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus« (Romans 6,10-11). This is what it means to be united to Christ and to participate with Him in the Lord’s Supper.
9. Beloved in the Lord, it is our intention to receive the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which He strengthens our faith by giving us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Therefore, it is proper that we diligently examine ourselves, as St. Paul urges us to do, for this Holy Sacrament has been instituted for the special comfort of those who are troubled because of their sin and who humbly confess their sins, fear God’s wrath and hunger and thirst for righteousness.
10. But when we earlier examined our hearts and consciences, and confessed our sinfulness, we found nothing in us but sin and death, from which we are incapable of delivering ourselves. Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ has had mercy on us and has established the Pastoral Office to absolve all your sins. For your benefit Jesus became man so that He might fulfill for you the whole will and law of God and, to deliver you, took upon Himself your sin and the punishment you deserve.
11. So that you may more confidently believe this and be strengthened in the faith and in holy living, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, broke it and gave it to His disciples and said: „Take, eat; this is My Body, which is given for you“. It is as if He said: „I became man, and all that I do and suffer is for your good. As a pledge of this, I give you My Body under the Bread to eat“.
12. In the same way also He took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them, saying: „Drink of it, all of you; this Cup is the new testament in My Blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins“. Again, it is as if He said: „I have had mercy on you by taking into Myself all your iniquities. I give Myself unto death, shedding My blood to obtain grace and forgiveness of sins, and to comfort and establish the new testament, which gives forgiveness and everlasting salvation. As a pledge of this, I give you My True Blood under the Wine to drink“.
13. Therefore, whoever eats this Bread and drinks this Cup, confidently believing this word and promise of Christ, dwells in Christ and Christ in him and has eternal life. For these words „Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,“ show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life and salvation are given to you through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: „forgiveness of sins“. You should do this in remembrance of Him, showing His death – that He was delivered for your offenses and raised for your justification. Giving Him your most heartfelt thanks, you take up your cross and follow Him and, according to His Commandment, love and serve one another as He has loved and served you. For we, the Church, are all one bread and body, even as we are all partakers of this one Bread and drink from this one Cup.
14. For just as the one Cup is filled with wine of many grapes and one Bread made from countless grains, so also you, being many are one body in Christ. Because of Him, you love and serve one another, not only in word, but in deed and in truth.
15. May the Almighty and Merciful God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, accomplish this in you and me. You have been invited by Christ Jesus Himself to His Heavenly Father’s glorious banquet of eternal life. This Lord’s Supper of Christ’s Body under the bread and His Blood under the wine are a foretaste of that heavenly feast to come. Do not excuse yourself from Christ’s invitation and Supper, but receive His invitation with joy and thanksgiving for He has established and instituted this Supper for your blessing. The Supper has been set; join me in receiving it for your salvation and forgiveness. Amen.
16. Let us pray. O Christ Jesus, You have caused Your wonders to be remembered; You are gracious and merciful. In this Sacrament of the Altar You give us Your true body and blood in the true bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins. Help us to rightly remember all You have done for us in Your life and crucifixion whereby You merited the forgiveness of each and every sin we have or will commit, for Your forgiveness is properly given to us through this new testament Passover meal we call Holy Communion, so that we may always know and believe that we are at peace with You on account of Your holy merit that has been applied to us as our own merit. Amen.
Which is poured out for everyone.
All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4th Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 27th Edition © 1993 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern.
Gerhard, Johann. An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Copyright © 1999 Repristination Press.
Luther, Martin. Luther’s Works: Church and Ministry II, Vol. 40. Conrad Bergendoff, Ed. Copyright © 1958 Muhlenberg Press.