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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sermon 03282013 Maundy Thursday

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  O Lord, through this Sacrament of Your precious Body and Blood You have left us with a clear remembrance of Your Passion.  For it was in the upper room where You instituted this Holy Meal full of great mystery and redemption for all of mankind, but without the owner of the house offering his house we would not fully understand the great gift You offer.  May this gift of Your Body and Blood made manifest for us tonight/today remind us of Your sacrifice for each of us that we receive in, with and under the Bread and Wine of Your Body and Blood for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here around the Lord’s Supper tonight.  AMEN.

For our 21st Century Culture we understand clearly and easily the concept of ‘ownership’.  Whether it is kids and their favorite toys or games, the cars, trucks and tractors we adults drive, the houses we build and live in, the land that we own and farm or the livestock we raise for food and a living, we clearly understand this concept of ownership.  When Jesus disciples were preparing for the Passover feast, the place that was chosen was owned by a ‘certain man’.  Let’s hear again this account for this morning/evenings installment of the series of People and Places of Lent.  Hear the story from Matthew 26 (Matthew 26:17-19)

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”’” 19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

If you have ever held or attended a party, whether it was birthday, anniversary or card party, there was a certain amount of preparation that is required of both the food for those attending as well as the preparation of the house.  As the owner of the house this probably made preparation easier, because you knew what you had and what you needed to get from the store.  From our Gospel we have heard that a ‘certain man’, owner of the house where the Lord’s Supper was instituted is not identified, nor is any indication that he has any further preparations to make to get ready for the Passover, the disciples on the other hand have to do a lot of gathering.

Yet, this meal is of extreme importance for the Jews.  The Passover meal remembers the people of Israel living in Egypt living through the night when the Angel of Death came through the land and took the first born son of the family if blood of the lamb was not on the doorpost of the house.  This was prior to their departure from Egypt to return to the land of Promise and was the last of the signs sent by God to Pharaoh to set His people free.

But why would this Passover feast be important for Jesus Christ?  Why would the Upper Room be of importance?  Why does this owner of the house have the most important role for us tonight/today?
You see, on this day over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ on the journey to fulfill the plan of salvation instituted the meal we know as the Lord’s Supper.  Without this Upper Room to provide the safety, security and solemnity the plan of salvation would have been incomplete.  On this night Jesus not only instituted the Meal that provides us life and salvation today, Jesus Christ also washed the disciples feet, prophesied about His betrayal and death, but heralded in the fullness of God being Glorified through His sacrificial actions.  All of this occurs in the Upper Room of the house ‘owned by a certain man’.

Without the owner of the house having the room prepared, having the place prepared for the foot washing, the breaking of bread and the mutual consolation of the brethren, the fulfillment of the scriptures would be incomplete.  The owner of the house, like the owner of the colt and the other people and places of Lent we have heard about would only be considered bystanders in this journey to the Cross.  But the message and its meaning is clear, without each of these people and places of Lent, our journey would be mired and bogged down, but each of these people and places of Lent are stepping stones to the fulfillment of the plan of salvation.

For the plan of salvation has one goal, Jesus Christ death on Calvary in order to pay for the sins of mankind.  Jesus Christ in His instituting the Lord’s Supper is one step closer and offers mankind the greatest mystery, His Body and Blood for the salvation of all mankind, in, with and under this simple Bread and Wine.  As we receive His sacrifice tonight/today, may we be reminded that without the owner of the house, scripture would not have been fulfilled and mankind would not be offered life and salvation through Jesus Christ.  Nor would all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel understand completely, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins” as the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus Christ for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here this Maundy Thursday night.  AMEN.
//trial script