Sermons

Exodus 12:1–36

March 8, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

INI + AMEN.

Questions are a gift. When we’re confronted with questions, for one, they’re an opportunity to learn. But questions are a gift, because the answers are also a gift—a gift from the Lord. Questions and questioning gives us the opportunity to confess what we believe from what the Lord Jesus has told us. We confess Him: His Word, His Work.

We’re gifted with five questions the next 5 Wednesdays. What is the Sacrament of the Altar? Where is this written? What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things? Who receives this Sacrament worthily?

That’s the Catechism! We’ll have one additional gift Wednesday of Holy Week, but also tonight we get a few more gifts: Who’s Jesus? What is it? (We’ll talk about what “it” is.) Finally, what then do we receive from the Lord?

((3. Who’s Jesus?))

So, who’s Jesus? Pretty straightforward question, right? John the Baptizer knew, and you know his answer, too. Who’s Jesus? “The Lamb of God who takes away sin of the world.” The sins you’re ashamed of. The sins you’re not, but should be—the one’s you wink at. The ones you know. The ones you don’t. All sins—yours, mine, and those of the whole world. We should fast from such sins. Not just in Lemt but all the time. We should be afraid of our sins, but more importantly afraid of God who can bring such great plagues and judgment upon sinners.

But Jesus is the Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God. He doesn’t symbolize the Lamb. He doesn’t represent the Lamb. No, He IS “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He’s the perfect and final sacrifice. God Himself come to shed “His holy, precious blood” “to purchase and win us from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil,” as the Catechism teaches.

He is the Lamb, and so the Passover lamb points to Him. He’s the true and final Passover Lamb. Jesus is our “Passing Over.” His Father didn’t pass over His own Son. For the sins you do “daily and much”, there was the Son shedding His blood and giving His life on Calvary’s hill. The Father sees His Son’s blood, His death, and the Father and His wrath passes over you.

((2. What is it?))

When your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’s Passover.’” It’s Yahweh’s Passover. It was His gift to the Israelites. It wasn’t the Israelites’ Passover. It wasn’t anyone’s Passover except Yahweh’s. He instituted it, “Take the lamb, kill the lamb, eat the lamb.” He also said, “Throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.”

So also, what is the Sacrament of the Altar? Well, it’s the Lord’s Supper. It’s Jesus’ Supper. “It was instituted by Christ Himself.” Jesus fulfilled the Passover. He ate it with His disciples, then, “after Supper,” He instituted another Supper. Take the Lamb. The one who gave the Passover, kept it, and then gave another meal. Eat the Lamb. The Supper is “for us Christians to eat and to drink,” but it’s not our Supper. It’s Jesus—a gift from Him to us.

((1. What, then, do we receive from the Lord?))

So, the Passover is Yahweh’s—a gift from Him to the Israelites. “Take the lamb; kill the lamb; eat the Lamb. That’s what Yahweh gave the Israelites to do. That’s what they did! But that’s not all: “Put the blood on the doorposts and the lintels of the houses.” That’s what Yahweh instituted. What, then, did the Israelites receive? Well, they received “passing over.”

“Take the lamb; kill the lamb; eat the Lamb. Put the blood on the doorposts and lintels. I will see the blood, and I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you.” Yahweh gave them “passing over” through the blood of the spotless and pure lamb. Yahweh gave them passing over because they ate of that “passing over” lamb.

So, what then do we receive in the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrament of the Altar? The very same thing! We also receive “passing over.” We receive the passover Lamb. The sacrifice was already done. Jesus was slaughtered, crucified, His blood shed for you, His life in your place, to save you from the eternal plague that would destroy you.

“Take the Lamb; eat the Lamb. Put the blood on the doorposts and the lintels.” “Take, eat: My body; take, drink: My blood.” “I will see the blood, and I will pass over you.” “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day,” said Jesus. That’s what we receive in the Lord’s Supper because “it is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is the true Passover Lamb, “who takes away the sin of the world.” He doesn’t symbolize the Lamb of God, or represent the Lamb. That’s who He is! He’s your “Passing Over.” He’s the perfect sacrifice. “Take the Lamb; kill the Lamb.” The Passover was Yahweh’s until He fulfilled it, and then He gave another Supper: the Sacrament of the Altar. It’s Jesus’ Supper: His alone. “Eat the Lamb.” We do!

WE RECEIVE THE TRUE PASSOVER LAMB IN THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR.

That’s Jesus. His body and blood. That’s exactly what we receive, because that’s exactly what He says—more on that next week.

WE RECEIVE THE TRUE PASSOVER LAMB IN THE SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR.

“Take the Lamb; eat the Lamb.” His body and blood “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

INI + AMEN.

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