Holy Thursday (1 Cor 11:23–32)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you.”

INI + AMEN.

The Lord Jesus gives. That’s what He does. He doesn’t hold back. He showers blessings. He doesn’t ask us about it. He doesn’t ask whether He should offer them or not. He doesn’t ask if we want them or not. He simply gives. That’s how it is with a gift. It’s given, no strings attached.

He gave to Paul. Gave His life for Paul. Died for his murdering and persecuting. In fact, He was murdered and persecuted for Paul! And Jesus then called him from being murderer and persecutor of His Church. He appeared to Paul. Called Him by name. He baptized Paul through Ananias. But still He gave more. He gave Paul His Word, He gave it to preach it, and so He made Paul an Apostle. Still more with Jesus—always more. Body and blood more, Jesus gave Paul that gift, too. Gave Paul His Supper, His body and to eat and His blood to drink for the forgiveness of sins.

Paul couldn’t have done anything to earn it. There’s nothing he could’ve done to make himself holy enough, worthy enough, prepared enough for it. That’s not how the Lord dealt with Paul. He dealt with Paul in the way of gift and not in the way of wage or payment. The only payment rendered was Jesus’ “holy, precious blood,” which is far more precious than any gold or silver or work or fast or preparation. Even when he was dead in his trespasses and sins, Paul was made alive—by grace he was saved.

The Lord Jesus gives. That’s what He does. He doesn’t ask. He just does. He saves. It’s all free gift. Free gift of His death. Free gift of His baptism. Free gift of His body and blood. He’s Savior, after all, no strings attached.

“I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you.”

As it goes with Paul, so it goes with you. What Jesus does for Paul He does for you. That’s just what Jesus does. He gives to you, too. Gave His life for you. Died for your sins. For your turning from Him. For your not putting Him first. For your not loving your neighbor. For not having heartfelt love for your those around you, even people here tonight, sadly. Jesus is turned from by His Father, He is unloved by those around Him, for you doing those things.

But as Paul said, it wasn’t just for Paul. Paul delivered it. He delivered it to the Corinthians. Jesus wanted it that way, and Jesus wanted it delivered to you. And so, He did. He’s called you from your sins, too! Holy Baptism. Nothing you did to earn that! That gift was complete and whole. Made you whole. Made you a child of God. Don’t think anything that you do adds to it. That’s not true.

But the Lord does have more gift for you. He can always add more. You can’t. And He does! Always more with Jesus. Body and blood more, Jesus have give you that gift, too. Gave you His Supper, His body and to eat and His blood to drink for the forgiveness of sins.

There’s nothing you could’ve done to earn that either. There’s nothing you can do to be holy enough, worthy enough, prepared enough for it. That’s not how the Lord dealt with Paul. He doesn’t deal with you that way either. He deals with you in the way of gift and not in the way of wage or payment. The only payment rendered was Jesus’ “holy, precious blood,” which is far more precious than any gold or silver or work or fast or preparation. Even when you were dead in trespasses and sins, He made you alive—by grace you were saved.

“I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you.”

The Lord Jesus gives. That’s what He does. He doesn’t hold back. He showers blessings. He’s doing it again tonight! Good night! So special that we Lutherans throw caution to the wind. Purple? No, not that! White. Need white. That’s what Jesus’ body and blood do for you! His body and blood—faith in those things—make you spotless, pure, holy, worthy, well prepared! What other rules can pass on to celebrate Jesus’ body and blood? Well, we need more angels’ songs! Bring back the Gloria in Excelsis! Let’s bring back the Gloria Patri, too! Woah! Let’s not get crazy now!

Anyway, there’s nothing you add to His Supper. The Lord adds His Supper, gives, delivers His Supper to you. It’s yours. For your forgiveness, life, and salvation. That’s what you take away. It’s for you. That’s what Jesus says, that’s what Paul and Luke deliver to you tonight: “This is My Body given for you; this cup is the new testament in My blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” His Salvation is and has to be yours. You eat and drink, just like He tells you to, and you eat and drink His body and blood for your for your forgiveness, just like He tells you.

“I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you.”

The Lord Jesus gives. That’s what He does. He doesn’t hold back. He doesn’t ask. He just does. He saves. It’s all free gift. Free gift of His death. Free gift of His body and blood. He’s Savior, after all. Your Savior, no strings attached. Paul’s Savior, too, no strings attached.

There’s nothing you can do to make yourself holy enough, worthy enough, prepared enough for it. Not for Jesus. Not for His salvation. And not for the Sacrament of His body and blood either. Repent of thinking that way because Jesus deals with you by way of gift not wage or payment. Trust Him. He’s trustworthy. He’s already died for you. His Word’s trustworthy, too. He died and rose. Through His Word He makes His body and blood yours. He delivers it again tonight. It is yours. “Take, eat; take, drink. This is My body and blood given and shed for you.”

INI + AMEN.

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