The Rev. Paul J Cain, Jr.
Blood Placed on the People
Maundy Thursday, 09 April 2009
First Sermon at
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of
Why this Word of the Lord? Why was it chosen for this day? How does this text point to Jesus? These are certainly productive and instructive questions to ask of any Old Testament Reading, but especially tonight, Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday.
Sometimes, Christians are put off by the Old Testament. It may be unfamiliar. It may be uncomfortable or embarrassing to try to pronounce the unfamiliar names. And it’s so big—three times the size of the New Testament! That said, let’s build some common ground. We know that the Old Testament is Holy Scripture, God’s Word. It often helps to remember what we learned long ago about Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. Those names at least are familiar to us. While others may be hard to say, no doubt our names would be quite foreign to folks in Old Testament times. Yes, the Hebrew Scriptures are quite extensive, but that is a good thing! They are a mini library of thirty-nine books with history, poetry, and prophecy. And they all point to Jesus.
Why this Word of the Lord? Why was it chosen for this day? Blood. The writer to the Hebrews (9:22) tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Moses read God’s Word. The people said “Amen.” The blood was placed on the people.
Granted, this sounds…unpleasant. Yet, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. With the shedding of blood, there is the forgiveness of sins?
Why this Word of the Lord? Why was it chosen for this day? Eating and Drinking with the Lord Himself.
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of
This being Sheridan, Wyoming, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one of you might have a stock trailer behind your vehicle out in the parking lot. At the same time, I know for sure that you did not bring animals for burnt offerings or sacrificial offerings for the Lord. You know better. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. This is most certainly true, yet animal blood of goats and bulls and sheep and oxen is no longer required. We have a better sacrifice—one that never needs to be repeated ever again.
How does this text point to Jesus? He is the once-for-all-sacrifice for your sin and my sin. His Body and His Blood are given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sin. The blood of the covenant, the testament, the Lord has made with you is put on you. And tonight we eat and drink with the Lord Himself. He is the Host and we are His guests at His Passover, His Holy Supper, His Holy Communion.
When the Lord Jesus puts into your mouth His Body and His Blood, He connects Himself to you. You are in fellowship, in communion. You are united to Him in things you have in common: His Body and Blood and His forgiveness, life, and salvation. We are “bodied and blooded together” you could say. If we are all connected to Him, we are connected to one another.
Luther teaches, “that person is truly worthy and well prepared [for the Sacrament of the Altar] who has faith in these words: ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words ‘for you’ require all hearts to believe.”
The Lord has gathered us together on the anniversary of the night in which Jesus was betrayed. Our observance of Jesus’ passion continues tomorrow evening and Easter morning. There will be no Benediction tonight or tomorrow because the liturgy for these three holy days is all one service in three parts.
Divine Service is abbreviated tonight so that we may focus upon Jesus’ Words Instituting the Lord’s Supper. Tomorrow night, we will hear the Passion according to
Once again, the Lord’s servant proclaims the Word of the Lord. The people say “Amen.” And tonight, the blood is again placed on the people. Amen.
In the Name of Jesus Amen.