The Vintage in the Cup
Rev. Kurt Lantz Midweek Lent 3 Christian Questions 12-14
March 23, 2022 Resurrection Lutheran Church St. Catharines, ON
As Jesus took His cup and drew a draught of His own blood, He made a toast to sinners like us, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” It was not a celebratory glass of champagne. It was the cup filled with His own blood, a fitting vintage for the occasion.
“This is My blood.” It is as simple as that. You wouldn’t think there would be any room for misunderstanding. But, how is such a thing possible? That goes back to the Christian Questions we covered in Advent and on our first Wednesday evening the season of Lent. “7. Who is Christ? The Son of God, true God and man.” All depends on that fact, not just what is in the cup, but what the cup gives, the forgiveness of your sins. If this man is not the Son of God, then it is, well, not fruit-less but blood-less and saving-less. And then, what is the point?
It was the point of inquiry at His trial before the high priest. After floundering about with false witnesses, they got down to the point. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Are You, O man, the Son of God, true God and man? If You are not, it doesn’t really matter what You
say is in the cup or what You say it does. But if You are the Son of God, true God and man, then it is possible, it is true, it is Your blood that can give forgiveness of sins.
And what did Jesus Himself say when asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” He said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God’s power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” He boldly and plainly and clearly stated that He is the Christ, the Son of the Blessed, the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God. And so we confess, “7. Who is Christ? The Son of God, true God and man.” And so we confess what He says is in the cup. “13. Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament? Yes, I believe it. 14. What convinces you to believe this? The word of Christ: ...drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.”
Yes, it is the only vintage that will do: the blood of a man who is God, God’s blood, shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. It is the perfect pairing. The only thing that will go with our sins and cancel out their bitter acrid taste. It is the only solution that will dissolve the guilt and shame of our transgressions. We don’t need a sommelier to suggest anything different. We have the confession of Christ Himself: “I am... the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God’s power” and “This is new testament in My blood, shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
That is the point. He is true God and man. His blood is God’s blood. That blood is in the cup. In that cup is the blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Peter said he didn’t know the Man and he wept bitterly. We say we know who He is and what is in the cup, and for us that is a source of joy and peace. It is in the blood of the Son of God that our sins are forgiven. That is why Jesus took this cup, gave thanks, and gave it to us saying, “Drink of it, all of you.”