We Raise the Cup

March 30, 2022; Rev. Kurt A. Lantz
2021. Lamb of God.jpg

We Raise the Cup

 

Rev. Kurt Lantz Midweek Lent 4 Christian Questions 15-17

March 30, 2022 Resurrection Lutheran Church St. Catharines, ON

 

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.” He puts His own blood in the chalice, and all you have to do is drink it.

 

At a wedding reception, there may be many present who are simply eager to drink the champagne, and are not very much interested in what the father of bride has to say before he asks them to raise their glass. What does it mean when you raise the cup and drink in response to the toast of Christ? He said, “This is My blood.” When we raise the cup, we show our agreement with that. “13. Do you believe, then, that the body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament? Yes, I believe it.”

 

He said, “This is My blood... which is shed.” When you raise the cup, you acknowledge and confess this. “15. What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge? We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it in remembrance of Me.”

 

He said, “This is My blood... which is shed for you... for the forgiveness of sins.” When we raise this cup we confess that God became man; that He shed His blood in death; that He did this for us sinners. This is what Jesus stated when He raised the cup and made His toast, and when we raise the cup to our lips, we express our hearty agreement.

 

We remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood. We remember how He stood innocent before Pontius Pilate and willingly took the sentence of death upon Himself, not for any guilt of His own, but in order to bear our guilt and make full atonement for our sin. As the Son of God He is the only one who could do this for the sins of the whole world, for all of your sins. We remember that our sin required such a payment. Our salvation cost this much and Jesus was the only One able and the only One willing to pay it for us.

 

When we raise the cup we heartily, deeply, and reverently agree that our sins are so horrible that the only way we could be forgiven was for the Son of God, true God and man, to shed His blood and die. Those sins are that serious. And so our honour and praise of Christ is that reverent and deeply felt. With tears of joy, repentant joy as our Prayer of Thanksgiving describes it, the cup is lifted up and we passionately express our heartfelt agreement with all that the Lord Christ has said.

 

For His speech was an oral proclamation of His love for His bride, the Church, and for His heavenly Father, who arranged this marriage for our rescue and redemption. In declaring that the cup is the new testament in His blood, He makes a solemn covenant with those whom He loves. He binds Himself through His promise to us sinners, to feed us in order that we might be His holy and pure bride for eternity. When we raise the cup to our lips we proclaim His deep, broad, high and holy love for us, which is beyond all thought and imagination.