We Drink of the Cup
Rev. Kurt Lantz Midweek Lent 5 Christian Questions 18-20
April 06, 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.” We raise the cup to our lips in hearty agreement with all that He has said, and we drink.
Why do you wish to go to a wedding? At a wedding banquet, the toast is made and all rise to drink in celebration of the love and union of the bride and groom. Everyone is there to join in the happy occasion, not just to witness the happy couple, but also to be happy themselves. All want to look upon their love on that special day, and also to share in that love with them and with each other. Everyone is invited to eat and to drink and to celebrate and to dance.
A wedding reception is a chance to briefly live life the way it should be. People are eager to go because it provides a break from what their lives are like day after day after day. You get to dress up and focus on two people starting a new life together. They have an innocent love for each other not yet stained by a life of repeated sins, individually and against each other. They are starting out afresh, feeling like together they can conquer a world of hardship.
It is a day when everything is made to look perfect, innocent, and holy, decked in white with nothing out of place, giving the impression that all is pure and holy and no one, not even the devil, can spoil things, people are eager to participate in a celebration where they can ignore all thoughts of threat from the sinful flesh, the wicked world, and the devil which will soon enough be leaving their spots and stains on the marriage of the happy couple.
But when Jesus raises the cup and says, “This is My blood on the New Testament which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins” all of the things that we celebrate for a day at a wedding banquet, become ours for eternity. “18. Why do you wish to go to the Sacrament?” That I might not just celebrate the love of someone else for a day, but participate in the love of God for eternity. “That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbour.”
This is not just a day to celebrate a love in white that will soon be spotted and stained with sin and fade to an evermore dingy and dull pallor with age. The Lord’s Supper celebrates a love that originates with God Himself, a love that springs forth from a source without sin, that cleanses and purifies as He shares it with us and as we celebrate it with one another. It freshens and revives, rather than fades to die away. It renews and restores, flowing from the boundless love of Christ who gave Himself up for us, flowing from the pierced hands, feet, and side of the crucified and risen bridegroom.
This marriage feast of the Lamb, does not ignore the very real threat of our sinful flesh, the wicked world, and the devil in their never-ceasing effort to destroy our love for God and for one another. This is the heavenly banquet which conquers and destroys them and all of their effects on our lives together. As long as we live in this flesh, in this world, in the kingdom of the prince of this world, we can eagerly and frequently come to the table where these threats are overcome and bliss is restored, where the love of Christ in giving us His blood shed for the forgiveness of our sins is celebrated, given, and shared, that we might live even now in the everlasting joy, peace, and love of God. Drink it in.