His Body Into Your Mouth; His Blood Into The Dust Of Your Flesh

Painting by Stephen Dawson
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Son of God came to be with us in the incarnation, being born of the Virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem.
The Son of God left us when He bowed His head on the cross and said,
“It is finished.”
The Son of God came to be with us, for death and the grave could not hold Him down. He was resurrected.
The Son of God left us forty days after the resurrection when He ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. 
He came, He left, He came, and He left. 
We are now forced to ask,
“Are we now alone?” 
No, we are not.
“When Christ had arisen from the dead and was just on the point of going into heaven, as He parted from His own He comforted them once more with the assurance, ‘Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”[1]
This is comforting for us to hear.  He will be with us to the end of the age.  That is certain.
Indeed, Christ is not some religious founder who only gives a bunch of theories, ideas, and inspirational bumper sticker slogans, dies, and then leaves nothing more than a bunch of philosophies.  Furthermore, Jesus is not like a jolly good ol’ fellow that only exists in our midst when we remember him.  He is not dependent upon the strength of the fond memories passed down from generation to generation.  He also is not some iconic figure that exists in our midst through statues and monuments erected to exert his ongoing presence in our midst.[2] 
Jesus Christ and His church are really different from the rest of the creation and the rest of the great leaders and teachers of the world.  Yes, “the Christian Church differs from all other religious organizations in that she has not only the teachings of her founder, but she [also] has the founder Himself in her midst.  Her Savior, her Redeemer, her helper, her protector is not absent from her but is really and truly present at all times and in all places.  This is the highest, sweetest, most blessed, and greatest comfort that the Christian Church has.”[3]
The Evil One and the World attack this reality though.  The World is convinced that we are on our own, left to fend for ourselves, and the Evil One will do everything possible to strip you of the Lord’s ever present comfort.  Satan will attempt to convince you that you do not have Jesus, that Christ is no longer with His church, and that all we have is a faint mere memory of Jesus. 
Thankfully, Jesus and this Gospel are more than a philosophy or an ideology, for if Jesus and His Gospel were only a religious idea, you and I would only have Christ’s Gospel as long as we could keep it in our mind, so that it could give us comfort. 
Very much, Christ is not some floaty and intangible Lord off in the distance or some dusty memory, but He is the ever present Lord for you, His Church. 
But if He is ever present, where shall you look to find Him? 
Should you look in the deep caverns of your hearts? 

No, we do not look to our hearts, for all that we will find in our hearts are layers upon layers of sin.

Should you look upward to the heavens and construct a spiritual ladder to find Jesus and put Him in your midst?

No, we cannot climb high enough.

Should you construct a time machine and transport yourself to 32 AD to have Jesus in your midst?

No, our Lord is not back there today.  He is no longer on the cross.  He is no longer in the grave.  Yes, at the cross forgiveness was won for you, but there it was not given out. 

So where should one look to find Jesus, for He is truly in our midst?  Where can one find the comfort of forgiveness and His abiding presence?  Dear friends, look no further, He is here with you tonight.


He is here in your midst.  Our Lord is here having His word spoken to you.  The Lord is here with you in the bread and the wine, His holy meal that He instituted that Maundy Thursday two-thousand years ago for you. 

Painting by Stephen Dawson
Forgiveness, the Lord’s abiding presence, and comfort are all here in your midst.  No need to look inward, backwards, forwards, or upward!  Here before you, the Lord delivers Himself in the bread and the wine, for He is truly present in this Holy Meal.  “In the Lord’s Supper Christ gives [you] the consecrated bread with the words, ‘Take and eat, this is My body which is given for you,’ and the consecrated cup with the words, ‘Take and drink, this is My blood which is shed for the forgiveness of your sins.’  With these words the Savior clearly wishes to say: ‘Take My body and eat it, not as food for your body but as that body which was given into death for your sins; take My blood and drink it, but not as drink for your body but as that blood of the reconciliation which was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins.’”[4]

In the Lord’s Supper, “Christ takes ordinary bread and wine, ordinary earthly things, and uses them to give Himself to us. Completely to us. Nothing of Himself held back from us. ‘Here I am,” He says, “given FOR YOU.’”[5]

Blessed Saints, tonight we remember that we are not only washed clean, body and soul, through Holy Baptism in His name, but the Lord also is present in our midst giving us “His body into [our mouths] and His blood into the dust of your flesh.  And thereby you are transformed, changed from a lowly son of the dust to an adopted son of God most high.  Every natural food we take into our bodies is transformed into our bodies.  Only the supper of our Lord [though] is different, for this food transforms you into that which it is.  You, the Church, are the body of Christ and the blood of Christ.  When you [eat and drink, Christ goes into your bellies and] you assume [Jesus’] rightful place on the Father’s heavenly throne.”[6]
“Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you.  Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”[7]
Tonight, these words are for you and they testify that Jesus is not a mere memory or an abstract idea, but is with you and for you.  He is with you always, to the end of the age.  He invites you to His Table, so that what was finished at Calvary and given over might be received with certainty by you.  Take, eat; Drink of it, all of you, this is how much He loves you. 

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

[1] C.F.W. Walther, Gospel Sermons: Volume 1 (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2013), 215.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid, 217.
[5] Donavon Riley, “Midweek Lent VI, Lord’s Supper Meditation 5” https://thefirstpremise.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/midweek-lent-vi-lords-supper-meditation-5/ (1 April 2015).
[6] Chad L. Bird, Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons (Copyright 2014), 175.
[7] The Lutheran Service Book (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), 197.

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