Summary: This sermon deals with the blessing Jesus gave to the bread and wine, and is part of a Lenten semon series.
Serm0800 Rev. Scott A. Bradford
3-9-08 Uvalde Matthew 26:26-29
Nancy and Terry seven year old granddaughter Natilee asked her mother “When am I going to be crucified?’ (She meant baptized). But a child’s insight goes deeper than we can ever see! What would it mean to give our life? What would it mean to give our body for the sake of others?
The argument about Communion in the UMC is always that it be “consecrated”, which means “the solemn dedication to a special purpose”. Forgetting the argument about who can consecrate, a whole different issue, is the issue that they be consecrated. Without “consecration” the elements are simply just bread, and just wine.
A part of the consecration, and a part of the Scriptural story of The Lord’s Supper is the aspect of “blessing”. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it…” What would the bread and wine be without blessing, but simply bread and wine!
To understand this, we again need to go back to the meanings of the word, like I did with the word Gethsemane last week. The Greek word here is “Eulogeo” (Strong’s #2127) (pron. yoo-log-eh-o) which might literally mean to invoke a blessing from God. The part I find interesting is this word contains a form of the word “Logos” (Logeo) which means “Word” and remember “The Word became flesh” and Eucharisteo, or from which we derive Eucharist, which means “to be grateful” (#2168). It is no wonder then, that early Holy Communion contained a Eucharistic prayer, or blessing over the meal. A blessing in which it is consecrated and set apart for a special purpose.
Interestingly enough, the Old English word for blessing was “Bletsian” which means “to bless or consecrate” but literally it meant (1) “to consecrate with blood”. (1 – New Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus). Remember then the old covenant required a “sprinkling of blood upon the altar” and now Jesus was literally consecrating; blessing his own blood to be the sacrifice.
In Hebrews 9:11-28 we read a wonderful discussion about the blood sacrifice. Jesus becomes the High Priest, the Mediator by which our sins are forgiven once and for all. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin”. We realize then in this blessing, Jesus took the bread and wine, symbols his ultimate sacrifice, and he invoked the Eucharisteo, the blessing of God that that it would be the means by which we are forgiven and then in turn inherit the Kingdom of God. He sets the testament 9the will) enforce by dieing and giving us the inheritance of eternal life. Can you imagine asking God to bless the giving up of your own life? Take my body and bless it! Take my blood, and give it the blestian that is to sprinkle it and cover the sins of many.
“ (2) Roland Allen tells about a veteran missionary…” The missionary told, "I was a medical missionary for many years in India. And I served in a region where there was progressive blindness. People were born with healthy vision, but there was something in that area that caused people to lose their sight as they matured."
But this missionary had developed a process which would arrest progressive blindness. So people came to him, and he performed his operation. They would leave realizing that they had been spared a life of blindness because of this missionary. He said that they never said, "Thank you," because that phrase was not in their dialect. Instead, they spoke a word that meant, "I will tell your name." Wherever they went, they would tell the name of the missionary who had cured their blindness. They had received something so wonderful that they eagerly proclaimed it.” (2 - “I Will Tell Your Name”, Melvin Newland, www.sermoncentral.com )
When we ask the blessing of God we do it in the name of Jesus! We do it in remembrance of Him! There is power in His Name!
Sing (tune of ‘O the Blood of Jesus, Celebration Hymnal, #333)
1. O the Name of Jesus (x3) There is power in the name.
2. “O’ the blood of Jesus (x3) It washes white as snow.”
3. Say the name of Jesus (x3) No other name I know
4. Bless the name of Jesus (x3) There’s power in the blood.
“There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.
Vs1: Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you over evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.