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Summary: It’s important to focus on the blood of Jesus, but why? We’re supposed to remember why it was necessary. Why did it have to happen? What did it accomplish? And how do we fit into this picture as individuals, 2,000 years later.

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Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

TCF Maundy Thursday Sermon

March 20, 2008

Luke 22:14-20 (NIV) 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God." After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, "Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Tonight, in preparation for us doing what Jesus instructed on this night we just read about, doing what He did with his apostles, taking the bread which represents His body given for us, taking the cup which represents the new covenant in His blood, and remembering Him as we do it, let’s ponder some things about what He said to those gathered there.

Jesus told us to remember. Let’s think for a moment this evening, just what are we remembering? Is it the upper room? Is it what one account of that night speaks of – Jesus washing His disciples’ feet? Is it what they ate or drank?

Is it just His body and His blood? If so, what is it about these things we are to remember? And why did this new covenant with God, made through Jesus, the Son of God, the Word become flesh, why did this covenant require blood?

All these things are important to remember – but I think the primary thing we are supposed to remember is the sacrifice, and why it had to happen the way it did. That’s what I believe we’re supposed to remember tonight. Not simply the events of that Passover meal that Jesus shared with the men who were closest to Him. Not even just His body and His blood given for us.

We’re supposed to remember why it was necessary.

Why? Why did it have to happen? What did it accomplish? And how do we fit into this picture as individuals, 2,000 years later. Paul tells us in:

Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) 7 In him (that is, in Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Let’s start this evening by reviewing the words to the hymn we just sang:

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow

That makes me white as snow;

No other fount I know,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

For my cleansing this my plea,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Naught of good that I have done,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus,

Now by this I’ll reach my home—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus,

All my praise for this I bring—

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

I’ve had this hymn keep coming back to me in the past few weeks as I’ve been thinking about this evening’s message. I’ve also thought about how vital to life blood is – as I sat with my dad as he had a transfusion of blood a few weeks ago.

There are some great theological truths here in this hymn that are very appropriate to ponder on this Maundy Thursday, the night we remember what Jesus asked us to remember. And I think the first thing we have to remember is that it took Jesus’ blood to wash away our sins. Nothing else would do – nothing else would work – nothing else was good enough.

As we read in Ephesians 1 a moment ago – we have redemption – we have forgiveness of sins, and in this, we experience the riches of God’s grace. But this grace came at a price – not for us, but for Jesus, and for God the Father. As the song we sometimes sing says, “We’ll never know how much it cost to see our sins upon that cross.”

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