In Preparation for the 5th Sunday in Lent 2018

“This is the new testament in my blood.”

We hear that all the time, but what are we talking about? I wanted to take a second to think about that since we hear it every week when we receive the Lord’s Supper. And because this week’s Old Testament lesson points us to those words.

Perhaps you’ve noticed at times that I say, “This is the new covenant in my blood,” while Pastor Troup says, “This is the new testament in my blood,” during the words of institution. The word on the page is actually “testament,” but I say covenant because I know many times people hear the word “testament” and have no idea what’s being said. Plus we’re so used to hearing about God’s covenants, that to hear “the new covenant” can tend to connect Scripture more in our minds.

The original Greek Word can be translated as covenant, will, or testament so one word is not better than another, but the variation can often get our minds to think about what we’re doing and how it connects to the history of God’s promises to his people rather than just saying the words without faith in them.

Here are the English dictionary definitions of “testament”:

  1. a person’s will, especially the part relating to personal property.
  2. something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality.

Here’s the dictionary definition of “covenant”:

  1. an agreement.

Both have to do with an agreement. Both have to do with the will or desire of the individual making the agreement, but on weeks like this, I like that word covenant even more. Take a look at the lesson from Jeremiah 31 and you’ll see why. You’ll see that God used Jeremiah, all of those centuries before, to point ahead toward Christ’s new covenant, God’s testament to the people for their salvation. That promise is what divides the Holy Scriptures. The Old Covenant and the New Covenant…the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s promise to His people of old and now the fulfillment of that promise coupled with the new covenant which is in Christ’s blood shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.

God’s promise still holds true and he still delivers his forgiveness to you through his body and blood in the bread and wine. How does that work? How can that be? We can’t comprehend God’s glory. What we can do is to study His Word, proclaiming what His Word says and continue trusting His promise this is Christ’s body and blood “given and shed for you.”

This weekend Rev. Duane Maas from POBLO will be preaching. Rev. Maas will be accompanied by former Muslims who are now missionaries of the Lutheran Church. They will give a presentation to Pastor Troup’s adult Bible study about their lives, mission work, and how we can pray for and support them as they continue sharing God’s Word.

Take a look at the service info below. If you have questions, want to chat, or anything like that be sure to let me know.

Blessings on your day!

In Christ,

Pastor Merritt


Take a few minutes to look through this weekend’s Service Folder so you can meditate on the prayers, readings, hymns, and so on in preparation for our time together this weekend.

You can also dig deeper into the Liturgy with this segment from Issues, Etc.

LCMS Summary of the Lectionary Readings:

In the Holy Sacraments, We Share the Glory of the Cross of Christ

Jesus catechizes His disciples in the way of the cross, revealing that He will be condemned and put to death “and after three days he will rise” (Mark 10:33–34). But the Twelve do not understand. Instead, they argue among themselves about who will be the greatest, with James and John requesting the places of honor on either side of Jesus in His glory. However, Jesus has come to make Himself the “slave of all” and “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43–45). He shares the true glory of His cross with all who are baptized with His Baptism and with those who drink His cup of salvation, the New Testament in His blood (Mark 10:39). By these Holy Sacraments, the Lord makes Himself known to all His people, forgiving their sins “from the least of them to the greatest” (Jer. 31:33–34). Though He is the very Son of God, “he learned obedience through what he suffered” and so became our great High Priest, that we may enter His glory by the way of His sacrifice (Heb. 5:8–10).


If you weren’t able to join together with the body of Christ in prayer and praise last week, you can catch up now.