The prophet Moses tells us that he told "all the words of the Lord and all the just decrees" to the people of God.
We know about that, don't we?
After Jesus died and rose again, He sent out His disciples, saying, "Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to hold to ALL that I have commanded you."
As the people of the Old Covenant heard all the words of the Lord, so we've been going over the words of the New Testament in Christ's Blood!
And you've been saying "Amen" to them.
When Moses had finished telling all the people all the words of the Lord, "all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.'"
We spoke like that at our confirmations, didn’t we - the way that PETER did and all the rest the night when Jesus was betrayed - arrested - abandoned - denied by Peter.
Learn repentance, Dearly Beloved of God!
Israel wasn't lying when they said that they'd do all the Lord had spoken. Yet, they didn't.
Do you know what the word PASSION means? As in the PASSION of the Christ?
Passion comes from a language foreign to us meaning SUFFERING. Young married couples easily commit to doing all the Lord requires of them, when they are consumed by romance.
Then, when God wants to teach them how to die to self and live for one another, how to consider the other person better - when the Lord would teach a husband how to stoop in service to his wife, as Jesus loved the Church and gave His life up for her … then love starts feeling like a lot of suffering. Like a cross
When the Lord would teach a wife to be like Israel, saying, "I will do all that the Lord requires," love starts feeling like a lot of suffering, too. Like a cross.
Israel promised. Peter vowed. We were confirmed and truly meant it that we renounce the devil, and all his works and all his ways, and hold fast to ALL the Lord commanded, preferring even to die than to be separated from His Word and Sacraments.
Then Israel faltered. Peter denied the Lord three times.
You and me? We, too, have faltered. We, too, have denied the Lord at times.
That should make us tremble! ...
Only, remember that you have a Savior Who was not afraid to love you, even when it meant a Bitter Cup of Suffering.
Tonight, we hear how oxen were sacrificed for Israel.
In the New Covenant, the Lamb of God was sacrificed for all. The Lord laid down His life for you, and took it up again.
We heard that Moses took the blood of oxen. Half he threw against the altar. The rest he threw on the people, saying, "Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you."
Then, Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu - who would later forget the Lord's Words and die - these and 70 elders of Israel went up on the mountain. And the Lord did NOT destroy them!
THAT is amazing!
The Lord knew Moses would strike the rock. He knew Aaron would grumble. But the Lord did not lay His hands on them THAT day. Instead, they saw God and they ate and drank. Amazing!
God covered the sins of His people with the blood that pointed to an even BETTER blood than bulls and goats and oxen. It pointed to the blood of Jesus. With that Blood, God covers you!
Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. But they already had been baptized.
Christ has already done more than take some dirty feet into His hands. He has taken your SINS into His hands and died for them. He has done more than wash your feet. He has bathed you in Holy Baptism for the forgiveness of your sins.
Now, as you come with your sins, your faults and failings, your secret lusts and fleeting love, repent and trust that Jesus forgives you.
Then, through God's forgiveness in Christ Jesus - do the amazing thing. Come before the Lord on His Most Gracious Throne, His Altar, this Table, and eat and drink!
This bread is the very Body of Jesus, given into death for you. This cup is the very Blood of the New Testament, poured out on a cross for your salvation.
Jesus stooped beneath the weight of all God's wrath against you and your sin, so now, God never has to lay a hand on YOU because He's laid His hand on Jesus.
Instead, He lays the Blood of Jesus in your mouth with wine, and His Body on your tongue in bread.
He calls you washed and clean, and with one voice, you say "Amen" to the ALL the Words of His New Testament.
Put away your fears, your anger, your sin. Lay it all into His hands as Jesus lays Himself into your mouth. And from HIS service to you, rise and serve each other - in Love.
In Jesus' Name, Amen