What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," shows us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. (Small Catechism)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Have you ever ordered at the drive-thru and heard the crackling reply? You wonder what you're going to actually get to eat because you can’t even tell if the restaurant employee got your order right. On the other hand, when it comes to the Lord's Supper, we'll never be in doubt about what it is we're receiving and why we're receiving it. Jesus' words tell us and give us His gifts: “My body...given for you...My blood shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” No doubt there: It's the forgiveness of sins!
When your pastor speaks or chants those words of Jesus, you can be sure that's what you’re receiving and why you're receiving it. It's His. It's for you. It's body and blood. It's for forgiveness.
What good is eating that bread and wine? Well, it's good because it's the body and blood of Jesus! Its benefit is that it gives you forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. Ask yourself: Are you saved? Do you have eternal life? Are your sins forgiven? Answer? Yes! You have eaten and drunk Jesus' own body and blood. How can there be any doubt that you have those gifts?
On the cross, Jesus died for our sins. There He gave His life in our place so that none of our sinfulness or sins would keep us from the Father. There on the cross His blood spilled forth and into the chalice, the cup of Communion. Remember that. What Jesus does on Calvary comes to you in the Supper. What Jesus sheds on the cross is given you to drink in the Sacrament of the Altar. What Jesus accomplishes by His death and resurrection is all yours when you eat and drink Him! Just like the Israelites killed and ate the lamb and were protected from the Angel of Death, when you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Lamb of God, Death has no power over you. Your sins are forgiven. You have everlasting life. That is your salvation. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Give us, who share this wondrous food, Your body broken and Your blood, The grateful peace of sins forgiv'n, The certain joys of heirs of heav'n. (LSB 623:2)