February 19, 2009 - Thursday of Sexagesima

Daily Lectionary: Job 14:1-22; John 6:41-59

"Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Some food, they say, will really add the pounds. Some foods, they say, will help you prevent cancer. Some foods, they say, will cause you to break out in pimples. Some foods, they say, will fill your bodies with toxins. Some foods, they say, will give you a long and healthy life. But only one food will raise you up on the Last Day! That's Jesus' flesh and blood.

Why do you go to the Sacrament of the Altar? What is there for you? Sure, it's the body and blood of Jesus. But why do we need to eat it? Because by that flesh and blood, Jesus will raise us up on the Last Day. Only the body of the One who defeated death can do that!

We ate the fruit from the tree. That brought death into the world. Death, decay, wasting away. Like Isaiah says, it's a bed of maggots and a blanket of worms! (Is. 14:11).

But the food of Jesus—Himself--overturns that curse. It raises us up because it forgives our sins. Jesus died. Then He rose again from the dead. That means that to eat His body and drink His blood is the way in which He lives in us and raises us up on the Last Day. How do you know you'll be raised up on the Last Day? The body and blood of Jesus say so. Why do we believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting? Because Jesus says that eating his flesh and drinking His blood gives that to us.

Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Altar, is a most precious treasure. You can never partake of it too often. It is Christ's own promise to be with you, to live in you, and to give you eternal life when He raises you from the dead on the Last Day. Against such a gift, the Devil, the world and the flesh have no power.

The next time you eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood in the Sacrament, remember, He's going to raise you up on the Last Day! That's His promise. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

The veil is torn, our Priest we see, As at the rail on bended knee Our hungry mouths from Him receive The bread of immortality. (LSB 624:5)