There is besides this command also a promise. This ought most strongly to stir us up and encourage us. For here stand the kind and precious words, "This is My body, which is given for you.This is My blood. shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." These words are not preached to wood and stone, but to me and you. Otherwise, Christ might just as well be silent and not institute a Sacrament. Therefore consider, and read yourself into this word you, so that He may not speak to you in vain.
Here He offers to us the entire treasure that He has brought for us from heaven. With the greatest kindness he invites us to receive it also in other places, like when He says in St. Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." It is surely a sin and a shame that He so cordially and faithfully summons and encourages us to receive our highest and greatest good, yet we act so distantly toward it. We permit so long a time to pass without partaking of the Sacrament that we grow quite cold and hardened, so that we have no longing or love for it. We must never think of the Sacrament as something harmful from which we had better flee, but as pure wholesome, comforting remedy that grants salvation and comfort. It will cure you and give you life both in soul and body. For where the soul has recovered, the body also is relieved. Why, then, do we act as if the Sacrament were poison? (paragraphs 64-68)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.