There is "The Simple Word" of God, the "Means of Grace" that the Holy Spirit speaks into our souls to bring us to faith (believing the words and promises of God).
There is the "Wet Word," the "Means of Grace" that God pours over us, mixing His own name into the water, so we can have the name of God named over us, along with every word and promise that comes with His name.
And there is the "Tasty Word." In the Lord's Supper Jesus puts His words into the bread and wine. Right there at the center of the Supper are the words of Jesus. They give exactly what they promise, "forgiveness of sins." When Jesus speaks His word, this Supper is the feast of salvation.
The Bible says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8)
And it says, "On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast ... He will swallow up death forever ..." (Isaiah 25:6-9)
And we sing, "This is the Feast of victory for our God ..."
This is the Supper of Salvation. When you put it together with Baptism and the Simple Word you find something. God has arranged it so we experience salvation with all our senses. We hear the Word of God. We feel the splash of the water. We see the printed word. We taste the bread and we smell the wine. Every one of the senses are involved.
We are invited to a feast; and the background of the Lord's Supper is a feast. It was the Feast of the Passover with the blood of the lamb marking the doors and the next morning heading out of Egypt. It is a celebration of freedom.
The celebration surrounds us, and the joy fills our soul. Jesus calls us to His Supper, and this meal fills the senses. He feeds us with the bread of heaven and the wine of joy. We are invited. But here is the best part. Together with bread and wine Jesus says, "Take, eat, this is My Body" and "My Blood shed for you for forgiveness." He gives us Himself. On the tongue? To eat and drink? Just how close does He want to be?
- Back in the Garden of Eden, God promised that He would send salvation. Sending salvation might be enough for some, but not for God.
- So God spoke the prophecies. He would not just send salvation; He Himself would bring it into our world. And bringing salvation certainly would be enough for some, but not for God!
- So God spoke more promises. He would not just bring salvation; God Himself would be born into our human race. The virgin would conceive and bear a child and would call His name "Immanuel," God-with-us. (Isaiah 7:14) He came so close to us that He became one of us. That certainly should have been enough, but not for God.
- Jesus came to bear our burdens and carry our sorrows. (Isaiah 53:4) He went to the tomb of Lazarus and shared the grief we feel. "Jesus wept." (John 11:35) And then Jesus went to carry our sins, take them as His own on the cross, and set us free. He shared the very worst part of us. And that certainly should have been coming close enough to us! But not for God!
- He died! He shared the punishment, the execution, the soul being wrenched away from the body! He shared the judgment and the wrath of God pounding down on sinners. (Mark 15:34) Exactly how close does He want to be to you and to me?
Here comes the sweet part:
How close does Jesus want to be with us? After taking all our sin and death on Himself, Jesus gives us His life!
It was not enough for Jesus to purchase and win us. He has decided to share with us His life, eternal, glorious and full of blessing. Jesus says, "Because I live you also will live." (John 14:19) Jesus shares His kingdom, and promises to transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. (Philippians 3:21) Certainly that is enough! How can there be any more closeness with Jesus?
But there in the Lord's Supper what happens? Jesus takes His own "risen-from-the-dead" body and He puts it on your tongue. He makes you of one body with God who has come into the world. And Jesus takes His "shed-for-you-for-the-forgiveness-of-sins" blood, and He gives it to you to drink; to taste and see that the Lord is good; to swallow forgiveness and have forgiveness become part of your physical being. There in the eating and drinking is the promise, "When He appears we shall be like Him". (1 John 3:2)
It is the "Tasty Word." Jesus puts His word and Himself into this Supper, "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." Whoever believes these words has what the say, exactly as they read, namely "forgiveness of sins." (Small Catechism, Lord's Supper Question 3)
Indeed this is the Feast of Salvation, the meal that gives, renews, and strengthens faith. With Jesus' words and promises, "who shall separate us from the love of God? ... neither ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... nor ... will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our lord." (Romans 8:35-39)
Lord Jesus, thank You for this meal, this amazing Supper. You give Yourself! Your body and blood! To feed me; to join Yourself to me; and to carry me into all the blessings You have! How this can be I leave to You. How I can receive such blessings I cannot conceive. But it is Your will to bless, to connect me to You, and to give me an eternity of blessings. Thank You, my Savior and Friend. Let me love You forever; and let me tell of Your love through my life and words. Amen.