"Thy body, given for me, O Savior, Thy blood which Thou for me didst shed. These are my life and strength forever, By them my hungry soul is fed. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood, Be for my soul the highest good!
"With Thee, Lord, I am now united; I live in Thee and Thou in me. No sorrow fills my soul, delighted, It finds its only joy in Thee. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood, Be for my soul the highest good!"
Thomas was not alone in his doubt. Upon seeing the risen Lord, the other disciples were "startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit" (Luke 24:37b). Jesus did not reject them because of their doubts. He provided the proof His followers needed, saying to the disciples, "See My hands and feet, that it is I Myself. Touch Me and see" (Luke 24:39a).
We too have our doubts. We know and believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. We trust His holy Word, but we are very aware of our sins. We know that we are forgiven, yet we still remember the guilt and shame. A brief review of the Ten Commandments reveals our guilt with mirror brightness. Have we loved someone or something more than God? Have we failed to love a neighbor as we love ourselves? With the psalmist we pray, "Declare me innocent from hidden faults" (Psalm 19:12b).
The crucified and risen Savior does not reject us because of our doubts and fears. He provides our weak and hungry souls with His forgiveness through the gift we celebrate in our hymn: "Thy body, given for me, O Savior, Thy blood which Thou for me didst shed." Jesus welcomes us to His table, where we hear the loving promise of His Word: "This is My body ... this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28). We want assurance that our sins are forgiven, and here it is, placed in our hands and mouths and hearts. It is forgiveness so real we can touch and taste it. This blessed meal is our "life and strength forever" and for our souls "the highest good."
In our hymn we rejoice, "With Thee, Lord, I am now united; I live in Thee and Thou in me." We are washed clean by Jesus' blood and our sins are removed forever from the sight of God. In the Sacrament of the Altar, Jesus gives us His body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. It is a miracle beyond our understanding, but we trust Jesus' Word and confess the awesome mystery of His presence. The risen Lord reassured His frightened and doubting disciples with the words, "It is I Myself. Touch Me and see." When fear overwhelms us and doubts arise, Jesus welcomes us to His holy Supper and with His Word assures us of His presence, "This is My body ... this is My blood."
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I praise You for the gracious gift of Your body and blood, given and shed for the forgiveness of my sins. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn "Thy Body, Given for Me, O Savior," which is number 619 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. If you were a first disciple of Jesus, would you have had to see His wounds before you believed?
2. How does God's Word reveal our "hidden faults"?
3. How does taking Communion strengthen our faith?
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