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To "eat" his flesh and "drink" his blood means to appropriate the word by faith. Life is in the word. We partake of the Lord's table to remember his death and to declare it till he comes. Even though He did rise from the dead and we celebrate that too in communion. Eating TOGETHER is key in facilitating fellowship among the saints. All these are parts of appropriating the communion of the saints and HONOURING the Lord!
The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist has so many layers teaching that are prone to misinterpretation. I hope I can show you how to peel off these layers one by one: 1. Jesus is the Passover lamb. 2. Jesus tells us to eat his flesh. 3. The Lord's Supper, Calvary, and Eucharist are the same sacrifice. Jesus is the Passover lamb. Abraham tells Isaac, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and declared, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" The Passover lamb is an unblemished lamb, without broken bones. Pilate inspected Jesus and cried out, "I find no fault in him." John 19:36 records, "Not a bone of him shall be broken." Jesus tells us to eat his flesh. In John chapter 6, we heard Jesus preach a very difficult teaching: Eat me. He stresses this point four times: verse 35, 48, 51 and 53. Many of his disciples left, and when he turned to the 12, Peter steps forward with an answer of uncertainty yet trusting, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus took bread at the Last Supper and declared, "This is my body. Take and eat." You can imagine what is running in Peter's brain, "Oh Jesus, here you go again. We do not understand, but we believe you nonetheless. Amen." The Lord's Supper, Calvary, and Eucharist are the same sacrifice. A sacrifice has three components: the deity, the priest, and the victim. In this case we are dealing with the most perfect of all sacrifices: God the Son, offering God the Son to God the Father. In Calvary, God the Son, Jesus, offers himself, God the Son to God the Father. At the Last Supper, he does the same thing, he, God the Son, holds his body in his hands, breaks himself and offers himself to God the Father. In the Eucharistic celebration, the Church, as the Body of Christ offers the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, to God the Father. The Last Supper and the Eucharistic celebrations are not repetitions of Calvary, instead, they are the SAME sacrifice as Calvary because all three components, deity, priest and victim, are the same.
Much controversy exists over the Lord’s Supper from trying to use our rational minds over what Jesus has said to explain what takes place. Luke 22:19-20 states: And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. This same event using the same words is recorded in Matt, Mark and Corinthians. Jesus speaks to this in John 6:52-59 as well. I believe “is” means “is”. All of my life my evangelical friends have claimed “is” means “is not” but I see no language in any passage that suggest symbolism such as: this represents, this is a symbol of, this is the likeness of, this is not, this is similar to, this looks like, this can be thought of, etc. But my friends always insert these words into scripture. Jesus simply says “this is”. To clarify, I do not believe in transubstantiation, I believe as the writer to the Hebrews states in chapters 7 and 9 that Jesus was sacrificed once for all time. We accept many miraculous things in scripture at face value such as Balaam’s donkey speaking, God becoming flesh in the incarnation, the Red Sea parting, the 10 plagues in Egypt, people being healed by looking to a bronze snake on a pole, an axe head floating and dead people coming back to life. These things make no sense to our rational mind either so why should we doubt or explain away the unambiguous words of Jesus concerning His supper?
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