Posts tagged “Lord’s Supper

The flesh and blood of the incarnated Jesus

Posted on May 30th, 2017

Here are some excerpts from the first two centuries of the Christian Church on the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper: Ignatius [AD 30-107] If Jesus Christ shall graciously permit me through your prayers, and if it be His will, I shall, in a second little work which I will write to you, make further manifest to you [the nature of] the dispensation of which I have begun [to treat], with respect to the new man, Jesus Christ, in His faith and in His love, in His suffering and in His resurrection. Especially [will I do this] if the Lord make known to me that ye come together man by man in common through grace, individually, in one faith, and in Jesus Christ,…

Sermo Dei: Easter Monday 2015

Posted on April 8th, 2015

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Since the power of corruption entered the world, our entire race has been walking in sadness. Surely Adam wept as the blood of his son seeped into the earth. Surely Eve wept as her firstborn stormed off into exile. And our race has continued in sadness. Disciples of Jesus are not exempt. Sadness, suffering, even persecution awaits them. So many things will make us sad in this life: the struggles in the church for faithfulness and charity; the death of those we love; and the many times we have succumbed to the weakness of our fallen nature.…

Sermo Dei: Holy Thursday 2015

Posted on April 3rd, 2015

It is mere hours before His arrest. This is His last meal before His crucifixion, and Jesus knows it. What Jesus does at this time, therefore, must be the most important of all things that He could do. The Lord’s Supper is the fulfillment of Ps. 23, “Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” The Supper is instituted, and always remains, in the context of betrayal: of enemies, thorns, clubs and spears, crosses, death. So what does Jesus do, facing this bitter end? He picks up the bread. Not just any bread – the bread of the Passover, by which God once delivered His people from their enemies. And taking up the bread, Jesus gives thanks. How astounding is this!…

Christ in us by nature and substance

Posted on November 21st, 2014

In his great work That These Words of Christ, “This Is My Body,” etc., Still Stand Firm Against the Fanatics, the mature Luther speaks beautifully about the sacramental union effecting a real union (and not merely a metaphorical union or forensic identification) between Christ and the believer. In the section beginning on page 120 (AE 37), he focuses on St. Hilary of Poitiers, whom Luther calls one “of the ancient doctors and an excellent interpreter of Scripture.” Hilary writes, If the Word has truly become flesh, and we truly receive the Word which became flesh in the Lord’s food, how are we to believe that he does not dwell in us by his nature, he who, when he became man, has assumed the nature of…

He abides in us physically

Posted on November 14th, 2014

In his glorious work “This Is My Body,” Luther speaks about the forgiveness of sins being a great benefit of the Supper. In addition to this, there is what he calls the “bodily benefit,” a union with Christ that is both spiritual and physical. Christ “wills to be in us by nature,” says Luther, citing Hilary, “in both our soul and body, according to the word in John 6 [!], ‘He who eats me abides in me and I in him.’” If we eat him spiritually through the Word, he abides in us spiritually in our soul; if one eats him physically, he abides in us physically and we in him. As we eat him, he abides in us and we in him. For…

Sermo Dei: Holy Thursday 2014

Posted on April 17th, 2014

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and gave it to His disciples. And the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ immediately started an argument among themselves.   St. Luke tells us, “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.” (Luke 22:24 NKJV) After this, they slept instead of praying. Then, they fought, Peter cutting off a man’s ear. Then they ran.   But first, they argued. About who was greatest.   John tells us that Satan entered the heart of Judas. But Judas was not the only one inspired by Satan that night. For Satan’s work is not only in things provocatively, spectacularly evil. Satan’s work is…

Denying the Real Presence denies the Gospel

Posted on January 18th, 2014

This is what makes me so profoundly sad at the churches that reject Jesus’ plain words, “This is My body,” “This is my blood”: How can they believe anything in Holy Scripture? If Jesus is not to be believed at the most solemn moment of His ministry, then why should it be believed when Scripture says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” or, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,” or, “Your sins are forgiven you”? All the promises of God are called into question when this one is. Those who speak against our Lord’s clear Words do great violence not to the Sacrament alone, but to the entire Christian witness. Why should I believe, “Behold, I…

Mormonism and Reformed Christology

Posted on August 21st, 2013

In Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints (p37), Bill McKeever observes that Mormons reject the omnipresence of God. The God of Mormonism cannot be personally present everywhere because he dwells in a finite body. Brigham Young stated, “Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so.” According to Mormon theology, no member of the LDS godhead has the ability to be truly omnipresent. Said Apostle James Talmage: “It has been said, therefore, that God is everywhere present; but this does not mean that the actual person of any one member of the Godhead can be physically present in more than one place at one time.” One immediately thinks of the Reformed doctrine of the Lord’s Supper,…

Our Lord’s Gifts Are Not Garbage

Posted on August 16th, 2013

While still a seminary student, I was assisting in the distribution of Holy Communion when I heard a little girl say something jarring. “Daddy, can I throw that in the trash?” The church used disposable plastic cups at Communion, and there was a basket near the altar rail to deposit the used cups. It was a natural question for this little girl to ask. Children like to participate in what the adults are doing, and the ritual action of the Sacrament leads to curiosity. I cringed as I saw her eagerly chuck it upon the growing mound of plastic, still dripping with the Sacrament. That Cup was not garbage. It contains the very blood of Christ. In his Lectures on the Christian Sacraments, St. Cyril of Jerusalem…