THE EUCHARIST

excerpt from Bible Thumper by Burnham, et al.


[ While most Protestants believe the Last Supper was significant and often agree that communion is important, they don’t believe that Jesus literally meant He wanted us to eat His flesh and drink His blood. They argue that Jesus used many symbolisms about Himself - He called Himself a door, a vine, etc, And since eating human flesh is cannibalism, they argue that Jesus could not have been speaking literally in John 6. The Eucharist, however, is a unique and miraculous reality in which we consume the entirety of the living Christ - although his natural condition is veiled by the sacrament.  The Church has consistently understood Christ’s words to be literally referring to His true flesh and blood6 as is evident in the writings of early Church saints like Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Ambrose, and Cyril of Jerusalem. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council dogmatically defined the concept of transubstantiation: that while the outward appearances of bread and wine remain, their inward realities have become the living Christ. Because Jesus is truly present
— body, blood, soul, and divinity — we adore the Eucharist with profound reverence ] (1).

FORETOLD AND PREFIGURED
Ex 16:15 “This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.” (manna)
Mal 1:11 “everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, /and a pure offering”
John 6:32-60 (The Bread of Life discourse — Jesus refers back to the manna of OT)
(See also: Psalm 78:24f; Prov 9:2f; Wis 16:20)

INSTITUTED BY CHRIST
Mall 26:26 “Jesus took bread... giving it to his disciples... ‘this is my body.”
Mark 14:23-24 “he took a cup... ‘This is my blood of the covenant”
Luke 22:19 “said the blessing, broke it.. .do this in memory of me” 1 Cor 11:23-25 (St. Paul pens the earliest written account of institution of the Eucharist.)

CELEBRATED BY THE APOSTLES
Acts 2:42 “devoted themselves to the.. breaking of the bread and to the prayers.”
Acts 20:7 “first day of the week when we gathered to break bread”

CHRIST IS TRULY PRESENT
Mall 26:26 “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Mark 14:22,24 “this is my body This is my blood of the covenant”
Luke 22:19-20 “This is my body, which will be given for you.... new covenant in my blood”
John 6:51 “bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
John 6:55 “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
1 Cor 10:16 (In the Eucharist we participate in the Body and Blood of Christ.)
1 Cor 11:24 ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
(See also: Matt 26:27-28; John 6:27-33, 35, 48-71; 1 Cor 10:16-22, 11:27)

MUST BE WORTHILY RECEIVED
1 Cor 10:21 “cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the
table of demons.”
1 Cor 11:27 “whoever eats.. .or drinks the cap of the Lord unworthily will have to answer”
1 Cor 11:29 “who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself”

Sources:

1. Burnham et al., The Bible Thumper: Sacraments – The Eucharist, Ascension Press 2004

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