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Page 464

How does the Lord's Supper convey a message "He for me," to the true participants?

    2. That as certainly as they eat the broken bread and drink the poured wine, so sure is the truth that God will spiritually feed, nourish, and strengthen their souls eternally.

"He for me," is the amazing message of the Lord's Supper. "Jesus Christ gave Himself for me," is the wonderful truth commemorated at the Lord's table. What sinner can ever fathom the depth of gracious love shown by God to rebellious sinners? To receive the signs and seals of the Savior's unceasing love, of His faithfulness despite the participant's unfaithfulness, serves as a fresh seal of Christ's abiding love and God's gospel promises to all true participants.

When instituting the Lord's Supper, "Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28).

The difficulty of interpreting these verses, that is, precisely how Jesus' body and blood are related to the bread and wine, led to divisions between the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, and to additional differences between three major Reformers -Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. These four differing views are as follows:

1.The Roman Catholic view: Christ's bodily presence in a physical change of the elements -The Roman Catholic church interpreted the words of Christ, "This is My body," and "This is my blood," literally. They taught, and still teach today, that a miraculous change of substance occurs. When the priest blesses the bread and wine, the bread changes into the physical body of Christ, and the wine changes into the actual blood of Christ. This belief is termed "transubstantiation" (literally, "change of substance"). While the bread and wine retain the physical appearance and qualities of bread and wine, they have actually changed into the physical body and blood of Christ. The substance of both change, even though their properties do not. Transubstantiation is the belief that underlies the Roman Catholic "mass" discussed later.


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