Part two of a teaching series on the Lord's Supper, focusing this week on the teaching of the "real presence" of Christ in the Supper. Based on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.
Questions and Answers about the Lord’s Supper 287. What does Christ give us in this sacrament? In this sacrament Christ gives us His own true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins. Matt. 26:26, 28.
288. How does the Bible make it clear that these words of Christ are not picture language? Christ’s words in the Sacrament must be taken at face value especially because A. these words are the words of a testament, and even an ordinary person’s last will and testament may not be changed once that person has died; 1 Cor. 11:25; Gal. 3:15. Note: Compare also Heb. 9:15-22 B. God’s Word clearly teaches that in the Sacrament the bread and wine are a communion or participation in the body and blood of Christ; 1 Cor. 10:16 C. God’s Word clearly teaches that those who misuse the Sacrament sin not against bread and wine but against Christ’s body and blood. 1 Cor. 11:27, 29.
289. What are the visible elements in the Sacrament? The visible elements are bread and wine. Matt. 26:26-27. Note: “The fruit of the vine” (Luke 22:18) in the Bible means wine, not grape juice. See also 1 Cor. 11:21
290. Do Christ’s body and blood in the Sacrament replace the bread and wine, so that the bread and wine are no longer there? No, bread and wine remain in the Sacrament. 1 Cor. 11:26
291. How then are the bread and wine in the Sacrament the body and blood of Christ? The bread and wine in the Sacrament are Christ’s body and blood by sacramental union. By the power of His word, Christ gives His body and blood in, with, and under the consecrated (blessed) bread and wine. 1 Cor. 10:16.
292. Do all communicants receive the body and blood in the Sacrament, whether or not they believe? Yes, because the Sacrament depends on Christ’s word, not on our faith. 1 Cor. 11:27. Note: All communicants should receive both parts of the Sacrament, since Christ said, “Take and eat; this is my body….Drink from it, all of you” (Matt. 26:26-27)
293. Are the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament sacrificed again to God for the sins of the living and the dead? No, the body and blood of Christ in the Sacrament are the one perfect sacrifice offered to God once and for all on the cross and are now distributed to us in the Sacrament together with all the blessings and benefits which this sacrifice has won for us. 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 10:14; Heb. 10:18. Note: We speak of the “Sacrament of the Altar” because an altar is a place of sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His body and blood on the cross for the sins of the world once and for all. In the Sacrament of the Altar, He distributes this same body and blood until the end of time.
294. What does Christ command when He says, “This do in remembrance of Me?” Christ commands in these words that His Sacrament be celebrated in the church till the end of time as a living proclamation and distribution of His saving death and all its blessings. 1 Cor. 11:26.
From Luther’s Small Catechism © 1986, 1991 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission. www.cph.org.