This is my body – Matthew 26:26

What did Jesus mean when he said, “This is my body … this is my blood”? This video discusses the ways different denominations understand Communion, the Lord’s Supper. You can watch the video here.

This evening we talked about how Christians in different denominations understand Communion, or the Lord's Supper, and what Jesus meant when he said, "This is my body."

Gepostet von Peter Thomas am Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2020

Here are the words which are displayed in the presentation.

“This is my body” (Matthew 26:26)
How do Christians understand communion?

Matthew 26 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

1 Corinthians 11 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The Roman Catholic Church
“In the Roman Catholic Church we use the word Mass when we gather to worship. The Mass (from the Latin mittere which means “being sent”) is made up of two principal parts.
1. The Liturgy of the Word … In this first part of the Mass the community feeds on the living Word of God.
2. The Liturgy of the Eucharist. Bread and wine are brought to the altar. In the Eucharistic prayer we believe that the bread and wine is changed and becomes the Body and the Blood of Christ. In communion we are fed on the Body and Blood of Christ, we share the life of Christ. The Mass ends with the ancient dismissal: in Christ you are one, go out and live that reality in your daily life.”

“High Church” Anglicans
“We believe Christ to be truly present in the bread and wine that have been consecrated, which become his body and blood. We tend to use the names Mass and Eucharist most, although, some use Holy Communion. Mass emphasises the missionary aspect of being sent out into the world; Eucharist emphasises the aspect of thanksgiving. We use the language of sacrifice because we believe the Eucharist unites us in a profound and mysterious way both to the last supper and to Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. The priest acts in the person of Christ to offer this once-and-for-all sacrifice to the Father together with the gathered people who make up the body of Christ in that place.”

Evangelical Anglican Churches
“As a command of Jesus, celebrating Holy Communion has a high priority and significance in Anglican churches. Presiding at communion is reserved to those who have been especially ordained for that role and sharing in communion is usually reserved to those who have made an adult profession of faith. We continue to puzzle over the precise meaning of Christ’s words “this is my body…this is my blood”. Opinions range widely, but it would rarely be seen as ‘just’ a visual aid to remembrance of his self-offering. Most Anglicans would believe that Christ is present with his people in a special way when we receive the bread and wine.”

Methodist Churches
“In Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, the Church responds to Christ’s command, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). Thus the Church celebrates the presence of Christ in its midst, recalls his sacrifice and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, is united with him as the Body of Christ. The bread and wine serve as tokens of his dying love, food for our earthly pilgrimage, and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. We are empowered for mission: apostles, sent out in the power of the Spirit, to live and work to God’s praise and glory.”

What happens to the bread and the wine?
Is what sense is Christ really present in the elements?

Transubstantiation – the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.
Idea – Early Fathers to Augustine 4th Century. Actual word – 11th Century

Consubstantiation – the body and blood of Christ are present “in and under” the physical elements.
Martin Luther “sacramental union” 16th Century

Tokens or symbols
Ulrich Zwingli – Zurich 16th Century

The role of the priest “consecrating” the elements.
Any Christian is allowed to preside, breaking the bread

The Baptist understanding – a MEMORIAL meal
“Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24f)

Symbolism – the bread and wine are only symbols.
Jesus often used parables and symbolic rather than literal language. e.g. the “I am” sayings

Christ is truly present, but in the fellowship of the Christians who are celebrating, not in the elements.
1 Corinthians 10 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

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