Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bread and wine

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

This was part of the passage for our men's Bible study Tuesday and it struck me as significant. Jesus Himself, not merely a human priest, took the cup, blessed it, announced that "This is My blood" -- and immediately referred to it as "this fruit of the vine".

When Luther met Zwingli to debate the nature of the Lord's Supper, before he sat down he chalked the words Hoc Est Corpus Meum on the tablecloth before Him. And so it is -- but it's still bread, and the wine is still the fruit of the vine.

UPDATE: Ebeth sent along a couple of links to Roman Catholic apologetics blogs. First, I'd say thanks to Ebeth for reading, then taking the time to share his (or her) concerns. However, this being a blog from a historic Reformed perspective, Ebeth will understand why I'm not publicizing a Catholic defense of transubstation here. John Calvin's Short Treatise on the Lord's Supper (1541) lays out the Reformed position -- basically, that Christ is truly present in spirit, but with bread and wine unchanged in their physical substance. Christ is only received in the spirit, not in physical consumption of the bread, though the two occur at the same moment.

More resources ancient and modern are posted on Monergism: The Church on the Threshold, here.

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