Meaning of the Meal
Confession: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 29, QA 78-79
Scripture: Matthew 26:26-29
Preacher: Rev. David Inks
- The Meaning of Christ’s Word
- The Meaning NOT Miraculous
- The Meaning of Sacraments
- The Meaning for Believers
The Heidelberg Catechism:
Q.78 Do the bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ?
A. No. Just as the water of baptism is not changed into Christ’s blood and does not itself wash away sins but is simply a divine sign and assurance of these things, so too the holy bread of the Lord’s Supper does not become the body of Christ itself, even though it is called the body of Christ in keeping with the nature and language of sacraments.
Q.79 Why then does Christ call the bread his body and the cup his blood, or the new covenant in his blood, and Paul use the words, a participation in Christ’s body and blood?
A. Christ has good reason for these words. He wants to teach us that just as bread and wine nourish the temporal life, so too his crucified body and poured-out blood are the true food and drink of our souls for eternal life. But more important, he wants to assure us, by this visible sign and pledge, that we, through the Holy Spirit’s work, share in his true body and blood as surely as our mouths receive these holy signs in his remembrance, and that all of his suffering and obedience are as definitely ours as if we personally had suffered and made satisfaction for our sins.
Matthew 26:26-29 (King James Version)
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
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