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Question 283

Is Jesus Christ really present in the Eucharist?

 

Answer to Question 283

 

In accordance with the New Testament and to what Apostolic Christianity has always taught and believed, Holy Communion is Jesus Christ, just as he literally said it was. Holy Communion, the Blessed Eucharist, is the actual Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, because that is what Christ said it was: “This is my body... This is my blood” ( Matt. 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; Mark 14:22-24) and that is what Christ said we must receive in order to have eternal life: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you” ( John 6:48-52; 54-56); and because that is what the Apostles believed: “Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” ( 1 Cor. 11:27-29).

 

Protestants do not believe that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but are simply symbols and types which represent Christ’s body and blood. But Christ said “This is my blood” and not this is symbolic, or a type of my blood. Of course our eyes see bread and wine and our tongue senses the taste of bread and wine, but things are not as they appear. From the moment the Holy Spirit descended and the Sacrament was perfected, we no longer have that which we see with our eyes or taste with our tongue. We have that which we believe, worship and adore. We have the very Body and Blood of our Christ who communicates to us life and incorruptibility.

 

Orthodox Christians believe that Holy Communion is the actual Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ (under the appearance of bread and wine) because this is what Christ has told us and because that is what all Christians believed up to the Renaissance era. Even the first Protestants believed this. It was only latter day Protestants, specifically the Ana-Baptist sect that denied the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist. To believe it is merely symbolic is to embrace the gospel of the Ana-Baptists and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole of Orthodox Christianity including the first Protestants.