From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thoughts on Mark 14:22-24

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”  Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.           NKJV

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that when an ordained priest blesses the bread of the Lord’s Supper with the proper Latin phrase, it is transformed into the actual flesh of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of bread); and when he blesses the wine, it is transformed into the actual blood of Christ (though it retains the appearance, odor, and taste of wine).  This doctrine is known as transubstantiation and the Roman Catholic Church claims that since Jesus never used the word symbol in the taking of the Lord’s Supper, then His statements, “this is My body,” and “this is My blood,” must be taken literally.  Yet when Jesus said, “I am the door,” (John 10:9), no one interprets this literally, not even the Roman Catholic Church.  Jesus is obviously using the term “door” symbolically, emphasizing that He is the entry into salvation.  Likewise, when Jesus said, “I am the vine,” (John 15:1), no one, not even the Roman Catholic Church, claims that He is a literal vine.  Rather He uses the term “vine” symbolically, emphasizing that just as the vine provides life and nourishment to the leaves, so He provides spiritual life and nourishment to believers.  Again, in John 6:23, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.”  Not that He is literally a loaf of bread, but just as bread gives physical life, so Jesus gives spiritual life.

When Jesus said of the bread, “This is My body,” He was saying that the bread was a symbol or picture of His body.  And when He said of the cup, “This is My blood,” He was saying that the fruit of the vine was a symbol or picture of His blood. 

Not only is the doctrine of transubstantiation erroneous, it is a heresy that makes Jesus’ death ineffectual.  The Lord’s Supper or “Mass” as it is referred to by the Roman Catholic Church is viewed in Roman Catholicism as a “re-sacrifice” of Jesus Christ for sins that have been committed since the last “Mass”.  In other words, every time the “Mass” is taken, the priest is calling Christ down out of Heaven and crucifying Him all over again.  This is directly in contradiction to Scripture which declares that Jesus died one time for all our sins and does not need to be sacrificed again.  Hebrews 10:10 says that “. . . we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  Verse 12 of the same chapter adds, “But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”  Hebrews 6:1 rebukes those who “lay the foundation of repentance from dead works.” stating in verse 6 that “they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”  This is exactly what the Roman Catholic Mass does. 

In John 19:30, as Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished!”  The word “finished” literally means “completed” or “accomplished.”  In His one-time sacrifice, Jesus had done everything that needed to be done to procure the salvation of His people; nothing more needed to be done.  In Hebrews 10:14, the Scripture declares that “By one offering He (Jesus) has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (believers).  The word “perfected” is translated from the exact same Greek word that Jesus used from the cross—“finished.”  Jesus died one time on the cross to cleanse all of our sins forever.

When a person by faith receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his/her personal Savior, every sin that he/she ever has committed, or ever will commit, is forgiven; cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus (I John 1:7).  Have you repented of your sins and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?

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