Question 75: How does the holy supper remind and assure you that you share in Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross and in all His benefits?
In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup in remembrance of Him. With this command come these promises (1):
First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup shared with me, so surely His body was offered and broken for me and His blood poured out for me on the cross.
Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of the one who serves, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood, so surely He nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life with His crucified body and poured-out blood.
1 – Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-25
Question 76: What does it mean to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink His poured-out blood?
It means to accept with a believing heart the entire suffering and death of Christ and thereby to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life (1).
But it means more. Through the Holy Spirit, who lives both in Christ and in us, we are united more and more to Christ’s blessed body (2). And so, although He is in heaven (3) and we are on earth, we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone (4). And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit, as the members of our body are by one soul (5).
1 – John 6:35, 40, 50-54
2 – John 6:55-56; 1 Cor. 12:13
3 – Acts 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 11:26; Col. 3:1
4 – 1 Cor. 6:15-17; Eph. 5:29-30; 1 John 4:13
5 – John 6:56-58; 15:1-6; Eph. 4:15-16; 1 John 3:24
Question 77: Where does Christ promise to nourish and refresh believers with His body and blood as surely as they eat this broken bread and drink this cup?
In the institution of the Lord’s Supper:
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” (1)
This promise is repeated by Paul in these words:
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” (2)
1 – 1 Cor. 11:23-26
2 – 1 Cor. 10:16-17