Why I reject the false belief of Transubstantiation in Communion.
The doctrine of Transubstantiation is the belief that the elements of the Lord’s table (bread and wine) supernaturally transform into the body and blood of Christ during the Mass. This is uniquely held by Roman Catholics but some form of a “Real Presence” view is held by Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and some Anglicans.
This is all stemming from Christ’s teaching in John chapter 6 –
- John 6:53-59) “*Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
It’s a remembrance of the Lord, not a giving of Himself again. His Words are life, His Words are the Bread of Life, His Blood is the forgiveness of sins, it’s placing one’s faith in these things and not the ritualizing of this remembrance because again this falls under a maintenance and becomes a form of works and not a placing of one’s faith. It’s seeking a sign of this and not using it as a symbolic remembrance as Christ intended. Through this they are Crucifying and killing the Lord again in this act.
- Hebrews 6:6) “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.“
Christ died once, the shame of His suffering was once, He gave Himself only once, and “It is finished” means what comes next is faith in Him because the sacrifice of the Lamb is done and over.
- Matthew 26:26-28) “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. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.“
Christ gave the cup and the bread and used the metaphor of the wine being His blood and the bread His body, symbolizing the shed blood and broken flesh of the Cross upon the these communion items. He didn’t bleed into the cup and tell them to drink it and then to cannibalize His flesh, this ideology of Transubstantiation is just an overly literal interpretation of the metaphors that Christ was giving.
- John 6:63) “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life“
So why do so many misunderstand and take this literal that Transubstantiation is true?
The same reason why so many of the followers of Christ in John 6 misunderstood and misinterpreted Christ’s teaching on this.
- John 6:59-60) “These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?“
- John 6:66-69) “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The problem is that they do not have the Holy Spirit giving them the understanding of Christ’s words and teaching, only the Spirit of God gives enlightenment and as we see in John 6 only the 12 remained because they believed Him and understood.
Communion is a remembrance in the symbolic nature of it, not a crucifying of Christ afresh.