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The Heidelberg Catechism (28) (Explained for Children)

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The Heidelberg Catechism (28) (Explained for Children)

6 minuten leestijd

The next three Lord’s Days speak about the Holy Supper, the second sacrament.

Question 75: How art thou admonished and assured in the Lord’s Supper that thou art a partaker of that one sacrifice of Christ, accomplished on the cross, and of all His benefits?

Answer: Thus: That Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of Him, adding these promises: first, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me, and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup communicated to me; and further, that He feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, with His crucified body and shed blood, as assuredly as I receive from the hands of the minister, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, as certain signs of the body and blood of Christ.

In the Holy Supper the Lord says that the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross is for His children. He assures them of this. How does the Lord do so?

The answer tells us that Christ has commanded all believers (these are His children) to come to the Holy Supper. They eat the bread that is broken, and they drink of the wine in the cup. This they are to do in remembrance of Christ. In this way they are to think of Him and also of what He is promising. What is He promising?

The body of Christ was sacrificed on the cross for His people, and His blood was shed for them. That is really true; it is as certain as they see with their eyes the bread broken in pieces and the cup passed around. The bread is thus the sign of the body of Christ, and the wine the sign of His blood.

In the Holy Supper Christ says to His children: As certainly as you receive a piece of bread from My servant and may eat it with your mouth, so certain it is that your soul eats My crucified body in a spiritual way and by it is nourished to everlasting life. It is also the same with the wine which you drink; it is as certain that you receive My blood to drink in order to be nourished by it to everlasting life.

These expressions are difficult to understand, and therefore the following question is asked.

Question 76: What is it then to eat the crucified body, and drink the shed blood of Christ?

Answer: It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to obtain the pardon of sin and life eternal; but also, besides that, to become more and more united to His sacred body, by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us; so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are notwithstanding “flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone”; and that we live, and are governed forever by one spirit, as members of the same body are by one soul.

The question is asked what it means to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink His shed blood. It means to embrace all the sufferings and death of Christ with a believing heart, which can be done only if there is true faith in the heart. A child of God may then say that all that Christ has suffered has been done for me, and He has died for me. By the embracing of it in faith, God gives forgiveness of sin and eternal life. But more is meant. The Holy Ghost dwells in Christ and in His people. He shall therefore provide that God’s children are more and more united to the sacred body of Christ.

It is true that Christ is in heaven and that His children are still on earth. Yet it is really true that they are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. This signifies that so closely are Christ and His children united to each other, that it is as if Christ and they are one body. They are one with Him. In that one body (thus, in Christ and His children) dwells the Holy Ghost. Indeed, it is the same Spirit, the Holy Ghost, who dwells in Christ and in His children. It is through the Spirit that God’s children live, and by that Spirit they are governed. It is also the same Spirit who dwells in Christ!

Question 77: Where has Christ promised that He will as certainly feed and nourish believers with His body and blood, as they eat of this broken bread, and drink of this cup?

Answer: In the institution of the supper, which is thus expressed: “The Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood; this do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For, as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” This promise is repeated by the holy apostle Paul, where he says: “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, being many, are one bread and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

Thus Christ has promised that He would feed and nourish His believers, His children, with His body and blood. That is certain, just as certain as that they eat of the broken bread and drink of the cup. But where is this stated in the Bible?

You know what it is to feed; it means to give food to one that is hungry. To refresh means to give drink to one that is thirsty. But where is this in the Bible? You may read this in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, and it is quoted in the above answer. It is about hunger and thirst. A person who is hungry longs for bread, and a person who is thirsty longs for water. In the Bible a longing for the Lord is also called hungering and thirsting. Think only of Psalm 42.

The Lord will provide for those who long for Him. This is seen very clearly at the Holy Supper.

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 februari 2006

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

The Heidelberg Catechism (28) (Explained for Children)

Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 februari 2006

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken