A Jagged Word


“But the proper, simple, and natural meaning of the words of institution teaches that Christ Himself is present with us in the celebration of the Supper with both His deity and His flesh, and that He comes to us in order to lay hold on us (Phil. 3:12) and join us to Himself as intimately as possible. This brings sweetest comfort. For Christ, both God and man, must lay hold on us in order that there may be a union between Him and us. But we, weighed down by the burden of sin and pressed under the weight of our infirmity, are not yet able to enter the secret places of heaven (Col. 2:18) and penetrate to Him in glory. He Himself therefore comes to us in order to lay hold upon us with that nature by which He is our Brother. And because our weakness in this life cannot bear the glory of His majesty (Matt. 7:12ff.; Acts 9:3ff.), therefore His body and blood are present, distributed, and received under the bread and wine. Nor does he will that we wander around the gates of heaven uncertain in which area of heaven we ought to look for Christ in His human nature or whether we can find Him; but in the Supper He Himself is present in the external celebration and shows by visible signs where He wills to be present with His body and blood, and there we may safely seek Him and surely find Him, for there He Himself through the ministry distributes His body and blood to the communicants. These most sweet and necessary comforts will be completely snatched away from us if the substantial presence, distribution, and reception of Christ’s body and blood are removed from the Supper”

– Martin Chemnitz, “The Lords Supper” (187-88)