Lord's Supper - Sign and Seal

The Heidelberg Catechism
Question 76:
What does it mean to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink His poured out blood?
Answer: It means to accept with a believing heart the entire suffering and death of Christ and by believing to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. 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. And so, although He is in heaven and we are on earth, we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. And we forever live on and are governed by one Spirit, as members of our body are by one soul.
Lord's Supper - Sign and Seal
Observations: What makes the understanding of the sacraments distinctively Reformed is the idea that they are both signs and seals (Q&A 66). The Lord’s Supper is more than just a symbol of Christ’s death on the cross. It’s more than just a re-enactment of Christ’s body being broken and his blood being poured out. Firstly, when we partake with a believing heart we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life, not through the sacrament itself, but through faith. Secondly, through the Holy Spirit ‘we are united more and more to Christ.’ The Holy Spirit is specially present in the Lord’s Supper applying to us the benefits of Christ’s death to our souls. Thirdly, through the Lord’s Supper the church is united, or governed by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit not only draws us closer to Christ, but also closer to one another. This isn’t a magical quality of the bred and wine, but the miraculous power of the Spirit who is active in applying Christ’s work on the cross to our lives, sealing in us what is symbolized in the bread and wine.

Application: One of the most difficult things I find is to look to Jesus in faith as I eat the bread and drink the cup. The Lord’s Supper is more than just remembering, rather it is looking to Jesus to nourish our souls through the internal work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s Supper is one of the most powerful aspects of church-life. It’s where we gather as God’s people to celebrate the Gospel, our salvation through Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross. It’s also where the Spirit does His work in our hearts applying that wonderful truth to our souls. With what attitude do you partake of the Lord’s Supper, and what sense of expectation?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the Lord’s Supper where I can remember and honour Jesus for dying in my place, and taking the punishment that I deserved. And thank You for the Holy Spirit who lives in me and applies Christ’s death and resurrection to my life. Lord, may I become more and more like Jesus. May His life become more and more the life that I live. May my old self with its sin and rebellion be nailed to the cross and buried in the grave that I may live a new life in Christ. Lord, nourish my soul and change me form the inside out. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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