The Eucharist in Catholicism
In the Bible, Jesus asked the believers to partake of the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; Luke 22:18-20 and Matthew 26:26-28). However, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the priest turns the bread to the actual body of Christ and the grape juice into His actual blood. The Catechism in paragraph 1366 states, “The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit.”
The catechism continues in paragraph 1367: “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist are one single sacrifice: “The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.” “And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner . . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.”
The Bible Teaching
The Scriptures teach that when Jesus gave the bread to His disciples, He said, “this is my flesh” and the grape juice to drink and said, “this is my blood,” He meant the eating of the flesh and the drinking of the blood in a figurative way. The Catholic Church has interpreted literally this figurative statement of Jesus, forgetful, apparently that He often spoke figuratively regarding Himself. For example: Jesus said, “I am the door” (John 10:7), and the “way” (John 14:6). Everyone agrees that He was not transforming Himself into a door or a highway. Thus, we see that the practice of the Eucharist is not Biblical
Further, it is impossible for man (the priest) to create His Creator. For the Bible affirms that “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28 also 10:10,12; 7:27), that is, not every time during mass. There was no need to have the sacrifice repeated. It did the needed cleansing for sin (Hebrews 9:14). It was not, like the sacrifices of the Mosaic law, a mere shadow to the true one.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was perfect; therefore it could be offered only once. But in order to make it effectual for all who should ask for forgiveness of sin through the Son of God, Jesus became man’s great high Priest in heavenly sanctuary after His ascension, there to offer his blood on behalf of repentant sinners “till he come” (1 Corinthians 11:26; Hebrews 4:14–16; 7:24, 25; 8:1, 6; 9:11, 12, 14, 24).
It is important to add that those who participate in the last supper must keep in mind that Jesus was observing the Passover, during which the Jews were to have no leaven (fermentation) for 7 days in their houses (Exodus 12:15). So, the idea of drinking fermented wine in remembrance of Christ’s blood is totally foreign to the Bible because Jesus and His disciples did not drink fermented wine at the Passover supper.
“Do This in Remembrance of Me”
As Christ serves on our behalf in heaven, interceding before the Father the blood of His sacrifice, He asks His children on earth to participate in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper that keeps before them the greatest gift of the atonement. Jesus said, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19 also 1 Corinthians 11:24).
The Lord’s Supper, which succeeded the Passover memorial of deliverance from Egypt, was instituted, not as a sacrifice, but simply to remind the Christian of all that has been done for him by the one great sacrifice made by the Son of God for the whole human family (Hebrews 9:25–28; 10:3–12, 14).
In His service,
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