HOLY COMMUNION – THE EUCHARIST
WITHOUT IT WE HAVE NO LIFE
"Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you . . ."
The True Christ and the True Church always have been and will be in harmonious agreement with each other being inseparable, because Christ remains the Head and the Church remains the Body of Christ. Only in the Orthodox Church is the great mystery of the Living Bread who came down from heaven preserved and made available to the faithful. For Christ took (not unleavened) ‘leavened’ bread (Greek αρτος) and blessed it, and broke 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 you all of it’ for this is my blood of the New Covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins” Matthew 26:25-28).
Among the many denominations we find the greatest distortion of Christ’s words in the Holy Bible concerning the subject of Holy Communion. This distortion shows that it is not possible to interpret the Holy Bible outside the Church which is the source of these Scriptures, for outside the Church there is no interpretive guidance from the Holy Spirit. So the denominations deny that Christ means what He clearly says, that the bread and wine offered really become the Body and Blood of Christ himself. 1. He does not say that the bread and wine “represent His body and blood.” 2. Nor did He take “azymes” or unleavened bread, but “artos” which is leavened bread. 3. Nor did He eat the Jewish Passover meal, which must be eaten standing and they were all sitting.
1. The words in English are clear: “this is my body” and the Greek τουτο εστι το σωμα μου.
The Greek word εστι translates as “is”.
2. Christ did not offer unleavened bread but leavened bread. λαβων ο Ιησους τον αρτον, the last word arton, means leavened bread, the world for unleavened bread is azymos.
3. The Lord did not eat the Jewish Passover as some claim, but is now himself, the lamb of God, and is the New Pascha or Passover, offering , not the blood of lambs, but himself as the Lamb of God, who will be sacrificed to the Father as He is lifts up (on the Cross) the sins of the world. Also in claiming that Jesus was celebrating the Jewish Passover, they show Him to Him who is alone without sin as being a sinner as a violator of the Passover. For Jesus and His disciples were reclining, and if eating the Jewish Passover, they were breaking the law. Moses commanded that the Jews be standing when eating their Passover, with their boots on ready to “leave Egypt”. The Jewish Passover, would not arrive until sundown of the next day, Friday. For it says in the Bible, that they hurried to take down the body of the Lord “before Passover.”
The following account from the Bible established that Jesus truly offered Himself, His own Flesh and Blood as food and drink to the faithful. This is the central point of every Orthodox Divine Liturgy, in fact, the central point of our faithfulness and is called the Eucharist. For two thousand years the Church has preserved and thrived on this central important truth. To deny this is to deny the entire purpose of the incarnation. \
Indeed, in order to do physical work man must partake of physical food and drink. To do spiritual work, the work assigned us by Christ, we need spiritual food to give us spiritual strength, the Body and Blood of Christ, which is Christ himself and which He commanded us to eat, is that wonderful spiritual food, unavailable outside of the Church. Following are Christ’s own words, anyone who denies what He firmly says is far from truth and outside the realm of salvation.
“Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that you have seen me and do not believe . . . The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, I came down from heaven? . . . “Do not murmur among yourselves . . . Amen, Amen, I say unto you, he that believes on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which came down from heaven, that a man eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread which I will give you is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
The Jews therefore, strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them: Amen, amen, I say unto you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is truly food, and my blood is truly drink. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats me, 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 eats of this bread shall live for ever. These things He said in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum”