By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil
A believer's hope is everlasting life. "Look for the new (everlasting) life in the world to come." (from the creed). This is what all those who believe in Jesus Christ expect and hope for.
What is this "New Everlasting life"?
"Whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"Every one who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)
"He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. " (John 5:24)
"I am the living bread which came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my body, which I am giving for the sake of life of the world." (John 6:51)
"Whoever eats My body and drinks My blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:54)
"Most assuredly, I say to you unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves." (John 6:53).
This is what the Bible says about everlasting life and how one can achieve it.
Just by believing or being admitted to the church, or by baptism alone, one does not have everlasting life. He has to receive Christ's body and blood. Jesus Christ has assuredly said this. Though many people left Jesus Christ when He said this, He repeatedly declared this truth (John 6). Some people suspected him by saying how he could give His body and blood, and thereby left him for this reason. The apostles believed in Him and waited with the hope and belief that, He will provide them with what He had told them. So the apostles were given the blessed bread and wine by saying "this is my body and blood" and they received it with full faith as the Body and Blood of our Lord.
From these Holy Scriptures, four things are clearly inferred:
1) Jesus gave the apostles bread and wine as His body and blood. (If He can convert water into wine, He is able to convert wine into blood)
2) The apostles received it with belief and respect, exactly as our Lord had intended.
3) The apostles were given the authority to do this for His remembrance. (Only the apostles received this authority, not the believers, not even the other disciples)
4) They were asked to continue this until His coming. (1 Cori. 11:23-26)
St. Paul has taught the believers how to receive our Lord's blood and body. "For as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks do judgment to himself not discerning the Lord's body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you and many do sleep." (1 Cori. 11:27-30). From this we infer that during the apostolic times the believers received Christ's Body and Blood, and that it was compulsory, and was received in a highly respected manner. If they received it just as wine and bread (as opposed to the flesh and blood of our Lord), why should St. Paul warn them in this manner?
In the old Syrian Pershitta version (2nd century Bible), the word used is 'Ksoya dhevekaristia' which means the Breaking of the Eucharist.
TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
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