Most Catholics I have spoken to on the matter of transubstantiation contend that the view presented here completely downplays the Lord's Supper. I would like to finish out this series of posts simply by saying that this view in no way detracts, denigrates, or condescends the Lord’s Supper. Nor would I say that Communion is merely a symbol. I think most people would agree that when Jesus says “Do this in remembrance of Me” He is not saying “I want you to intellectually recall all the facts you know about Me in your brain.” Rather, to partake of the Lord’s Supper is to remember His death and all that His death accomplished for us; this should stir and strengthen our faith and draw us into deeper communion with Jesus. Consider once more the words of J.C. Ryle on the subject:
- Now, is it reasonable to suppose that our Lord would appoint an ordinance for so simple a purpose as "remembering His death?" It most certainly is. Of all the facts in His earthly ministry none are equal in importance to that of His death. It was the great settlement for man's sin, which had been appointed in God's promise from the foundation of the world. It was the great redemption of almighty power, to which every sacrifice of animals, from the fall of man, continually pointed. It was the grand end and purpose for which the Messiah came into the world. It was the cornerstone and foundation of all man's hopes of pardon and peace with God. In short, Christ would have lived, and taught, and preached, and prophesied, and performed miracles in vain, if He had not "crowned it all by dying for our sins as our Substitute on the Cross!" His death was our life. His death was the payment of our debt to God. Without His death we would have been the most miserable of all creatures. No wonder that an ordinance was specially appointed to remind us of our Savior's death. It is the one thing which poor, weak, sinful man needs to be continually reminded. (J.C. Ryle, The Lord’s Supper)
The Lord’s Supper proclaims Jesus – and that is no small thing at all.