The Lord’s Supper
John W Morley III
In fulfillment of the requirements for the AALC Doctrine II Class
Professor: Rev. Curtis Leins
American Lutheran Theological Seminary
For many years the question has arisen as to what happens to the bread and wine in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Do the elements of the Eucharist change or transform into the body and blood of Christ or are the words that Jesus spoke just merely a symbolic representation of what He meant? Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you". Are these words of Jesus found in the Gospel of John to be taken in a literal or literalistic manner? The Catholic Church, past and present, teaches and professes that the doctrine of transubstantiation as the changing of bread and wine into the living Christ. Others maintain that the Sacrament of Holy Communion is merely a memorial or symbolism of what Christ did and instituted. Martin Luther even set forth the doctrine of communicatio idiomatum, where the human nature of Christ is omnipresent through the communication of the attributes of his divine nature. in this paper we will look at the history of the Eucharist; from Christ’s institution, the early church, the reformation and how these doctrinal differences apply to the church today. Through this brief study we will be able to see the evolution of the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and be better equipped and informed in dealing with these matters in the twenty-first century.
Instituted by Christ In Scripture we find the setting for the Last Supper in a prepared room for Passover and Jesus Christ as the instructor and institutor. The Gospels of Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12–26 and Luke 22:7-23 give us a greater insight into how this meal was instituted by our Lord with