The Reality of Christ, Here, Now

Jesus said that He would be with us always, even til the end of the age. Was He being for real? Can I take Him at His word? If I can’t then, bluntly, I either need to find another faith or give up on faith all together. Because if Jesus isn’t trustworthy Christianity is a shame. But, from experience, I know that He is true to His word. So, how about this being with me always thing?

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas when Thomas saw Him after having doubted? “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” John 20:29. Keep these words in mind.

If Jesus is really here, well, where is He? Why can’t I see Him? Can I go to Him? I mean if He is here someplace I should be able to get there from here otherwise He isn’t here. This could make my head ache. Lets keep it simple.

Given everything else He said and did I know He’s true to His word. So this is a matter of figuring things out. With His help. He doesn’t make His Truth so hard to see, find, or understand that we can’t know it. He was constantly explaining Himself to His followers when, for example, He told a parable. Keep that in mind as well. And considering that I have agreed to follow Him, making me one of His followers, I’m gonna trust Him to help me understand this. “But if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men abundantly, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5, Douay-Rheims Bible.

Read the sixth chapter of the Gospel according to John. Jesus makes some rather wild statements here. I’m not going to quote them all, I’m just going to say what He said in my own words. Saves me time and effort AND it should create in the reader a desire to read and find out for sure and for themselves. It’s important for people to do that. Think. If Jesus, God Almighty, your Creator and Savior, is here someplace on earth it ought to be important enough to you to read a Bible chapter.

In John 6 Jesus says plainly that His followers MUST eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have life. When He said that many questioned the statement and walked away. Many still do. Others, rather than walk away, make Him say something He didn’t. They’ll say that He was being figurative and not literal. They’ll say that if it doesn’t make literal sense it’s not meant to be taken literally. Let me tell you something. No one speaks for God unless He gives them the ok. As far as I know the only people He gave this power to, the power to speak for and represent Him, were the folks who followed Him while He was ministering. See and read Luke 10:16. And I can see from the rest of the New Testament that this authority was handed down. Folks were always going to His Apostles and others, aka the Church hierarchy, for info and clarification and these guys handed this power on to others, in a formal way that was clearly visible and understandable to others, so that things would continue as they should without the world and His followers loosing sight of the Light that is a needed guide for our salvation. (All that means there is a real, visible Church with a real, visible head that has real, visible authority and that authority comes from God.) But back to that eating flesh and drinking blood comment He made.

Consider. In every other instance, when He spoke in a parable, when He meant a thing as figurative, He always explained it to His followers. This time there was no explanation. And that’s because He meant what He said. So, without explanation, He simply repeated what He had said and then, as so many walked away, asked His closest companions if they, too, would leave. Now I don’t doubt that these men didn’t fully understand the import of His words but they did have faith enough to stay. Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.

To continue. At what we term the Lord’s Supper, the night before He died, He took bread, broke it and said, “This is my body …” Then He took the cup and said, “This is my blood …” He also said to the Twelve who were with Him, “Do this in remembrance of me.” See Luke 22 and the other Gospel accounts of this meal.

Several things happened here. In telling these men to do this in remembrance of Him he gave them the power and authority to do it. (“DO THIS …”) If He didn’t it was a pretty lame statement. Consider also that He did not say anything about anyone else having the power or authority to do it. And He said nothing about it being figurative. (“THIS IS MY …”) Just like John 6 He offered no explanation because He was speaking literally and no explanation was needed. The other things that took place at that point were the literal transformation of that bread and wine into His Body and Blood. Don’t tell me He can’t do that or that He can’t give men the power to do it. He gave these guys the power to cast out demons, cure the sick, raise the dead, speak for Him with binding authority (Luke 10:16 and Matthew 18:18 along with Matthew 16:19), and forgive sins. (See John 20:23 for a clear statement as per the forgiveness of sin by the power of Christ through men. And remember what disbelieving folk said when Jesus forgave sins in Luke 5. See Luke 5:21. People, some anyway, still repeat this claim. In doing so they limit God’s power and deny His word, teaching as “doctrine” their own conceptions. Don’t fall into this disbelieving group. *!whew!* Enough of that. Sounds like fodder for yet another post. 🙂 ) He can do what He wants, He’s God. Lets not limit Him, ok?

Lots of well-meaning people say that we should take the Bible literally unless to do so makes no sense. But they give themselves the authority to decide what makes sence and what doesn’t. Funny how they can give themselves that right and deny it to others. Think: Papal authority. Well, food for thought and another post. Anyway … The result of their personal authority to define doctrine and explain scripture? Hundreds upon hundreds of denominations all teaching something different, all claiming to teach God’s truth. Fella, somethin’ just ain’t right here.

The only real reason to reject the Real Presence of Jesus in that bread and wine that gets changed into His Body and Blood (Hey! We just figured out how Jesus stays with us, how to find Him, and where He is! Yeah!) is to say it makes no literal sense. Ok. If I can’t belive anything that doesn’t make sense literally then I can’t believe that Jesus cured a man born blind by just touching him, I can’t believe that He raised up a dead man, I can’t believe He changed water into wine, I can’t believe He was/is God in the flesh, and I can’t believe in the Resurrection. Hey, NONE of these things, along with a big bunch of others, make real sense. So how can I believe? Real simple. One five letter, one syllable word: FAITH. It takes faith to believe in the Virgin Birth, faith to believe that God made everything out of nothing, that He loves me, that … I hope you get the point. Don’t be like Thomas. Just because it still looks like bread and wine don’t fall for appearances.

There is one last point. Someone, somewhere will refer to Matthew 24:11 where Jesus warns us about the coming of false “Christs” and how people will say, “He is in the desert!” or “in the secret place!” He said not to be deceived. He said that His coming would be just like lightning that flashes from the east and is seen all the way into the west. Matthew 24:27. Just a thought, an observation here. Sounds pretty visible, in no way isolated, even world-wide in scope. I understand that He’s speaking about His return here, His Second Coming. But you know, lots of things can be taken more than one way, can have multiple layers of meaning. Lots of depth, you know? Scripture, God’s truth in general, is just like that. Having said that I’ll say this. The last time I checked? His priests, the ones to whom the authority to change that bread and wine into His Body and Blood has been given? The ones who have received, in an unbroken line, (History, Church history, real Church history concerning the real Church. To much to get into here. I invite you to crack a book.) this gift? This Apostolic Ministry? They’re still saying Mass worldwide, 24-7. Kinda like lightning flashing from the east to the west. Highly visible and not hard to find.

One last thing. A couple of lines ago I invited you to crack a book. Know what? The Church Fathers, those  guys the Apostles themselves trained and taught? The ones you would expect to know what they were talking about? They all taught that the bread and wine were literally changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The teaching, the doctrine, the truth, the real and abiding presence, goes back two thousand years. I guess He meant it when He said He’d be here with us always.

Published in: on July 31, 2012 at 9:35 am  Comments Off on The Reality of Christ, Here, Now