Discourse 92 - The Lord’s Supper: A Memorial Meal or a Transubstatiation?




The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. / Reply, Albert Kantner 00 2007-09-29

The Catholic Transubstantiation.

The Lords Supper of the Christian Churches.

The Institution of the Lords Supper.

The Meaning of Flesh and Blood.

The Jewish Pesach.

The Catholic View of the Death of Jesus on the Cross.

Last Words of Great Men. / West Europe Mission, Alexander Seibel

Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? / Lecture script JP00, 2001-03-25

Table: The conditions to be saved.

Salvation through grace and by faith or justification by works?



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist / Reply, Albert Kantner 00, 2007-09-29)

The dispute among the Christian churches concerning the celebration of the Lord’s Supper has been going on for centuries. The Catholic churches interpret the statements in the gospels, “Take eat, this is my body!” in such a way that this bread or wafer is the actual body of Christ. And their strongest argument is precisely this statement. If Jesus says that this bread is his body, why would it be otherwise?

The Protestant churches, in turn, reject the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper and appeal here to a single text, namely the addition in Luke - and only there: "Do this in remembrance of me!" But this can be related to the Transubstatiation and therefore, in my view, does not prove that the Catholic interpretation is wrong.

Protestants always characterize the Catholic Eucharist as wrong, but I have - in addition to the reference to the sentence in Luke - not yet read why it is to be considered false. And it is precisely this that I find lacking in your expositions. You explain transubstantiation, the real presence of Christ in the Mass as an “occult magical Transubstatiation” (Discourse 89: "The Catholic Church Cannot be Called a ‘Christian’ Church" Note. FH) but do not furnish any proof from Scripture.

Albert.Kantner@tele2.at



Although I completely agree with your criticism - also in relation to me personally - and will attempt to analyze the question in dispute below on the basis of Scripture, I want to qualify some of your remarks first. It is simply not so that all Protestant churches reject the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Far from it, all Protestant Reformers agree on the doctrine that Christ is present in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. What they rejected was the Catholic dogma of his substantial presence. For that reason, the term “transubstantiation” has always been anathema (Greek: anáthema: “accursed” Gal. 1,8.9; 1 Cor 16,22) for Protestants.

Indeed, the spiritual presence of Christ is promised to us several times in Scripture, such as, for example, when two or three are gathered in his name. And his presence in the Lord’s Supper or Table of the Lord is to be seen in that way: not as a real, physical presence brought about by the Catholic “Transubstatiation” (consecration) but as the spiritual presence of the Lord everywhere where believers remember him.

And as we will see further below, the words of Christ at the institution of the Lord's Supper have precisely an entirely different background. The Lord’s statement, “This is my body” has as little to do with a real presence as his words “I am the door of the sheep” are to be interpreted as meaning that Christ is really present in the door of the church at every Catholic Mass.

To document the current state, we will provide a short overview of both opposing views in what follows.

The Catholic Transubstantiation.

Transubstantiation is the change in substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the consecration (Latin: consecrare: to dedicate, consecrate) in the central prayer of the Catholic Mass. It was formulated at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 as dogma and reaffirmed by the Council of Trent (Thirteenth Session, Decree on the Sacrament of the Eucharist, chapter 4 DH 1642) that:

by the consecration of the bread and of the wine, a conversion is made of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord, and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood; which conversion is, by the holy Catholic Church, suitably and properly called Transubstantiation.


This doctrine means that, while the bread and wine remain the materials (accidents) they were before, their essence has become something else. In distinction from the current understanding of reproducibility, decisive for the understanding of transubstantiation is that it cannot be produced but is always received as grace. The human words of institution do not “transform” the bread and wine on their own (Wikipedia-Transsubstantiation)


The Lord’s Supper of the Christian Churches

The Lord’s Supper (also called Communion, Breaking of Bread, Table of the Lord) is a rite performed in a Christian worship service that recalls the salvific death of Jesus Christ.

It goes back to the last ceremonial meal of Jesus of Nazareth with the twelve disciples (apostles) whom he had called first on the evening before his death and, together with baptism, belongs to those rites that almost all Christian churches consider to be essential and which they practice. According to the particular faith, Jesus Christ is present in it in the community given by him, in his word, in faith in him .... The way in which he is present is disputed among the different Christian denominations (Wikipedia-Eucharist)



The Institution of the Lord’s Supper.

When instituting the Lord’s Supper, the Lord commanded that we eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of him.

This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.

Lk 22,14 When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 2,15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 22,16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 22,17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 22,18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes."

22,19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 22,20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood". Lk 22,14-20; (Mk 14,22-24)


In the last sentence of the above text, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood,” the Lord is referring of course to his death on the cross and the redemptive sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins that it brought about it. In the parallel passage in Matthew, it is stated also entirely expressly:

For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Mt 26,26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 26,27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 26,28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Mt 26,26-28;


And, like Luke, Paul also quotes this statement by the Lord at the Passover meal in his first letter to the Corinthians, indicating that we should do this, as often as we do so, in remembrance of him - the Lord.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

1Cor 11,23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 11,24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 11,25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 11,26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1Cor 11,23-26;


As we see, this Bible text is not concerned with a Transubstatiation of the bread and wine but quite simply with a memorial celebration for the purpose of remembering the Lord's death on the cross. His body and blood are presented on the cross as an offering well-pleasing to God in order to save all those who believe in it. Thus, it is the death of the Lord on the cross, which saves us from our sins and reconciles us with God, that we should remember at this supper, according to the Lord's command.

This is how Protestants usually explain it. One must agree, however, with the criticism by A. Kanter that we cited at the beginning, i.e. that it does ground the false Catholic view of transubstantiation. But it does not in any way explain the actual background of this biblical text. We do not yet know why the Lord distributed bread and wine at this supper with his twelve disciples and called them his body and blood.

Therefore, this is also the weak point in the Protestant explanation. In Mt 26,26 the Lord says: “Take, eat; this is My body.” And although there is nothing here at all of a Transubstatiation by the priests of the Catholic Church, it is one of those texts to which the proponents of transubstantiation can appeal. For example, the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia in Italy (1786) defined it:

After the consecration, Christ is truly actually and essentially present under the forms (of bread and wine). Then the whole substance of the bread and of the wine cease, so that only the forms remain.


Therefore, according to this definition, Christ is genuinely and actually present as flesh and blood in the bread and wine through the consecration (Transubstatiation). If this changing of the bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Christ is brought about by a Catholic priest, how much more so would it have had this effect when the Lord himself broke the bread at the institution of this sacrament with his disciples. But then we would have the situation that the Lord would then have existed in a double form: he was on the one hand present as a person in front of the disciples, and on the other he was also "truly, actually and essentially present under the forms (of bread and wine)." The absurdity of this view is clearly apparent here.

But in our day as well, Pope Benedict XVI commented on the Catholic Eucharist in his book Jesus of Nazareth as follows:

At the same time, however, the Eucharist is revealed as man’s unceasing great encounter with God, in which the Lord gives himself as “flesh,” so that in him, and by participating in his way, we may become “spirit.” Just as he was transformed through the Cross into a new manner of bodliness and of being-human pervaded by God's own being, so too for us this food must become an opening out of our existence, a passing through the Cross, and an anticipation of the new life in God and with God. (p 314)


In the pope’s view, the Lord’s Supper is an “encounter with God” in which Jesus Christ “gives himself ‘as flesh’,” through which Catholics participate in the suffering of the Lord by eating the flesh and can become “spirit.” And in this way it also becomes for them a “passing through the cross” - thus a symbolic crucifixion.

(See also Discourse 89: “BENEDIKT XVI: The Jewish and Catholic View of Jesus of Nazareth.”)


The Meaning of Flesh and Blood

In the above statement by the pope - as also in his book Jesus of Nazareth - it is striking that he speaks of the Catholic significance of the flesh in the Lord’s Supper - the “participation in the suffering of Christ” - but not of the significance of the blood. The reason for this is the circumstance that the Catholic Church has forbidden its members to drink from the cup since 1414. Thus, it is only the Catholic clergy who may drink from the cup at the Eucharist and thus enjoy the benefit of the promise that is connected with it:

Mt 26,27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 26,28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Mk 14,23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 14,24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.

Lk 22,20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.




Thus, if this cup was actually changed by Catholic Transubstatiation into the real presence of the Lord and into the “true and actual” blood of Christ, for 600 years the Catholic Church has successfully prevented its members from receiving this forgiveness according to the above promise of the Lord. But that is not the case. This Transubstatiation is actually “hocus pocus”, the phrase into which the Latin translation used by the Catholic Church, hoc est corpus meum, for the words of the Lord, “This is my body”, was corrupted in the Middle Ages.

But what we do have in the true celebration of the Lord’s Supper, according to Scripture, is the presence of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. And when the Catholic nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as “Mother Teresa”, says in her private writings,

“since 49 or 50 this terrible sense of loss-this untold darkness … The place of God in my soul is blank. - There is no God in me. - When the emptiness and longing is so great - I just long & long for God … He is not there … Sometimes I just hear my own heart cry out - ‘My God’ and nothing else comes.”

(From the book, Come be My Light: The Private Writings of the “Saint of Calcutta,” Doubleday Publishers)


she confesses on the one hand that she has lived for the last thirty years without fellowship with the Holy Spirit and, on the other, she has obviously sought God in the wrong place. God cannot be found in the soul. According to Scripture, the soul is the blood (Lev 17,11.14; Deut. 12,23) and for people and animals the blood is the seat of all compulsive stirrings. But God is spirit (Jn 4,24) and those who seek and worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Therefore, God cannot be found in our souls but in our spirit.


But in order to get at the real meaning of “body” and “blood” in the Lord's Supper, we must look at the origin of this Jewish feast in the Bible.


The Jewish Pesach

The institution of the Lord’s Supper occurred at the Jewish Pesach (Lk 22,7-20). The Lord had sat down together with his disciples on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on which the Jews, according to the God’s command, slaughter and consume a lamb. Jesus celebrated the Passover/Pesach with them. This feast goes back to the exodus of Israel from Egypt. When Pharaoh did not want the Israelites to leave Egypt, God promised that at midnight all the first-born in Egypt would die - from the first-born of Pharaoh to the first-born of the lowliest slave girl and the first-born of all cattle.

The Lord commanded the Israelites to slaughter a lamb, a yearling male, without blemish, from either the sheep or from the goats on this day - it was the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan). They were then to spread the blood of the lamb on the two doorposts and lintel, whereby the angel of the Lord would recognize these houses and exclude them from the plague. But they were to eat the meat the same night, roasted on a fire, and unleavened bread (matzot) and bitter herbs.

You shall kill it on the fourteenth day of this month and take of the blood, and put it on the two door-posts.

Ex 12,5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a yearling male; ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats. 12,6 And ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; and the whole congregation of the assembly of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings. 12,7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two door-posts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 12,8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; with bitter herbs shall they eat it. Ex 12, 5- 8;


We see that also here - as above in Mt 26,28 / Lk 22,20 - that the blood signified a covenant, i.e., the covenant of God with Israel that those houses on whose doorposts the blood was spread would not be struck by the plague.

The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live.

Ex 12,12 ‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments - I am the LORD. 12,13 ‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Ex 12,12-13;


This Feast of Unleavened Bread - the Passover or Pesach - was to be observed from that point on by all generations of Israelites in remembrance of the fact that God had rescued them from Pharaoh and had led them out of the land of Egypt.

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day.

Ex 12,17 ‘You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 12,18 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. Ex 12,17-18;


The Blood

According to the Jewish calendar, whereby the day begins at 6:00 p.m. in the evening and ends on the following day at 6:00 p.m., the crucifixion of Jesus occurred on the same day on which the Passover lamb was slaughtered, on the 14th day of Nisan. We now see the connection between this event in Egypt and the death of the Lord in Jerusalem. Just as the blood of the slaughtered lamb protected the Israelites at that time from the wrath of God, so Jesus Christ is now slaughtered for us, as the lamb of God, through which death we are saved and we are spared the wrath of God through the blood of Christ.

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Rom 5,8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 5,9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Rom 5, 8- 9;


(See also Discourse 87: “Tabular Overview of the Week of Jesus’ Crucifixion”)


And therewith this feast has retained its own actual, spiritual meaning and it has also proved that those prophecies in the Old Testament that speak of the servant of God are true.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried.

Isa 53,1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 53,2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 53,3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 53,4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. Isa 53, 1- 4;

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter.

Isa 53,5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 53,6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 53,7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. 53,8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?. Isa 53, 5- 8;

Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

Isa 53,9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 53,10¶ But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. 53,11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. 53,12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. Isa 53, 9-12;


It was thus the fulfillment of these prophecies by Isaiah of the servant of God: “He was ... afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth” (Isa 53,7) and he will “justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities” (Isa.53,11). At the same time we see here that Isaiah already knew in the Holy Spirit that the Jews would reject their Messiah and hand him over to be crucified.

With this we found the meaning of the blood in the Lord’s Supper. Just as much as the blood of the Passover lamb saved the Israelites in Egypt from the wrath of God, so the blood of Christ saves us from the wrath of God concerning our sins. But in the same way, as only those Israelites were spared who actually spread the blood on their doorposts, since the Lord’s death on the cross only those people will be saved who believe in Christ and consciously accept this redemptive sacrifice for their sins.

The Demand of the Lord at the Lord’s Supper

Mt 26,27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 26,28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.


was understood and accepted as symbolism directly because of this straightforward identification with the Pesach feast by both the disciples and also by the other Jews - in contrast to ‘flesh’ as we will see below. But a naturalistic interpretation had also been excluded on the basis of those commands by which God prohibited the Jews from consuming blood:

Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Gen 9,3 "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 9,4 "Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Gen 9, 3- 4;

You shall not eat any fat or any blood.

Lev 3,17 ‘It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.’" Lev 3,17;

You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.

Lev 17,12 "Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘No person among you may eat blood, nor may any alien who sojourns among you eat blood.’ 17,13 "So when any man from the sons of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, in hunting catches a beast or a bird which may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 17,14 "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life. Therefore I said to the sons of Israel, ‘You are not to eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.’ Lev 17,12-14;



By drinking his blood, the Lord thus means the acceptance of his death on the cross as a redemptive sacrifice before God for the sins of human beings.


The Flesh

But with this, we have obviously grasped the symbolic background of the death of Jesus as a whole and the question arises as to why the Lord then also demanded that we eat his body/flesh.

Mt 26,26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." Mt 26,26;

Mk 14,22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is My body." Mk 14,22;

Lk 22,19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Lk 22,19;


Whereas the synoptic gospels present the institution of the Lord's Supper in quite a detailed way, in John we find only the footwashing, which the synoptic gospels do not relate. Nonetheless, John reports precisely on this theme of body/flesh in another context in a very detailed way. After feeding the five thousand, Jesus went across the sea to Capernaum and on the following day the crowds followed him with their boats, because they wanted to eat bread again. But Jesus saw what their motivations truly were and reproached them for that:

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life

Jn 6,26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 6,27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.". Jn 6,26-27;


And in this discussion the Jews come to speak about Moses and manna, the bread from heaven (Ex 16,4), that he had given them to eat in the desert. But the Lord contradicted them by revealing that it was not Moses who had given them bread from heaven but that it was the Father, who gives them the true bread from heaven. The Son of God is himself this bread of life that leads to eternal life.

I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

Jn 6,30 So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 6,31 "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of the heaven to eat.’" 6,32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 6,33 "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." 6,34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." 6,35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. Jn 6,30-35;


And in the following citations the Lord uses words entirely similar to those he had used in speaking to the apostles at the last supper:

The bread which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.

Jn 6,47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 6,48 "I am the bread of life. 6,49 "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 6,50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 6,51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." Jn 6,47-51;

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

Jn 6,52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" 6,53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 6,54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 6,55 "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 6,56 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

6,57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 6,58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." 6,59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Jn 6,52-59;


Here the Lord demands that his body be eaten and his blood be drunk. On the basis of the analysis further above, we know that the blood that was shed for us refers to the redemptive sacrifice for our sins. But what does Jesus mean by the flesh that we should eat? There is no question that this is also meant symbolically. But how is it to be understood and what is the background of this statement?

If we look at Jn 6,57 more closely, we see a surprising reference. The Lord gives us a comparison here when he says: “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me” and “he who eats this bread will live forever.” The same process that thus preserves the Son of God eternally in life will also preserve us in eternity, if we eat the bread from heaven.

And the Lord goes still further in Jn 17,21. While he here - as also in many other places - confirms that the Father and he are one, he adds that also those who believe in him are one in the Father and in the Son.

That they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us.

Jn 17,18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 17,19 "For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 17,20 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 17,21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 17,22 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 17,23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me Jn 17,18-23;


And it is certainly not so that the Lord Jesus has “eaten” the Father. It is the Spirit of God that engendered him and caused him to be conceived in the body of his mother, Mary. And for that reason we will also be raised to life by the Spirit of Jesus. Here we see that “Bread” and “Flesh” are only symbols for the Spirit of God and are, of course, in no way to be interpreted literally. The Lord also tells us this concretely in closing in this text.

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.

Jn 6,60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" 6,61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? 6,62 "What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 6,63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. Jn 6,60-63;


The flesh thus profits nothing. That is why transubstantiation - a Transubstatiation of bread into flesh - cannot make any sense biblically. By “flesh” Jesus meant the words spoken to us and which are passed on to us in the Bible and are to make us strong in the faith. These are the Spirit who gives life! That is why the statements of the Lord on his flesh that must be eaten are to be understood as a parable for the Jews at that time. He wanted to remind them of the roasted lamb of their fathers in Egypt, which had strengthened them on their exit. But even the disciples, as we read above, had also grumbled about these symbolic statements with flesh and blood. And the Jews began to argue and said, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” If the Lord had said that he could give the Spirit of God to people, they would have turned away completely.

And here we can now return to the origin of the Pesach feast, to the exodus of Israel from Egypt. While the blood of the lamb on the doorposts protected the Israelites of the time from the plague sent by God, the flesh of the lamb that they had to consume in the night served to strengthen them. Indeed, on the following morning they set off and moved into the desert through the sea. But God had commanded that they keep the Passover, this Feast of Unleaved Bread throughout all generations, as a permanent ordinance.

Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.

Ex 12,17 ‘You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 12,18 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. Ex 12,17-18;

It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.

Ex 13,6 "For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 13,7 "Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 13,8 "You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ Ex 13. 6- 8;


And the Israelites were to declare to their descendents that this feast was to be celebrated in remembrance of that day on which the God of Israel saved them from the Egyptians and led them out of that land.

This provides the parallel to the Lord’s Supper/Table of the Lord: as the Jews to this day remember that day on which God made a covenant with them by the blood of the lamb and thus saved them from his wrath, which he brought upon Pharaoh and all Egypt, the Lord's Supper is a memorial celebration for Christians in remembrance of that day on which the Son of God made a covenant in his own blood with them and died on the cross for our sins, to save us from the wrath of God.

No more than the Israelites today are required to spread the blood of the lamb on their doorposts during Pesach is “transubstantiation” necessary at the Christian Lord’s Supper, which allegedly changes the wine into blood and bread into flesh, making it a “passing through the cross” for believers and making “participation in the way of Christ” possible, as Pope Benedict XVI attempted to explain in his book Jesus of Nazareth.


The Catholic View of the Death of Jesus on the Cross

We also see here the Catholic view of the death of the Lord on the cross. It was not for our sins that the Lord went to the cross; rather, the human being himself has to endure suffering to be justified before God and to be saved. According to more recent Catholic doctrine, Jesus Christ was only someone who showed us the way to be saved. And Joseph Ratzinger also holds consistently in his book Jesus of Nazareth:

“Job’s sufferings serve to justify man. By his faith, proved through suffering, he restores man’s honor. Job’s sufferings are thus by anticipation sufferings in communion with Christ, who restores the honor of us all before God and shows us the way never to lose faith in God even amid the deepest darkness.” (P. 162)


Obviously, the pope assumes that “man’s honor” must be restored before God and he cites Job and Jesus Christ as those who restore our honor. This view of things leads to a twofold conclusion:

1. According to these statements by Benedict, it is obvious that it is the human being’s honor, which grounds his relation to God and whose loss led to a separation from God.

2. The only way to save and restore this honor, according to this view, can happen only through those who have the ability to take upon themselves and bear undeserved suffering. This was Job - he restores “by his faith, proved through suffering ... man’s honor” - and then in the same line also Jesus Christ, who “restores the honor of us all before God.”


But this view of the pope rests on a major misjudgment or mistake. It is neither the suffering of Jesus, let alone that of Job, that “restores the honor of us all before God.” The suffering to which our Lord was exposed in his crucifixion was an accompanying factor and not the actual goal of the event. As Scripture testifies, the Lord died on Pesach, on the day that the Jews slaughtered the Pesach lamb. As the “Lamb of God” he was handed over similarly to his butchers, like the many thousand lambs in Israel on this day. If these people were kind-hearted, then they did not mistreat the lamb and did not let it suffer for long. If they were cruel and insensitive, they vented their malice on the animal before its death.

He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter.

Isa 53,6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. 53,7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. Isa 53, 6- 7;

(See also Discourse 87: “The Lamb of God. ”)


And so it was also at the crucifixion of the Lord. It was those Jews who shouted at Pilate “Crucify him, Crucify him!” who wanted to see Jesus suffer, not God! The one and only thing that mattered to God was the atoning death of his Son. According to God’s absolute righteousness, sin could be atoned for only by the death of the sinner - as in the Flood. But seeing that all people were sinners, Jesus Christ voluntarily sacrificed himself and died on the cross, taking the place of sinners in this world - including those before the Flood (Eph 4,9, 1Pet 3,18-20.4,6) - who want to accept this redemptive sacrifice for their own sins. That is why it is not the suffering of Jesus that restores our honor before God but only his substitutionary death on the cross for our sins.

That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

1Cor 15,3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 15,4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 15,5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1Cor 15, 3- 5;

That one died for all, therefore all died.

2Cor 5,14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 5,15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2Cor 5,14-15;


Our Lord bore this suffering and the death on the cross for us, because he had voluntarily decided to do so. Just as God does not force people to convert but leaves people free to decide for or against him, he did not force his Son either to take this substitutionary sacrifice on himself. Jesus Christ had full power to lay down his life and to take it up again.

No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative.

Jn 10,17 "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 10,18 "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." Jn 10,17-18;

And although this suffering of the Lord, from his being scourged in Jerusalem on the way with the cross to the Place of the Skull up until his crucifixion was certainly, from a human point of view, nearly the most extreme of what can be inflicted on a human being in terms of agony, it was not this suffering that the Lord feared the most. As he prayed to his Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done,” and his cold sweat became like drops of blood that fell on the ground, it was the inevitable reality of an entirely different suffering that shook the Son of God in his innermost being.

His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

Lk 22,41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 22,42 saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." 22,43 Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 22,44 And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. Lk 22,41-44;


Here we can see that it was not the earthly suffering of the crucifixion that frightened the Lord but simply the fact that he had to die with this substitutionary death for sinners - even though he himself had not committed a single sin -  as a sinner in order to fulfill the command of God and this redemptive sacrifice for all humanity.

For what the Law could not do, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin

Rom 8,3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 8,4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Rom 8, 3- 4;


But given that every sinner is separated from God (Jn 9,31; 2Cor 6,14; Ps 66,18; Isa 1,15), it was the consequence of a separation from God, the Father, that is connected inevitably with it that made the Son despair.

We know that God does not hear sinners.

Jn 9, 31 "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Jn 9,31;


And thus it came to this situation, shortly before Jesus’ death, that he feared so much. As God has commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to lay their hands on the sheep that was brought as an offering for the forgiveness of sins and therewith to transfer their sins to it before it was sacrificed, the sins of the whole world were transferred to Christ by God shortly before the Lord's death in order to gain God’s forgiveness.

He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering.

Lev 4,32 ‘But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect. 4,33 ‘He shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the burnt offering. 4,34 ‘The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar. 4,35 ‘Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven. Lev 4,32-35;


And at that moment the incomprehensible occurred: the Son without sin had to die as a sinner separated from his Father. And while he did not open his mouth the whole agonizing way from his being scourged until the cross, like the lamb that is led to slaughter, a cry of despair now wrenched itself from his throat: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” i.e., “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This Hebrew lament, which Matthew records, was completely wrongly understood at first by those around the cross. They thought he was calling Elijah, who, according to Scripture, would come before the appearance of the Messiah and make everything ready. But nothing like that happened, and after he had been given vinegar to drink, the Lord passed away on the cross.

My GOD, My GOD, why have you forsaken Me?

Mt 27,45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 27,46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My GOD, My GOD, why have you forsaken me Me?" 27,47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah." 27,48 Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 27,49 But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." 27,50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Mt 27,45-50;


We can now assume that the Son of God, who atoned for the sins of the world through his death, was freed from this undeserved burden after his death. This differs, of course, from what happens with people. Whoever does not receive forgiveness for his sins during his lifetime by accepting this substitutionary redemptive sacrifice will die with them and they will be preserved until the Last Judgment. And, as it seems, these last minutes before death are precisely the moment when everybody recognizes this. A small collection of these last words by great people are inserted here.



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Last Words of Great Men / West Europe Mission, Alexander Seibel)

Nothing is more reliable than the testimony of a dying person. Even liars confess the truth then. A glance at words uttered on a deathbed often reveals more than all the great words and deeds done in one’s lifetime. At that moment, when people are confronted with death, many lose their masks and become genuine. Many have to acknowledge that they have built their houses on sand, that they have given themselves to an illusion and have followed a great lie. Aldous Huxley writes in his foreword to his book, Brave New World, that one should judge all things as if he saw them from his deathbed. The Bible says: “So teach us to number our days,that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90,12).

VOLTAIRE, the famous skeptic, had a horrible end. His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.”

DAVID HUME, an atheist, cried: “I am in flames!” His desperation was a horrible scene.

HEINRICH HEINE, the great skeptic, repented later. Towards the end of his life he wrote this poem:

The old lyre has been smashed on the rock called Christ!
The lyre, upon which the evil spirit prevailed to produce evil celebration.
The lyre that calls for revolt, that sang doubt, mockery and apostasy.
O Lord, o Lord, I kneel down, forgive me my songs.



Count Monthlon wrote of NAPOLEON: “The Emperor died forsaken by all, on this horrible rock. (St. Helena) His death struggle was awful!”

CESARE BORGIA, a statesman: “I have taken care of everything in the course of my life, only not for death, and now I have to die completely unprepared.”

TALLEYRAND: “I suffer the agonies of the lost.”

CHARLES IX. (France): “I am lost, I see that clearly.”

CARDINAL MAZARIN: “Oh my poor soul, what is to become of you? - Where do you go?”

HOBBES, An English philosopher: “It's my turn, to take a leap into the darkness.”

SIR THOMAS SCOTT, once president of the English House of Lords said: “Up until this time, I thought that there was no God neither Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am delivered to perdition by the righteous judgment of the Almighty.”

GOETHE. “More light!”

NIETZSCHE died insane.

LENIN died in a state of insanity. He prayed to the tables and chairs for forgiveness for his sins. Our revolutionary youth will enthusiastically and vociferously state this cannot be true in ant case true. It would be too painful to have to admit that the idol of millions has so obviously toppled himself.

About STALIN’s death struggle, his daughter Swetlana Allilujewa, who in March 1953 was called to the dying dictator in his dacha in Kunzewo, stated: “Father’s death was terrible and difficult. God gives the righteous an easy death.

SINOWJEW, the President of the Communist International, who was shot by Stalin: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”

CHURCHILL: “What a fool I have been!”

YAGODA, Chief of the Russian Secret Police: “There must be a God. He is punishing me for my sins.”

JAROSLAWSKI, President of the International Atheist Movement: “Burn all my books! Behold the Holy One! He's been waiting long for me, and He is here!”

BUDDHA: “I did not reach my goal!”

JESUS CHRISTUS: “It is finished!”


Voltaire, David Hume and others would certainly have laughed or been scornful if it had been explained to them during their lifetimes that they would be lost eternally without Jesus. Nevertheless, they had to see at that moment that it was true and that the Bible was right when it says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” How will you die? Will it also be too late for you? What will your last words be?

Dear reader, we must tell you, whether you want to admit it or not, that without Jesus and the forgiveness of your sins through his blood you are lost. And, indeed, you are absolutely, totally and eternally lost before a holy God. If you think that death is the end of everything, then you are one of the most deceived people. There is only one who can save you: JESUS CHRIST. Do you actually believe that the men cited above were putting on an act when it came to the end? Without having peace with God, death is a fearful reality from which the world runs away. People do not want to hear about it, they drive it from their consciousness. But is the head-in-the-sand policy an intelligent solution?

A Chinese Communist who had handed many Christians over to be executed, came to a pastor and said: “I have seen many of you die. Christians die differently. What is your secret?”

Do you want to know what it is? - If you want to come with your whole heart to Jesus and have peace with God, then you can say this prayer: “Lord Jesus, please forgive all my guilt and sins, my rebellion and living my own life. I am thankful that you died for me and paid the price with your blood for my sins. Please, come into my life now. I open the door of my heart and ask you to be my Lord from now on. I am thankful that you hear me and accept me.”

It is not the formula that matters here but the attitude of your heart.

Jesus says: “Who comes to me, I will not cast out.” Jesus alone has taken the power away from death

You could, with self-confidence and a smile pass over what you have just read and cast it from your mind. But even so, you will not escape death. What then? “LORD, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; Let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight” (Psalm 39,5-6). For that reason the prophet Amos says, “Prepare to meet your God”


West-Europa-Mission EV (West Europe Mission EV) in Wetzlar  http://www.wem-online.de/




Seeing that the Catholic view of the death of Jesus as “showing the way” and the actual salvation of people allegedly through their own undeserved suffering has no basis at all in Scripture and is therefore absurd and incomprehensible, we will insert an excerpt, from Discourse 30, from a lecture by the Catholic priest J. Pucher - appealing, by the way, to the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - who expresses the background of this completely wrong new Catholic view in an entirely concrete way.





(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Why did Jesus have to die on the cross? / Lecture script JP00, 2001-03-25)

What did we learn from the catechism on the question why Jesus had to suffer death on the cross? In the fourth of the six fundamental articles of faith we are told - and I quote the exact words of the catechism - The second Person of the Divine Trinity became man, in order to redeem us through his death on the cross and to make us everlastingly blessed.

This was interpreted in the sense that he had to suffer on the cross in order to redeem us. Only through his death on the cross have we been redeemed from our sins, and saved for eternal blessedness. (...)

What kind of an idea of God lies behind this? A “just” God, in the sense of one who demands satisfaction, who calls for the blood of his own Son to be shed on the cross before he is able to forgive. In terms of our present day feelings, this is rather a God of vengeance. Justice and satisfaction are the most important consideration to him, and for these he even sacrifices his own Son. This is the theology of the Middle Ages, and things are no longer seen quite in this way, nor is the gospel preached like this, but on the level of feeling, for many individuals, especially of the older generation, it is still very much a persisting influence. Most certainly it is not a biblical doctrine, and has nothing to do with the message of Jesus. (…)

Jesus’ death on the cross reveals not a God hungry for atonement, but an infinitely and unconditionally loving God. Jesus did not become man and die on the cross in order to reconcile us to God. God did not need to be reconciled. He had never stopped loving us. Jesus became man in order to bring us runaways back to God after we had strayed, to be for us a pointer to God.

“I am the way and the truth and the life“ (John 14,6),

he says of himself.

Because men did not want to go by this way, they nailed him to the cross.

+) This extract is taken from the lecture script “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?” by J. Pucher, Catholic parish priest of St. Nikolaus, Vienna.


(See also Discourse 30: “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?”)


A detailed commentary on this and other statements by this author can be found in Discourse 30. Here only those passages will be emphasized that prove that and why the Catholic Church rejects the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus and has taken up viewing his death on the cross as “showing the way” and the salvation of people through their own suffering in its new doctrine. That J. Ratzinger, to that end, further above credits Job with a spiritual communion with Christ distorts the Lord’s freely chosen path of suffering into a forced test of faith and his victory on the cross against Satan into a victory of Satan over him.

As we can read above, in the commentary by J. Pucher with reference to Pope Benedict, it is thus the “God of vengeance” who demands justice that is now dismissed as “a theology of the Middle Ages, and things are no longer seen quite in this way, nor is the gospel preached like this.” And as the Catholic clergyman writes, a theology that proclaims that Jesus became man and died on the cross in order to reconcile us with God is “most certainly ... not a biblical doctrine” and “has nothing to do with the message of Jesus.”

Given that it is difficult to believe that Pastor Pucher - let alone the pope - have not read the Bible, one must assume that they are intentionally ignoring the following Scripture passages.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.

Rom 5,8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 5,9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 5,10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Rom 5, 8-10;

Jesus Christ the righteous, He Himself is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.

1Jn 2,1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2,2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. Jn 2, 1- 2;

God sent His Son into the world to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jn 4,9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 4,10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Jn 4, 9-10;

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.

1Pet 2,21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 2,22 who committed no sins, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 2,23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 2,24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 2,25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. 1Pet 2,21-25;


These clear Bible passages are not even mentioned in the Catholic argument, and if they are, then not as a sacrifice for our sins but as “showing the way” to people to restore their honor before God. But further examination also makes it clear what these argumentative twists and turns are intended to prove, as J. Pucher writes:

“Jesus’ death on the cross reveals not a God hungry for atonement, but an infinitely and unconditionally loving God. Jesus did not become man and die on the cross in order to reconcile us to God. God did not need to be reconciled. He had never stopped loving us. Jesus became man in order to bring us runaways back to God after we had strayed, to be for us a pointer to God”.


This message of the “infinitely and unconditionally” loving God is indeed completely well-known. In Protestant and evangelical circles this misleading slogan is unfortunately proclaimed again and again by superficial pastors and preachers. Now, the love of God for people is great. It is even so great that he could let his own Son die on the cross for the sins of the world. Nevertheless, this love cannot be infinite; otherwise it would be a blind love. The love of God lasts until his grace and mercy have run out in the life of an individual human being. If love, grace and mercy are rejected and refused, all that is left is the absolute and unrelenting righteousness of God to which the human being must surrender in the end.

Just as littler as the love of God is unconditional. That would mean that the greatest denier of God could be preserved for eternal life without conversion and repentance. Simply on that point the irresponsibility of such statements can be seen. Here below are a few of those conditions that must, according to Scripture, be fulfilled in order to be actually loved and saved by God.

THE CONDITIONS TO BE SAVED.
FULFILLMENT NON-FULFILLMENT


He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance;

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.



He who believes in Him is not judged;



He who believes in the Son has eternal life


The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself;

Everyone who lives and believes in Me, will never die.

I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.







Jn 14,21



Jn 14,23



Mt 10,32


Mt 25,29



Jn 3,16



Jn 3,18



Jn 3,36



1Jn 5,10


Jn 11,26



Jn 12,46









He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.


But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.





he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.


















Jn 14,24



Mt 10,33


Mt 25,29







Jn 3,18



Jn 3,36



1Jn 5,10











Although this text above, from Jn 3,16:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

is cited again and again in connection with the love of God - and rightly so - the background of this statement is hardly known and often remains obscured: if God’s love is so great that he gave his only Son for the sins of the world, then his righteousness, which demanded this atonement for the sins of humankind, must be greater still than his love for people. But that means that in reality it is the righteousness of God that is actually infinite and absolute. Our God is an almighty God and omnipotence without righteousness would be arbitrariness.

For the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done.

Dan 9,14 "Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice. Dan 9,14;

Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations

Rev 15,3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! Rev 15, 3;

Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments.

Ps 119,137 Tsadhe. Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. 119,138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness. Ps 119,137-138;

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.

Ps 119,142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. 119,143¶ Trouble and anguish have come upon me, Yet Your commandments are my delight. 119,144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live. Ps 119,142-144;


(See also Discourse 72: “The throne of God.”)


And that is precisely what those people who view the righteousness of God as an Old Testament bloodthirsty, satisfaction righteousness of a God of vengeance and the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus as a “satisfaction theory” have not at all understood. As can be gathered from the above Scripture passages, the righteousness of God is the foundation of his whole being and acting. If we look at the attributes of God, we see the following connections:

-  The omnipotence of God means that there is nothing that is impossible for God to do. But that does not allow us to say whether God actually does good or evil.

-  The omniscience of God means that there is nothing in the past and future that God does not know. But that does not say anything about how God judges good and evil.

-  Only his absolute righteousness provides information about the way in which God acts. Everything that God does in his omnipotence and omniscience must therefore correspond to his absolute righteousness.


And now many will ask: Where is God’s love then? Is our God then, after all, “a God of vengeance, for whom the satisfaction of righteousness is the most important thing and who sacrifices his own Son for that?” Anyone who is concerned with these questions and studies Scripture will see that the absolute righteousness of God cannot tolerate unrighteousness in any form, not even in its tiniest form, whatever the motive. A violation against the absolute righteous commands of God can therefore be atoned for only by death. God gave people life and his commandments and God will take back life (in the second death) from whoever does not observe these commandments. That is why the sinful human being - which we all are - is guilty before God and is to be condemned.

Prv 19,16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless of conduct will die. Pro 19,16;


But Scripture does say that we are saved by grace, and grace is not a category of righteousness but one of compassion and love. Is God then “unrighteous”? That appears to be so only at first glance - namely, if we do not analyze the reason for this grace. This reason is indeed the love of God for people - that is correct in itself. However, God’s love does not close his eyes to evil. The love of God must also correspond to God’s righteousness. Nothing gets past that.

And we thus see the dilemma: righteousness demands that every person who sins against the commandments of God be condemned. And given that all people have sinned, we are all guilty. But the love of God wants to give all people the possibility of salvation, up to the last second of their earthly lives, if they are conscious of their offenses, repent and are converted. In the Old Testament - the old covenant - God had therefore allowed the Jews to offer the life of an animal for their offenses as compensation and as a penitential offering. In the New Testament, God offered this salvation to all people in the whole world. Given that there are not enough sheep and bulls in the world to atone for all the sins of human beings by animal sacrifices, God sent his own Son to become human, the only sacrifice for the sins of the world to die on the cross and therewith to satisfy God’s justice - but also his love.

We thus see that God’s love is not based on God renouncing his righteousness and winking at our sins. But God chose the only possible way by which his righteousness and his love could be brought into harmony: he offered himself for us human beings.

There is perhaps no better parable to explain God’s actions here than the story of Prince Shamil, an Avar leader of the northern Caucasus in the early 19th century, as reported by the economist Roscher<(i>:


“In order to ensure unity and discipline in his tribe, the Prince had issued the strict order that no one was to take anything from the booty, which belonged to the tribe as a whole. Any one who transgressed against this order was to be punished with a hundred lashes of the knout.

Then the order was disobeyed for the first time - by the Prince’s elderly mother. What was now to be done? If the punishment was not carried out, the justice of the Prince would be put in question, and the seriousness of his orders for all future time would be undermined.

Rosher tells us that the Prince shut himself in his tent for a whole day. Then he came out, and gave instructions that the punishment was to be carried out.

But as the first lash came whistling down on the back of his mother, he tore off his coat, threw himself over his mother’s body, and called out to the soldiers, ‘Keep on striking, and not one blow too few!’

And so he had found the solution! His mother was saved, and at the same time the torn and bleeding back of the Prince showed how seriously his commands were to be taken and how important to the tribe were justice and righteousness.”

(After Werner de Boor: Der Brief an die Römer [The Epistle to the Romans], WStB Publications, R. Brockhaus Verlag [R. Brockhaus Publishers]).


And so the blood and the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross also shows us how remorseless God in his justice is against sin, and how extensive at the same time is his love of us human beings. At the same time we see that God has provided proof of his love to us human beings for a long time:

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world.

1Jn 4,9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 4,10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1Jn 4, 9-10;


That is why it has no longer been a question for a long time that God must prove his love to us but it is our love for God and his Son that must be proved, and that applies to all of us. Given that God’s love for us is revealed in the redemptive sacrifice of his Son, it is now lies with us to show God our love. And this can happen, only if we observe the Lord's commandments - his word.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Jn 14,15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 14,16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 14,17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. Jn 14,15-17;

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him.

Jn 14,23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 14.24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. Jn 14,23-24;


As can easily be seen from these remarks, God’s love is also - like his omnipotence and omniscience - subject to his absolute righteousness. Like omnipotence and omniscience, without absolute righteousness, God’s love would be either tyranny or blind love, which, because of its arbitrariness, would be reduced to meaninglessness. And this absolute righteousness of God is what now also requires that his commandments be fulfilled, which are given for the welfare of the world. Whoever does not observe them, sins. And the wages of sin is the (second) death of human beings. And to escape the second death at the Last Judgment, there is only one escape: if a human being converts, repents and accepts the substitutionary sacrifice of our Redeemer for his sins.

(See also Excursus 08: “The first and the second death.”)


But as it seems, the Catholic Church - and also so many evangelical churches - wants neither the one nor the other. They want an “access to the faith in keeping with the times.” They do not want any punishment for their sins, but they do not want to depend on the grace of the Son of God either and to live their lives according to his commandments. Thus, they invent an “infinitely and unconditionally loving God,” who allows himself to be deceived and cheated by people, and declare his righteousness to be obsolete.

For not knowing about God’s righteousness they seek to establish their own.

Rom 10,3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. Rom 10, 3;


The infinite and unconditional love of God.

If the love of God were to be infinite and unconditional, this God would have to forgive all human beings of all ages (infinite time!!) all their sins, without any conversion or repentance on their part (unconditionally!!). There would then no longer be any need of a redeeming sacrifice – and Jesus Christ would not have had to die on the cross.

Then all criminals, mass murderers, atheists, tyrants and all other kinds of scum, from the begin to the end of the world (infinite time!!) would enter into eternal life without any conversion or repentance on their part (unconditionally!!), along with all rightly believing Christians.

So anyone who speaks of the "infinite" and "unconditional" love of God gives clear evidence of the fact that they have no idea why God permitted his Son to die on the cross. Such people have not even begun to grasp the foundation stone of the Christian faith, and so are completely unqualified to make any kind of statement about any aspect of God’s nature.

(See also discourse 30: “Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?”)




Salvation through grace and by faith or justification by own works?

And to return now finally to the Lord's Supper once more: As could be seen from this discourse, according to Scripture, the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance celebration. We remember the redemptive sacrifice of our Lord on the cross for our sins. Whoever believes - like Benedict XVI - that he himself can pass “through the cross” by means of a “Transubstatiation” of the bread into the body of Christ and obtain righteousness before God by a “participation in Christ's way" is proclaiming a different gospel. He rejects the sacrifice of grace of our Lord and deceives the believers by promising them salvation through their own achievement (works) and thus self-redemption.

As Paul writes in 1 Cor 11,26, at the Lord's Supper we do not celebrate the "incarnation" of Jesus by a "Transubstatiation" but proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

1Cor 11,23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 11,24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 11,25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 11,26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1Cor 11,23-26;


We must "incorporate" the wine as the sacrifice of Jesus Christ through his shed blood on the cross (Lk 22,20) and his words as the bread of life (Jn 6,58-63). But this is not meant as food for our belly but as a constant reminder in our mind for eternal life.

Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.

Jn 6,27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.". Jn 6,27;


This is the old dispute concerning the doctrine of justification that has been around since the time of Luther and the Reformation: salvation through grace and by faith or justification by works (suffering). With this distinction - that on 31 October 1999 in Augsburg with the signing of the Official Common Statement (OCF) by the representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the LWF the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JD) was explicitly and officially confirmed by both sides. It remains to be seen if this joint declaration corresponds to “a very Roman exercise” as was asserted in an article in the FAZ on 26 July 2003, and the Protestants therewith revealed their origins and generally accepted the Roman ideas.


The consequence of sin and salvation through grace

Sin is every act that goes against the commandments of God (Ex 20:3-17; Mt 5:21-48). The consequence of every single one of these acts is the death of the perpetrator – and not just the first, physical death, but the second death (Rev 21:8), to which the sinful person will be condemned at the Last Judgment after Resurrection from the dead with his or her new and eternally existing body. Just as the first death is merely a transitional period up till the resurrection, so too the second death is not an extinction of the human person but rather an eternally prolonged existence, distant from God in the darkness of damnation.

In order to meet the righteous demand of God that his commandments be fulfilled, while at the same time offering those human beings who infringe them the possibility of being saved from this eternal damnation, the Son of God died on the cross for every single human individual (1Cor 15:3-5). Thus all those who accept in faith the redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God in atonement for their own sins can be saved, and as sinners who have been justified by grace can enter into eternal life with God (Rom 5:9-11).