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Communion Meditations (2023)



Originally scheduled for May 14

Most evangelical Christians have never heard of Ignatius of Antioch. He lived in the late first and early second centuries (dates uncertain).  A martyr for the faith as well as the Bishop of Antioch, he is perhaps best known for his argument with the Docetists.
The Docetists — and there were many varieties of these people, with varying belief schemes — all agreed that Jesus did not have a physical body. He was some sort of spirit who appeared to have a physical body. This belief system is rooted in Greek philosophy of the time, and seems strange to Christians today.
Ignatius countered this idea with an argument structured around Communion.
·        He argued that the elements in communion are physically real, an undoubted fact. We do not take imaginary communion.
·        He then argued that Christ himself told us that these elements are his body (see Matthew 26:26-28). If the elements which make up Christ’s body are real, Ignatius reasoned, then Christ’s body must be real.
We too may gain by examining the fact that the elements of communion are real. For if they are real, the suffering they represent is also real. Christ really was nailed to that cross; he bled and died, suffering for our sins. In this way He demonstrated his real love for us. As you partake this morning, consider the ultimate reality of communion: God in the flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, bled and died for your sins out of his great love for us.

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