Many Christians will say that Christ saves in the way that one man delivers another from a ditch by throwing down a rope. There is certainly some truth to the illustration. Hannah told us that our God raises the poor out of the dust (1 Samuel 2:8). But this image is not entirely sufficient. And I don’t merely mean that the image falls short on the sovereignty of God, as if what is needed is simply to add that Christ ties the rope around our lifeless bodies, and hauls us up by grace alone. That is true enough. But it still fails to capture an essential message of this table.
As the Heidelberg Catechism says, “[God] wishes to assure us by this visible sign that we come to share in his true body and blood through the working of the Holy Spirit as surely as we receive with our mouth these holy tokens.” Do we receive this bread? Does this wine enter us? In the same way, we actually participate in Christ’s true body and blood. Again the catechism says, “all his sufferings and his death are our own as certainly as if we had ourselves suffered and rendered satisfaction in our own persons.”
Is this bread yours? Well, yes it is. It is quite clearly yours. After you eat, there is no doubt it is yours. It is in you. And likewise, are Christ’s sufferings and death yours? Is the payment and satisfaction of Christ’s shed blood truly yours? Indeed. As much as this wine which you will drink is yours, so is the blood of Christ and all his benefits yours. His broken body: yours. His blood: yours. His death: yours. His justification: yours. So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ.