Now, there are two more time aspects to this passage. There is the future aspect, and that is important because we don’t just look to the past. We don’t look to a Christ who died on the cross for our sin and rose again and that’s the end of it. Rather, that same Jesus who died and ascended to heaven is coming again. He said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also." This is the same Jesus. The one whom we look to in the past is the Jesus we look to in the future. This Jesus is coming, and because of that there is the present element as well.

In yesterday’s lesson we looked at three different interpretations of Jesus’ words "This is my body." Then there was the view of John Calvin. Calvin had the correct view, though others may disagree. Calvin’s view states that the Lord Jesus Christ is present in the Communion service, but not in actual body. Rather, Christ is present spiritually. And so, just as the Lord Jesus Christ is with us in a spiritual way by the Holy Spirit day by day, so he can say in a very real sense, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). So Calvin stated that in a very special way the Lord Jesus Christ is with his people in the Communion service. The spiritual presence of Christ is imparted to them as they partake of the elements.

It is a pity that the Lord’s Supper and our interpretation of the Lord’s words should have become such a cause of division within the Christian Church. The chief cause of trouble here is what the Lord says about the bread: "This is my body." This has been the cause of at least four major interpretations. The Roman Catholic church, at the time of the Reformation, took these words in the most literal of ways. They believed that the bread and wine used in the Sacrament are changed into the literal Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The theological word for that is the word transubstantiation. It means that there is a literal change.

Yesterday we saw that the Corinthian Christians were approaching the Lord’s Supper selfishly instead of reverently. The other problem was that the Corinthians were actually producing divisions among themselves in the very midst of the observance that was meant to indicate their unity in Christ. You only have to go back one chapter to 1 Corinthians 10 where Paul was speaking of the Lord’s Supper, and you find him stressing the idea of unity.

One of the wonderful things about the sacraments and ordinances of the Christian Church is that where they're practiced properly, they acknowledge the equality of all men and women before God, that none of us comes with any special privilege, but rather we all come as sinners in need of the grace of God and we must come equally and be received equally on the basis of what Christ has done. That is not true in the ordinances of this world.