And Where is the Body of Christ?

Pentecost 13 Friday

Jeremiah 23:24

“Am I not the one who fills heaven and earth?, says the Lord.”

Since our faith holds that Christ is God and man and that the two natures are one person, so that this person cannot be divided, it follows that he can certainly show himself according to the bodily, comprehensible mode wherever he wills, as he did after the resurrection and will do on the Last Day. Yet beyond this mode, he can also use the other, the incomprehensible mode, as we have proved from the gospel regarding the sealed tomb and the closed door, Matthew 27:66-28:6; John 20:19, 26. Yet since he is such a man who is supernaturally one person with God, and since there is no
God outside this man, it must follow that he is, and may be, also present wherever God is according to the third, supernatural mode, so that everything through and through is filled with Christ, also according to his human nature–
not according to the first, bodily, comprehensible mode, but according to the supernatural, divine mode…And if you showed me a place where God is present, but not the man, Christ’s person would already have been divided, because then I could say in truth: Here is the god who is not man and who never became man. I do not care for this god! For it would follow from this that space and location would sever the two natures in Christ and divide the person, although death and all devils cannot divide and tear this person apart. And I would be left with a poor kind of Christ who is a divine-human person only in one place while he would have to be a bare, segregated god and divine person without humanity in all other places. No, my friend, where you place God you must also place humanity; they cannot be sundered and divided but have become one person. He does not take off his humanity like Master John takes off his jacket and sets it aside when he goes to bed…[Thus,] since we have proved from Scripture that Christ’s body can be present at a place in more ways than the bodily way, we have thereby sufficiently argued that we should believe the words as they read, “this is my body,” Matthew 26:26, since it is against no article of the faith. These words, furthermore, are according to Scripture, when it lets Christ’s body penetrate the sealed tomb and the closed door. For since we can show a mode beyond the bodily, comprehensible mode, who wants to be so bold as to set a measure and limit for God’s power, as if God did not know more than one mode of presence? And, thus, the enthusiasts’ argument cannot stand, unless they prove that God’s power is to be measured and limited in this way, since their entire argument rests on the assertion that Christ’s body must be in one place only, and that it must be there in the bodily and comprehensive mode.

St. Louis ed., 951, 950.

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