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Luther on "The Roasted Christ"

by pastorjuhl ~ May 27th, 2008

Just as a hen or anything else is not kept on the spit and roasted in order to remain there permanently, but upon being roasted is removed from the spit and placed on the table for people to eat and be nourished, have their hunger satisfied and become stronger, so Christ, having suffered with terrible pain on the cross, was afterwards removed from the spit of the cross, laid in the tomb, risen from the dead, and so on, in order that the whole world might have this food.  For Christ was the world’s genuine Bread of Life, for Jews and Gentiles alike.

So now this heavenly food, so carefully prepared and subjected to the intense fire of the cross, is served up and offered to the whole world.  Wherever Christians are gathered, there you find the table.  The preaching of the gospel is the dish.  The servers are the pastors.  Christ is the food.  Through the pastor’s mouth the food is laid on the table and served; for when the gospel is preached, this food is served up and offered.  It is embraced solely in the Word and is heard by both young and old, learned and unlearned, rich and poor, and the like.  Each person receives just as much as anyone else in the world if only he believes, for it is a food that fills and satisfies; yes, it is possible for the whole world to have their hunger sated by this food.  All believers partake of Christ, and each receives him wholly, despite which Christ remains whole, something that does not occur when earthly food, whether a hen or capon.

This food is offered in the following way: the gospel is proclaimed, telling how Christ suffered, was crucified, and died for our sins.  Everyone in the world is urged to come and not to stay away, to eat of this food, gladly hear the gospel of Christ, and believe what the gospel proclaims.  For to the serving up belong three things: first, the dish, which is the Word of God; second, the waiter, that is the pastor’s mouth; and third, to believe it with all one’s heart.  When these three things come together, man’s heart and soul begin to eat, saying, Here is a deliciously prepared hen or chicken; here Christ is proclaimed; I see and hear what this food is, the “roasted” Christ; I am to eat of this; hence, I must believe what is proclaimed and taught in the gospel.  Whoever believes this with all his heart eats of this Christ.

—House Postils, Vol. 2, p. 243-244

1 Response to Luther on "The Roasted Christ"

  1. ToddPeperkorn

    I had forgotten this quotation. Thanks!

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