Farther, we are to understand this, "that to whom much is given, of them will much be required;" and as St. Gregory wells saith, Cum crescunt dona, crescunt et rationes donorum, "As the gifts grow, so grow the accounts too;" therefore, that by this new dignity befallen us, Necessitas qu dam nobis imposita est, saith St. Augustine, "there is a certain necessity laid upon us" to become in some measure suitable unto it; in that we are one--one flesh and one blood, with the Son of God. Being thus "in honour," we ought to understand our estate, and not fall into the Psalmist's reproof, that we, "become like the beasts that perish." For if we do indeed think our nature is ennobled by this so high a conjunction, we shall henceforth hold ourselves more dear, and at a higher rate, than to prostitute ourselves to sin, for every base, trifling, and transitory pleasure. For tell me, men that are taken to this degree, shall any of them prove a devil, as Christ said of Judas? or ever, as these with us of late, have to do with any devilish or Judasly fact?
We know from the Law of Moses that death itself is unclean, and that leprosy was unclean as well, In the Gospels Jesus touched a leper and made him clean. Normally, by the Law only the reverse would have been true. Whatever comes into contact with uncleanness is made unclean.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 15
But, when Christ touched the leper, the leper was healed of his unclean disease. 16 When Christ took fellowship with our sin through death, and was himself dead for the space of three days, he reversed the uncleanness of our death, and of our sin. Our sinful bodies will be made clean by his resurrected body, cleansed from the unclean state of death on the Last Day; our souls are washed through his most precious blood from all guilt of sin.
By tying all of these things together; the Incarnation, Christ's partaking of our nature, our partaking of his body and blood, our partaking of his divine nature, with "the receiving of [the sacrament of communion with his Body and Blood] by us a means whereby He might 'dwell in us, and we in Him,'" Lancelot Andrewes unlocks the glorious mysteries of God's grace in the sacrament. He unlocks for modern readers, especially those who are not scholars, the deeper meaning of Cranmer and Hooker who were before him, who emphasized "the communion of the blood of Christ...the communion of the body of Christ."
Modern readers, especially those who have been unaware of the original Greek New Testament, have mistaken the word "communion" for something that places the Real Presence of Christ a step away from us, as it were. Instead, this same word that speaks of the fellowship of the Eternal Son with the flesh and blood he took into His own Person, brings us as close as possible; it puts us in Christ and Christ in us. We are joined to His Divine Nature as he joined His uncreated Person to our created nature. It cannot get closer than this. That is Real presence in the sacrament.
Communion, fellowship, with His Body and Blood is all about the glorious hope of our calling and election: He took our created nature, so that we may take his body and blood, and so we partake of his Divine Nature.
1. II Pet. 1:4