Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Eucharist. The Real Deal. Part 1

To understand the Eucharist one must first understand Passover. Passover is the Jewish feast to celebrate recalling the night God freed Israel from Egypt. The Jews were told by God to keep a memorial. (Ex 12:14) A memorial in biblical understanding is not to only remember the past, but to relive it. The events of the past were made present. This is why Jews celebrate Passover think of themselves as one with their ancestors. Through the exodus all Israelites of all generations were delivered from Egypt. Along with the past, Jews look to the future at Passover. Before the time of Christ the prophets had foretold of another exodus. A Messianic king to renew the covenant God made with his people.
What was the point in God having the Jews preform an animal sacrifice? Was animal sacrifice an ends or a means? It was both. But more of a means. The animal sacrificed symbolized the person's giving of them self to God, and by this strengthening their relationship with God.
Now a days we can eat meals with anyone and it not mean a thing. For example, lunch time at any restaurant, there will be a room of complete strangers eating together, and no one is bound to be friends. But in biblical times meals shared with others forged covenant bonds. Enemies could seal peace by having a meal together. (Gen 26:26-31, 31:54-55) Why do you think the Pharisees were so scandalized by Jesus eating with sinners?
What would a meal with God do? In a ritual sacrifice part of the animal was offered to God, and part was eaten by those that preformed the sacrifice. The communion meal was the pinnacle and completion of these type of sacrifices. In sacrificing the animal AND eating it sealed communion with God. A communion meal is required at the Passover sacrifice. If you read (Ex 12:8-12) you'll see that since the first Passover the Jews are required to eat the Passover Lamb. By eating the lamb the Jews participate in the sacrifice.
Talk at ya Later


Kev said...

It is interesting that you say that those participating in the passover think of themselves as the ones actually being freed from bondage as though they were actually captives in Egypt. Sometimes we read a bit too much into the Scriptures. In the New Revised Standard Edition it states

Exodus 14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

It is signified as an act of remembrance, not a reinactment where the participants are transformed back into the state of bondage. This is a foreshadowing of the comming messiah. We have to ask ourselves, what saved the Hebrews that day, the Blood, the lamb or God Himself? The eating of the lamb and the posting of blood on the doorposts was an act of obedience, but it was not what saved them. It was God's mercy that saved them. He gave strict orders to have a feast to remember that day which was for remembrance.

24 You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. 25 When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this observance?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.’ ” And the people bowed down and worshiped.

That brings us to the fact that when Jesus spoke in the upper room, He spoke of doing this in remembrance. Just as those Jewish people today who celebrate passover in remembrance as an ordinance do not use the same lamb and blood, we do not place Jesus Christ back on the cross and sacrafice Him again. We remember what He did for us as our passover lamb. Just as we are to do through the Lord's Supper. Paul tells us that in Corinthians.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is fork you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Notice that he says that He gave thanks and broke the bread, not that he blessed the bread so that it became His body. Just as God commanded to the Hebrews as He brought them out of Egypt, He also commands us to do this in remembrance, proclaiming the Lord's death until He comes. The significance of the Lord's Supper is not diminished by the fact that we are not actually partaking in the actual Blood and Body, the significance is in the remebrance of His sacrafice and honoring Jesus with our willingness to confess Him until He returns. Thanks, see ya.

Anonymous said...

What's going on in Revelation 5:6? "Between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain..." I mean the Bible, and especially John, is full of meaningless details, NOT. So what's this "as though it had been slain." Is it, maybe, denoting a sacrifice? Within the context of Johannine theology and the context of the passage, I think it is safe to say that 1)Jesus is the Lamb and 2)It aint 33 AD. So what's happening in this passage?
Just something to chew on.

Adam the Catholic said...

You said "It is interesting that you say that those participating in the passover think of themselves as the ones actually being freed from bondage as though they were actually captives in Egypt. Sometimes we read a bit too much into the Scriptures."
It is not so much interesting as it is TRUE. I am not one to tell someone of a different faith what they believe. I have looked into the topic and have found no reasion to think those that I've talked to, and the books I've read are lieing.

Anonymous said...

Scrolling down and down to find the first part of this series, I noticed ... )comments on most of them. Moi cher Adam, make you a link in the signature and pass these around everytime you send a note. This is sooooooooo much knowledge that needs to be shared. I am reading a few today ... now that my other work is over. >>>I much rather do this than sit in front of the boob tube.<<< And merci soooooooo much for sharing your heart and soul with us. DIEU TE BENISSE!!! Cajun Sissy Macile, from ...

Macile LeJeune said...

By eating the lamb the Jews participate in the sacrifice. >>>Something called me back to this writing. And ... there it was, at the very end.<<<
Soooooo, eating the Body and Blood of our Sweet Jesus is a way for us to praticipate in HIS sacrifice.
Ohe, Adam, how well this tells our Prostant brothern ... why we say ... THE REAL PRESENCE.
Again, merci beaucoup plus et plus (Thanks a bunch and more) for sharing this ... and giving me more understanding. Look out, BK ... Adam is teaching me ... things I though I already knew.
DIEU TE BENISSE!!! Cajun Sissy