Eucharistic Reflections 7

Brant Pitre, in his new book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper, explores the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and, in particular, the Jewish roots of eucharist. We have sanitized, de-historicized, and problematized the Lord’s supper in Christian discourse. To get behind these problems, one we can do is revisit the Lord’s supper in its Passover context. Which is what Pitre does in this book.

Today is Triumphal Entry Sunday. Which means today marks the beginning of Passover week for Jesus and his table companions and family. It’s a good time to look again at Pitre’s book. In his 7th chp he sketches the big ideas of the book.

The Lord’s Supper emerges in a Passover meal. The best place to study this is to open your Bible and read Exodus 12 all over again. What needs to be seen in the Last Supper is that Jesus reconfigured the passover meal into a meal that memorialized his passion. Jesus identified himself with the passover lamb.

Notice these verses in the NT:

7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:7-8).

6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth (Rev 5:6).

The Lord’s supper that we celebrate, the Eucharist, is the Passover of the Messiah.

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  • I posted some thoughts from a sermon I gave at a recent Maundy Thursday looking specifically at the four cups of the passover meal and the promises that Israel remembers with each…and how Christ fulfills them. If you’re interested, take a look:

  • I think the church has lost the reverence that it once had for the Eucharist. The Eucharist is Christ’s gift to us and can be a very powerful experience, and yet churches pass out oyster crackers and grape juice willy nilly and don’t give it reverence and respect it needs. My husband actually wrote a post about this.

    I really appreciated that you pointed out the Christ is our Passover lamb or Paschal lamb, so many times we forget the link of the last supper with the Passover of the Old Testament.

    Good Post!