Monday, June 8, 2009

Why do Catholics believe the Eucharist is Jesus’ actual body and blood? #3

Previously, we have looked at the facts that the Eucharist is a mystery. If a Christian can accept the Trinity and the Incarnation then the Eucharist should be acceptable as well. We also looked at the Gospel of John to see that Jesus was very explicit in his requirement that we literally eat his body and drink his blood. If you haven’t read the previous two posts, please do so here before reading this one.

Today we will talk about the Passover. The Passover was first celebrated by the Israelites as recorded in the book of Exodus and was the cause of their escape from slavery in Egypt. One requirement of the Passover was to eat an unblemished, male lamb. Christians of all denominations agree that Jesus Christ is the Passover lamb for all mankind. He fits both the requirements for the lamb, and for the priest offering the lamb, perfectly!

So how is this further proof of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist?

Most non-Catholic Christians believe that Jesus’ fulfillment of the Passover abolishes the Passover. They believe that participating in Jesus sacrifice requires only faith that Jesus is the son of God and that his sacrifice removes our sins. They believe faith is the requirement to participate in Jesus’ sacrifice; not action.

But Jesus said to his disciples that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). He didn’t come to make the Passover part of history. He came to transform it into something all people can participate in. Let me explain.

The Passover signaled the creation of a new covenant with God and his people. This is when they became a “royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart.” The Israelites entered God’s family through the Passover. Jesus’ sacrifice created a new covenant with all people, not just the Jews. Jesus didn’t end the old Passover; he recreated it for the whole of humanity so we may all be in God’s family. He didn’t abolish; he fulfilled.

The old Passover didn’t require merely faith, it required action. A Jew had to participate in the Passover, with the climax of eating the unblemished lamb. They couldn’t eat the lamb metaphorically or symbolically. They had to eat the lamb. Jesus is the lamb in the new covenant. Like our Jewish ancestors we can’t simply have faith; we need to act. We need to eat the lamb.

We discussed John 6 previously where Jesus says in very literal terms we must eat his body five times! When did he say that? “The fest of the Passover was near” (Jn 6:4). I bet the disciples wondered how they would be able to eat Jesus body and drink his blood. I know I’d be curious!

Then in the upper room at the Passover two years later, we see Jesus saying the bread and wine are his body and blood. Can you imagine how relieved the disciples must have felt? Did the disciples think Jesus was speaking symbolically or figuratively? If they did, why did they forget to eat the lamb? The Gospels tell us they ate the bread and drank the wine, sang a hymn, and went out to the Mount of Olives. What Jew would forget to eat the lamb? The only reason they wouldn’t is that they believed they already had eaten it; in the bread and wine. Was it still bread and wine? No, it was the flesh and blood promised by Jesus in John 6.

The Passover lamb must be eaten. How is this possible if not for the Real Presence in the Eucharist?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Dear people ,half of christendom says it's silly to think our passover ,our communion elements are real flesh and blood of our Messiah. The old testament folks had faith in the promised Messiah. They did not believe it was His actual blood and flesh. When they(Moses) partook of the lamb, they burned ,destroyed any remaining meat.It was the shed blood spread across their doorposts that saved them,as today it his blood that saves us (without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins-it does NOT say without the drinking of blood there is no remission).In fact they merely needed to be offered (to the priest) for shedding, the priets could eat it, for substinence, but the people did not have to eat. Anyways, Moses and company literally ate the sacrifice, but it was faith in its' symbolism that accounted for righteousness. Would they have died if they did not eat but merely shed and spread the blood on the doorpost ? Did they eat obediently for substinence for the long journey or to be sanctified ? So today we literally partake of the same symbols looking back at the final, real Messiah sacrifice. The bible says "FINAL,ONCE FOR ALL" .The fullfillment. By recreating His fleshly sacrifice, you continue it,and thus you need your priests for a priest is for a sacrifice, yet the bible says we are ALL PRIESTS, not like the old,for we need not offer a sacrifice. Why do you think "priests ' is not mentioned in the new testament(except where it states we are all priests. It is a new testament as you say, yet you do old tetsament shedding, with old testament priesthood, seperating them from the rets of the saints...Why did not God say that
Moses was eating the Messiah-he looked forward to Him as we look backward to His sacrifice ? HENCE HE SAYS REMEMBRANCE. You do not remember, you do it all over again. There is no hint of priests, transubstantiation in Acts. They had their love feats, they broke bread in His remembrance. There is no mention of a priet needed, even in the wild Corinthians. A hundred years later you have mention of a president, or one who presides over a meeting but no priest. Yes you had deacons, presbyters, elders bishop, but there is no mention of their requirement at a a"mass'. Why is "priests" mentioned 1000 times in the old but a handful of times in the new testament ? Why did Paul say there is a new priesthood, with whole new terms (bishop deacon). There is no mention of a eucharist being saved in gold for the next service, or being burned like Moses.....John 6 is about faith in whom Jesus is. Believe is mentiioned 7 times and is the final verse where Peter says ,"You are the Christ". He does not say, "We believe and have no problem eating you". Jesus mentions "eating" Him in His final plea of symbolism and truth to show there unbelief "he knew from the beginning those who did not believe". They did not believe hence understand and wrongly thought they had to eat Him. The Holy Spirit baptizes us, not Jesus flesh. Flesh begets flesh but spirit spirit. Jesus said so even in John 6 he scoffs at flesh even his own?. Are we like other cultures who believe that the eating of flesh transmits better qualities, say that of a ferocious bear or the heart of a brave warrior. Could this transubstantiation been wrongly used to attract or direct one to better truths ? Is it needed? Paul says he comes with a simple meesage of Christ cricified and risen. Thank you for letting me babble but the truth above has burned in many hearts, yesterday, today and forever. As Mark Twain said,"it's not that we know so little ,but that we are wrong about so much '.

Anonymous said...

does this have pagan origins ? did not the egyptians believe also in "eating" their gods ? Jews never did ,but do have symbolism that the Word is "bread" to our spirits, and He is our manna that we live by every word of God (deut.8:3)