The Eucharist Revisited

Back in mid-February, I published a post asking, “What is the Eucharist“, using John 6 as my primary source. In our Rector’s sermon on the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, he pointed out the cup used for the Last Supper was the third of four cups. He noted that Jesus never finished the Passover feast, that he never drank the last cup. He told his disciples sitting around the table with him, “Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.'” Luke 22:17-18 ESV In essence, He said the final meal they were sharing would be completed or fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Many believe that will occur at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Why is this important? It is one more argument reinforcing the position that every Eucharist we celebrate as Christians is a continuing participation of that one and primary Eucharist Jesus began with his disciples. It explains the Hebrew understanding of remembrance, that of participating in the original event expressed by their only being one Passover and all subsequent celebrations are a participation in that original event. When we look at our celebrations of the Eucharist we can begin to understand how that participation continues in the original sharing around the table with Jesus Christ, to our current celebrations, which look forward to the fulfillment of the Last Supper’s meaning in that great future banquet celebrating the culmination of the marriage between Christ and his church, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

In participating in this great ongoing event we lay claim to Jesus’ statement in John 6:53 “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” In our participation in the Eucharist we claim Christ’s life alive in us, empowering us for service in the Kingdom of God as it assaults and breaks down the gates of hell. Halleluiah!

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