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How do the narrative horizons of the New Testament shape and constrain its meaning? In the Synoptic Gospels it is not the salvation of humanity that is at issue in the meal, it is the salvation of Israel. The prominent association with the Passover, whether or not this was actually a Passover meal, makes it in some respect a re-enactment of the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. The exodus was not a universal existential event; it was a particular historical event.

The allusion is to Daniel They will suffer, and many will lose their lives; but they will be vindicated on the day when God delivers his people from the extreme political-religious crisis. He likens the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast for the son of a king.

Perspectives on the Lord’s Supper | CHCRC Bonus Features

It has to be understood in relation to the foreseen war against Rome. Paul does not mention a future feast, but his account also has an eschatological dimension: In other words, they cannot be complacent.


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My argument generally is that Jesus and Paul have different eschatological horizons. For Jesus the kingdom of the Father comes when Israel is judged and his disciples and followers are vindicated for their faith in him and for their resolute proclamation of the prophetic word. Perhaps Matthew pushes the horizon further back , but not to such a degree that the primary focus on the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple is lost. For Paul, on the other hand, the horizon is the judgment of the pagan world, when Jesus will be publicly confessed as Lord by the nations.

Baptism served a similar purpose: These are eschatological sacraments. For us that is all now in the past. I think the answer is yes. Just as the Jews celebrated their deliverance from Egypt in the Passover meal, so the people of God today celebrates the moment of its deliverance from the power that sin had over its life and mission. At much greater historical distance and under very different eschatological conditions, we still remember that Jesus died for the sins of his people and for the sake of a radically transformed future for his people. History has moved on—nations in the West no longer confess Jesus as Lord—but we are who we are because of the narrative told in the New Testament.

It is not some regional idolatrous imperial power that now determines the nature and scope of the missional challenge. We are confronted by a very different type of socio-ecological hubris. It is in this increasingly global and, indeed, cosmic context— NASA has just crashed its Messenger probe into the planet Mercury—that we must continue to affirm the righteousness or rightness of the creator God.

Four Views of the Lord’s Supper

But we can do this at all only because in the first century AD Jesus died for the sins of his people. It is almost specifically designed for a people in transition with completed stories behind them and a new story yet to come. It experientially reveals and renews my commitment to be the people of God in the world at this moment, and it looks forward to the resurrection fellowship of the new heavens and new earth.

Another interesting article, Andrew. Acts, however, shows that the key feature of this restoration was the inclusion of the Gentile world. Eventually, the restored people of God were neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new people of God. National Israel was judged, along with the symbols of her national arrogance and rebellion - Jerusalem and temple in particular. What else could it be? The same is repeated in Colossians 1: Only Jews made the journey from Egypt, only Jews benefited from the sacrificial system, only Jews faced the punishment of exile in Babylon, only Jews were tortured and killed by Antiochus for not eating pork.

Gentiles have nothing to do with it. So even if Matthew It would make neither narrative nor theological sense. It is another to read the inclusion of Gentiles back into the last supper. I think it needs to then to be said that even faithful Israel is not restored as Israel which might have been inferred from the prophets , but as part of a people which has no national identity very much not inferred from the prophets.

The view of Rome is that the bread retains the outer form of bread, but the invisible substance of the bread becomes the literal body of Jesus. The bread still looks, feels, smells and tastes like bread, but it is really the flesh of Jesus. Everyone who eats the bread eats the flesh of Jesus whether he eats in faith or eats in unbelief. This bread has become an amalgam, a mixture, a compound of bread and flesh with the attributes of the bread or the accidents of bread, to use the philosophical term and the substance of human flesh.


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    The Meaning Of The Lord's Table By Zac Poonen

    Jesus is still with us on earth in terms of His divinity and through His Holy Spirit, and that is why Jesus could promise that He will be with us always, even to the end of the age. His physical body is now everywhere, but it is especially present in the communion bread like magnetism is present in a magnet.

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    It is still a localized human body. When Stephen was martyred and looked into heaven, He saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God with a localized body. Other verses tell us that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God Col 3: With this idea, the divine attribute of omnipresence ubiquity could be predicated of, or transferred to, the human nature of Christ. Evangelical Memorialism The third view, often called memorialism , avoids the problems of trans- and con- substantiation. This third view is also called the Zwinglian view, because it was Huldrych Zwingli who developed the doctrine.

    The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? The problem with this memorial view is that it does not take 1 Corinthians As well, because the reading of the Law, the confession of sin, and the declaration of pardon have all but disappeared from the service, the sense of sin and the true gospel have also fallen into disfavor.

    Is it possible that to some extent the development of the altar call in evangelicalism is a response to the felt inadequacy of our services when they do not end in the heart of the gospel? Is it perhaps an unspoken desire to have that central message made in the Sacrament that God has instituted? Church history illuminates the development of these four views.

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    The early church fathers clearly used symbolic vocabulary plus the spiritual eating and drinking of Christ. By the midth century, it was a dogma of the church, and was officially accepted in the Fourth Lateran Council So it could be truly said that transubstantiation was a Roman innovation. In , the difference between Luther and Zwingli came to a head. To reconcile their differences, Philip of Hesse, leader of the German princes, invited Zwingli and Luther to meet at his castle in Marburg. The dispute was often heated, and ended in the final split between the Lutheran and Reformed movements.

    Gunn explains the Reformed view:. According to this view, the bread and wine represent the body and blood of Jesus. They do not in any way become the literal body and blood themselves. Again, the Reformed view is not transubstantiation, not consubstantiation, but at the same time, it is much more than memorialism. Much more, because it is not merely a memorial to Christ, or a testimony of our faith in Christ.

    Rather, it is both real communion with Christ in heaven and nourishment of our faith:.

    Extra material that I don't have time to say on Sunday morning.

    The Christian is seated with Christ in the heavenlies Eph 2: We are where Jesus is through the mystical union effected by the Holy Spirit. Our subjective experience of the mystical union grows as our faith grows. The Holy Spirit uses the communion service to increase our faith, to strengthen our faith, to confirm our faith.