I have some difficulty with parts of this article, especially the "Background" section. First is the claim that the Last Supper was a Passover meal. While this seems to be the acount given by the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John is quite clear that it is not a Passover meal, as Jesus is on the Cross while the lambs are being slain for the Passover meal. Moreover, even the Synoptic accounts say that the bread was leavened (artos), as opposed to the unleavened bread required for Passover. Second, I would eliminate the idea that the Passover meal was transformed by Christ -- not only because I don't think it was a Passover meal, but also because the Jewish people still celebrate the Passover meal. Third, the anaphoras of the first several centuries do not emply Passover language, and therefore to link Eucharist so closely to Passover is to imply that Christians didn't understand the Eucharist for the first several centuries. -- Fr Lev
- Hi Fr.Lev -
- I think this would be a good discussion to have in more depth, if other folks want to chime in. I'm not convinced that whether the Jewish people still celebrate it or not has any bearing on the question. I think the connection throughout is really clear -- there is a very strong typological association of Passover and the flight from Egypt, with the Passion of Christ and the redemption of the Church (through blood and water). It is very explicit that this is what the Eucharist is about, too. No doubt, more historical nuance would certainly be appropriate.
- Regarding early sources, have you read Melito of Sardis's On Pascha? There is a very clear association there. — FrJohn (talk)
Fr Lev, Just putting this out:
- "Where will You have us prepare for You to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, 'The Teacher says. My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples." And the disciples did as Jesus, had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening. He sat at table with the twelve disciples.... Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.... And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matt. 26:17-20; 26-28, 30).
Now I guess that this does not say that this was the Passover meal, done the proper way, on the proper day, but since Jesus himself was to become the “New Passover