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"The Wading Pool" - Questions from the Newly Reformed discuss Did our Lord partake of the Lord's Supper? in the Information and Introductions forums; So, I was pondering the depths of the Lord’s Supper and an odd thought struck me. Did Jesus partake in the Lord’s Supper? (1 Cor. ...

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Question Did our Lord partake of the Lord's Supper?

    So, I was pondering the depths of the Lord’s Supper and an odd thought struck me. Did Jesus partake in the Lord’s Supper?
    (1 Cor. 11:23-26, Matt 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20)

    1. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed, instituted the sacrament of his body and blood, called the Lord's Supper, to be observed in his Church unto the end of the world; for the perpetual remembrance of the sacrifice of himself in his death, the sealing all benefits thereof unto true believers, their spiritual nourishment and growth in him, their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other, as members of his mystical body.
    7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this sacrament, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
    WCF Chap 29

    Paragraph 1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and showing to all the world the sacrifice of himself in his death,1 confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other.2
    1 1 Cor. 11:23-26 2 1 Cor. 10:16,17,21

    Paragraph 7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.11
    11 1 Cor. 10:16, 11:23-26
    LBCF Chap 30

    Did the Lord’s Supper have the same meaning it does now? If so, how could our Lord have partaken of it? He fed upon himself? I'm thinking there might be some connection of Christ being complete in and of himself but I will need someone to explain it.

    If the Lord’s Supper had a different meaning than before, what was it? Did the definition of the Lord’s Supper change? This option doesn't make much sense to me, yet it does seem possible, being that Christ hadn't been crucified yet.
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Wannabee's Avatar
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    What an interesting question Zach.

    Christ instituted the Lord's Supper. But Christ made it clear that He would not partake until "I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." This would be the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).


    Matthew 26:26-29
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
    For the Glory of our King,
    Joe Johnson
    Slave of Christ, husband, father, grandfather and TMS graduate. Personal website - SoundLife.org
    I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. ~ CHS

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    What an interesting question Zach.

    Matthew 26:26-29
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
    Thank you.

    Ok then, were the disciples looking forward, to Christ's sacrifice, when they ate and drank? The same as we look back?

    I thought the disciples at this point still weren't grasping the idea that Christ would be sacrificed... I can't see how they looked forward to it, if they didn't understand it.
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    What an interesting question Zach.

    Matthew 26:26-29
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
    Thank you.

    Ok then, were the disciples looking forward, to Christ's sacrifice, when they ate and drank? The same as we look back?

    I thought the disciples at this point still weren't grasping the idea that Christ would be sacrificed... I can't see how they looked forward to it, if they didn't understand it.
    I think Jesus was pointing to the objective reality of what he was doing. It really made no difference if the disciples understood at that moment ... they soon would.
    Lance G. Marshall
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    Matthew 26:30-35
    And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.

    John 16:16-18
    “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?” They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.”



    It appears that they didn't really understand what was going on. Jesus had taught them, but they had not yet been given the knowledge to understand the significance of what was about to happen. This seems clear in their questioning and confusion. The hope of His resurrection clearly wasn't on their minds until they received the report from the women that He arose.


    John 16:4
    4But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.


    Consider also:
    John 12:16
    16His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.


    Of course you'll want to read these verses in context. But I think they'll steer you in the direction of the answer to your question.
    For the Glory of our King,
    Joe Johnson
    Slave of Christ, husband, father, grandfather and TMS graduate. Personal website - SoundLife.org
    I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. ~ CHS

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Thank you for your responses. If I may, I'd like to ask another follow-up question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabee View Post
    It appears that they didn't really understand what was going on. Jesus had taught them, but they had not yet been given the knowledge to understand the significance of what was about to happen. This seems clear in their questioning and confusion. The hope of His resurrection clearly wasn't on their minds until they received the report from the women that He arose.


    John 16:4
    4But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.


    Consider also:
    John 12:16
    16His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.


    Of course you'll want to read these verses in context. But I think they'll steer you in the direction of the answer to your question.
    Who are worthy recievers? Shouldn't the disciples be examples of worthy recievers? Isn't the exact opposite required for worthy recievers? knowledge, understanding, repentance, etc. I'm not being contra, nor playing devil's advocate, simply asking.

    Ok, double quote didn't work, I'll ask the same from you Pastor Marshall.
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
    Who are worthy recievers? Shouldn't the disciples be examples of worthy recievers? Isn't the exact opposite required for worthy recievers? knowledge, understanding, repentance, etc. I'm not being contra, nor playing devil's advocate, simply asking.

    Ok, double quote didn't work, I'll ask the same from you Pastor Marshall.
    If you are asking if 1 Cor. 11 applies to the disciples at the Last Supper, I don't think it does.
    Lance G. Marshall
    Pastor
    New Albany, Indiana

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Ok, have I been unwisely trying to compare the first Lord's Supper with everyone after it? Is it fair for me to say that since we have full revelation and since the disciples at that time did not, more is required of us?
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    I do not read Christ's words as if he did not drink and eat then and there with the disciples on that night. I think it would have been past strange if he had the meal with them, only he wasn't having the meal with them. On the contrary, he most certainly did eat and drink with them. The promise he makes is to resume that fellowship with them only again perfectly in his Father's Kingdom. All the ages are coming to a moment of crisis--the cross, the death, the burial, the resurrection, the ascension, the session of the King.

    The meaning of Christ's promise is unpacked in an already/not-yet manner in the present time.

    Not yet, the consummation has not arrived, and we are not sitting down in bodies with the embodied Lord. That cannot take place until the end and the general resurrection.

    Already, Christ is resurrected, he is presently enthroned. When we have the Lord's Supper, in the Spirit we are seated with him in heavenly places, he hosts us at his table. He serves us the bread and wine. We spiritually partake of him and with him. In other words, in one sense he is already drinking it with us anew in the kingdom come--because he's there, and he takes us there in the meal. But that sense is not completely realized until our own resurrection.


    But even if the doctrine of the Spiritual presence of Christ in and at the meal (ala Calvin) is rejected, I do not think that one can properly read his participation out of his inaugural institution of the meal.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Knight View Post
    Ok, have I been unwisely trying to compare the first Lord's Supper with everyone after it? Is it fair for me to say that since we have full revelation and since the disciples at that time did not, more is required of us?
    My reasons for thinking this are: (1) the immediacy of the command. Jesus is giving a face-to-face command to the disciples in the upper room to take, eat, and drink and then he personally hands the bread and cup to them. (2) 1 Cor. 11 is after the fact and does not indicate that it was retroactive.
    Lance G. Marshall
    Pastor
    New Albany, Indiana

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contra_Mundum View Post
    But even if the doctrine of the Spiritual presence of Christ in and at the meal (ala Calvin) is rejected, I do not think that one can properly read his participation out of his inaugural institution of the meal.
    Thanks for jumping in. What do you suppose was the disciples understanding of the Last Supper? Is the answer to that question what you require of your congregation?

    Since you state that our Lord participated, what significance does that play into your understanding of the Lord's Supper? What significance was Christ's body and blood to himself? Also, although no one has denied the doctrine of Christ's spiritual presence, does the "reading out" of Christ's participation require you to "read out" Christ's presence at the Lord's table?
    Zach Whitson
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    How about "communion"? With Christ.

    Jesus tells the disciples what those Supper elements mean. Now then, they can scarcely comprehend that meaning in its fullness in that instant. What they know is that they have Jesus Christ with them. And he's pointing to this sharing of common substance (calling their attention to his self-identification with that stuff), and pointing them ahead to what's around the corner.

    "You are what you eat, and you are all eating the same thing. You are one body because you are breaking and sharing the same loaf, drinking the same cup. I am that meal. I am the superintendent of this meal. It is my table. It is my fellowship. Your connection to me has to do with my broken body and shed blood. Don't quite understand that yet? OK, you will. Give it about 72 hours."

    They can't see it because it hasn't happened yet. But imagine the power of their first remembrance of that meal. What of Christ's eating? It's bread. It goes into him, and metabolism takes over. Bread becomes flesh on a human body. We're all eating the same thing. He happens to be the most important person at the meal. If we push metaphors and symbols beyond their limits, they start to lose the power of their simplicity.

    What does it mean if he doesn't eat? He's not sharing what's going into us! That's bizarre, IMO. It's like he first takes a bit of himself, and verbally situates "himself" upon the table. We are fellowshipping with him and with each other. We are one with another, we are his body. Etc.

    Look, the slaves in Egypt didn't quite "get" the Passover on its inaugural night. How could they? They weren't out of Egypt yet. But forever afterward, they did.

    Hope this is helpful. Got to go, brother.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

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    I would just add to what Bruce said the observation by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:25:

    After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
    It would be an odd thing to "sup" without eating and drinking.
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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Thanks for the food for thought all.
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Because Christ likely drank at the meal does not mean that He partook of the cup that He presented. His statement is very clear.

    Matthew 26:26-29
    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

    It seems rather confused to state that He did partake of this and subsequent cups in light of this statement.

    What does it mean if he doesn't eat? He's not sharing what's going into us! That's bizarre, IMO. It's like he first takes a bit of himself, and verbally situates "himself" upon the table. We are fellowshipping with him and with each other. We are one with another, we are his body. Etc.
    Christ says "this is my body." I can't comprehend any reason for Him to partake if it's already Him. He IS sharing His body, whether He partakes of that loaf or not. Feasting upon the body of Christ does not necessitate that He partook as well. It's possible, but Scripture doesn't state that and it's unnecessary. Feasting upon Christ IS communion with Christ, regardless of whether or not He partook of that symbolic loaf that already represented Him.
    For the Glory of our King,
    Joe Johnson
    Slave of Christ, husband, father, grandfather and TMS graduate. Personal website - SoundLife.org
    I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. ~ CHS

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    Joe,
    I just can't stop where you seem to want to stop:
    --that if we don't read: "After he said thus, Jesus put the bread in his own mouth, chewed, and swallowed... and lifted the same cup and took a draught...," or possibly something simpler but just as definitive--then we may NOT assume he partook of the meal. Beside a common-sense assumption, and unforced exegetical warrant, there are good theological reasons to acknowledge his participation.

    I suppose, from one standpoint it might be OK just to treat the whole matter as a non-issue, since it doesn't say he refrained? But other statements indicate that he is already totally involved in the sharing of meat with the brethren in the Passover. Do you believe he broke off that participation during the prior celebration?

    "As they were eating." Who are "they"? Doesn't that pronoun include Christ in the context?

    So the text says he gave the L.S. materials to the men for them to eat and drink; this is a host's act. And we know the Passover that precedes the L.S. is one that he "earnestly desired" to share with them. So he has been eating. How does the fact that as host of the meal, he passes portions to the men indicating that he sits by and watches the eaters? Wouldn't the disciples think it odd that this meal was for communion with CHRIST (not just one another) and he was not demonstrating that unity by his own common activity?


    Your reference to "subsequent cups" may indicate that major differences between us here include how you interpret the relation between the two celebrations (Passover and L.S.) on the one occasion; as well as a liturgical-hermeneutic question regarding the "cups", brought in from comparative religion studies related to seder. I think those social studies are highly speculative, and presume a great deal more continuity (read-back into the NT) between 1st century Judaism and today's Jewish practice. Where called for, I am going to assume a "read-forward" liturgic-hermeneutic (sticking closely to the OT texts), as well as the postulate that Christ adhered to what we presently term the RPW.

    So, our conflicting assumptions concerning the whole set-up of the the evening are in play here. On a plain reading of the text ALONE, I do not think it correct to see Jesus "interrupting" his Passover participation, at least with regard to drink. His words most naturally indicate to me that this meal is his final celebration with the disciples, prior to his Father's kingdom becoming his in truth and fullness.

    As for him saying in reference to the bread, "this is my body," and therefore he nearly cannot eat it: That understanding seems to take us further away from the notion of "communion meal" and the principle of symbolism. In fact, to me, that understanding reads way too much like fusion of substances--flesh and bread--now separated by being upon the table. Sure, Christ doesn't "need" to partake of "himself"; but just as surely he IS partaking of himself regardless because he hasn't "lost" any of himself in the sharing.

    Ergo, His visible participation in the meal actually underlines the fact that he isn't so much giving a part of himself "away" which atomizes him, but proves he actually takes the disciples into union with him by virtue of his ministry. In addition, we should well have a strengthened conviction of the traditional interpretation that Judas is dismissed prior to the L.S. institution.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

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    Oh, that God the gift would give us
    To see ourselves as others see us.
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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Thanks for interacting with each other. I appreciate that very much. I have always believed that Christ partook of the Lords Supper. This, however, had no foundation and my blissful ignorance has finally run its course. I don't mean to lessen anything that has been said by anyone, but I'd like to pick a few points out of what has been said. Although, from one standpoint, it may be called a non-issue, it is, to me at least, an issue of thought and therefore important

    Pastor Johnson, thank you for the last paragraph in your post.
    Would you please explain why Christ would have exempted himself from the Lords Supper, if he hadn't have done it at Passover? If you came to Christ's table to partake with him yet he didn't partake, would that imply something?

    Rev Buchanan, thank you for the second to last post.
    Would you care to elaborate on Matt 26:29. Since that is what Pastor Johnson is showing to be his foundation, I'd like to see what you have to say on that verse. Also, if you went to a friends house for a meal and the host didn't eat, would you still have shared a meal with your friend? Wouldn't you still say you had lunch with so and so?
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Bruce,

    Heh, we often sit across the table from one another. I enjoy it my friend. I'll attempt to interact in a way that will provide enlightenment.

    I never said Jesus did not partake of the Passover meal. I think it's clear that He did. But I do not think He partook of the loaf and cup as He instituted the Lord's Supper. For clarity, the LS is not the NT Passover. It is "new." That should clarify much that you addressed.

    In regard to subsequent cups I was not imposing the Seder (though I might allow for the possibility of some of its referents). First, we know He did not drink of the cup because of Matthew 26:29 (Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18). He may have drank before this point, but at this point not again and not the LS cup.

    As for the kingdom, we have different understandings of that, so hopefully we can agree that we won't agree here.

    I don't understand the significance of Christ taking up the LS cup in Luke 22:18 and then again taking up "the cup after supper" in verse 20. Is He reiterating what He has already said? But this was my reason for referring to subsequent cup/s, and allowing for the possibility of more than one more. It's as simple as that.

    It is also clear from Mark and Matthew that after this portion of the evening they sang and went to the Mount of Olives. Luke shows some narrative afterwards, but nothing regarding the meal. So we have a lack of information, nothing more or less. If, as you stated, Judas left before the institution of the LS, then Luke's narrative here is not chronological. I am fine with either position. We know that unbelievers partake today without our knowledge within our own congregations, though we attempt to avoid that with whatever fencing we employ.

    Finally, you never saw me write that Jesus "cannot" eat of the bread. I simply noted that we're not told that He partook of that particular loaf and I see no reason to assert that He did exegetically or theologically. I'll leave it at that for simplicity.


    Zach,

    Obviously your question piggy-backs on Bruce's comments. I simply see no warrant in making any assertion regarding Christ partaking in His own body here. Your hypothetical doesn't really help, I don't think. Let me draw it again:
    Passover is celebrated.
    Christ presents the cup of the new covenant, instituting something new. He says He will not drink it, or again, until the kingdom of God comes (until I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom).
    He presents a loaf that represents His body and gives it to them (gave it to the disciples - Mat 26:26). Since Christ is already "His body" there is no need for Him to partake. Could He have? I suppose. But by sharing that this is His body He is offering Himself to them. They can partake of His righteousness. But I don't see Christ needing to partake of this loaf any more than I see Him needing the salvation that partaking of the loaf signifies.

    A final thought: There is no analogy we can make that does this justice. It is not repeatable. Partaking with a friend cannot be a good comparison. Imputation does not take place in any other daily relationship. It's a unique event that does not lend itself to parallels. That Christ gave himself for sinners is denigrated by any attempt at analogy that I could come up with... and I tried.

    Blessings,
    For the Glory of our King,
    Joe Johnson
    Slave of Christ, husband, father, grandfather and TMS graduate. Personal website - SoundLife.org
    I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. ~ CHS

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    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Forgive my simple analogy then for not doing justice, perhaps I was hoping a simply analogy would stoke my smoking flax. Thank you for your response.

    Small question, were covenants confirmed by the eating and drinking of meals by the parties involved?
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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    Zach,
    I understand Mt.26:29 to quote Christ saying: this is his last, pre-consummative celebration with his disciples. That's all there is to it. I do not take from his words "from now on" (as quoted from NIV) the notion that he isn't participating. Here's the ESV: "I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you(A) in my Father’s kingdom." "Again," since when? I judge from the meal over which he's presiding just then.

    When next there is a celebration like it in all material respects, all of us (including him) will be in resurrected bodies, drinking the celebratory vintage, Is.25:6-9.


    As for the other question, no, I wouldn't be able to say that I'd "had lunch with" my friend, if I was expecting to eat a meal with him. If I came "dressed for dinner," and he sat back and wouldn't touch the food? We came together TO EAT together, that's how I understood it.

    No doubt, some plausible reason could be offered here or there for why not--but I would have to say: if the Lord didn't intend us to think he ate this meal with the disciples, I think that fact would have been made most explicit, not simply by an inference from the plain fact that "he gave them" to eat and drink. I think the theological point of the meal expects Christ's participation.


    Joe,
    Peace.
    Rev. Bruce G. Buchanan
    ChainOLakes Presbyterian Church, CentralLake, MI

    Made both Lord and Christ--Jesus, the Destroyer
    Acts 2:36 - 1 Cor. 10:9-10 & 15:22-26 - Hebrews 2:9-15 - 1 John 3:8 - James 4:12

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  21. #21
    Pergamum's Avatar
    Pergamum is offline. Ordinary Guy (TM)
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    Interesting thread.
    Pergamum


    "If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
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  22. #22
    White Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Thanks for your time everyone. I got more thoughts to think about now. Thank you very much. If anyone has any other thoughts, please speak up.
    Zach Whitson
    Oakland Baptist
    Tipton, MO

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