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From a paper I wrote for my Worship Leadership class, where I reviewed The Eucharistic Sayings of Jesus by Joachim Jeremias:

The last aspect of Holy Communion is its future, eschatological orientation. Joachim Jeremias noted that “The Jewish Passover at the time of Jesus is both retrospect and prospect. At this festival the people of God remember the merciful immunity granted to the houses marked with the blood of the paschal lamb and the deliverance from the Egyptian servitude” (205-206). Of course, the past aspect of Passover is important, but Jeremias goes on to say, “But that is only one aspect. At the same time the passover is a looking forward to the coming deliverance of which the deliverance from Egypt is the prototype” (206, original emphasis). More than looking back on the salvation achieved in the past, and more than a present appropriation of our salvation, Communion, parallel to Passover, must look forward to the coming deliverance of the Messiah. Of course, this will not be the first coming that the Jews were anticipating, for Jesus has already come and been offered once to bear the sins of many; instead we await his second appearance, when he will “save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).

Jeremias puts this thought “quite simply,” writing that “table fellowship with Jesus is an anticipatory gift of the final consummation. Even now, God’s lost children may come home and sit down at their Father’s table” (262). Also, I found it interesting that his exegesis demonstrated that even Christ’s phrase “In remembrance of me” was eschatological, in effect meaning, “Keep joining yourselves together as the redeemed community by the table rite, that in this way God may be implored to bring about the consummation of the parousia” (255). Furthermore, I cannot help but think of the Lord’s Supper in the context of John’s vision in the book of Revelation, where an angel tells him, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9). As Passover was a shadow of the reality of Christ, our true Paschal Lamb, the bread that we break and the cup that we bless are shadows of the reality of the marriage supper of the Lamb. We get now only nibbles and sips of the physical and spiritual glory on which we will one day feast.

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