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Where was the lamb at the Last Supper - the roasted lamb?

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  • Where was the lamb at the Last Supper - the roasted lamb?

    “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb?




    There is probably no more controversial topic between Catholics and Protestants than that of the Holy Eucharist. When Christ, at the last supper, said, “This is My Body – this is My Blood”, was He talking only symbolically or did He really mean that the bread and wine were to be miraculous transformed into His real Flesh and Blood, while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine? The Catholic response to this question is, a resounding, YES, and this has been the constant teaching of the Church, from apostolic times till now. Ever since the words of consecration were first spoken at the last supper, the apostles and their successors have believed in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist.

    This post is the first of three parts which are based on a letter I wrote to a Protestant friend in response to a previous conversation we had about what our Lord meant, at the last supper. So I thought I would share some of the ideas we discussed, with this forum. The discussion with my friend gave rise to the following question – “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb? The answer to this question will lead us to the first of three scriptural proofs, which show that Christ was talking literally.

    To begin our discussion, we should ask two questions just for clarity. Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood? And secondly, if He does, did He will to do so? I think most people would agree that Christ does have such power. If He created the entire universe out of nothing, He can certainly change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. So lets concentrate on the second question; was Christ talking literally when he said: “This is My Body”?

    At the Last Supper, Christ was celebrating the Passover with his apostles. Now before going any further, we should refresh our memories concerning the requirements of the original Jewish Passover meal, the night before the Exodus. The people had to procure and eat a REAL lamb (for nourishment for the journey out of Egypt) - Exodus 12:8 (the Paschal lamb had to be eaten). Suppose a family didn’t like lamb, and decided to bake a cake in the shape of a lamb and symbolically eat that. What would have happened? The next morning, their first-born would be dead. The instructions for that first Passover were very specific: they had to eat a REAL lamb. Also, the Jews were commanded (three times) to do this, each year, as a perpetual remembrance of that event (Exodus 12: 14, 17, & 24).

    Consider now the question I mentioned at the beginning of this post: “Where was the lamb at the last supper” – the roasted lamb? In none of the gospel narratives is a Passover lamb (animal) mentioned during the Last Supper. Why? No Jewish Passover would have been a REAL Passover unless a REAL Passover lamb was eaten. If no real lamb was eaten, that Thursday night, then the Passover would have been invalid, and in violation of the requirements of Exodus 12: 14, 17, and 24. How do we explain this apparent difficulty?

    If the Protestant view is correct, then all the apostles ate was a piece of bread, but, as pointed out above, if that was the case, then the Passover celebration was invalid because no real lamb was eaten. Remember – bread is not lamb! Now do you think our lord would have participated in an invalid Passover? NO! So again, how do we solve this dilemma – or what conclusion are we to draw from this?

    Well, some might say that there was an animal type lamb there, but it just wasn’t recorded. Scripture, however, easily refutes this idea. Let us look at both John the Baptist, and St. Paul. John refers to Christ as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1: 29). In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 Paul is more specific, and states:
    Christ is the Paschal Lamb who has been sacrificed.” Therefore, let us keep the feast…

    In other words, Jesus is now the new Passover Lamb for all time. He is the lamb that was to be eaten at the last supper, and when he said to the apostles: This is My Body, they received the actual body of Christ - the living, heavenly, resurrected, glorified body of our Lord (not dead, earthly, flesh, in the cannibalistic way the Jews who walked away were thinking).

    Paul confirms this again in 1 Corinthians 10:16, where he says: The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a partaking of the body of Christ?)

    There is one other point we must stress. Notice again, that Paul tells us that Jesus is our Pascal lamb who has been sacrificed - OK, but then Paul adds an additional requirement to Christ’s sacrifice when he says: “…Therefore, let us keep the feast…” What does this mean? It means that we must eat the lamb. “… let us keep the feast…” is a direct reference back to Christ’s command in John 6: 53-54 -“Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have eternal life”.


    So, just as the directions for the original Passover were very specific (they had to eat a real lamb), so too the directions for the New Testament equivalent of the Passover (the Eucharist at Mass) are very specific: we have to eat the Lamp – the real Lamb – Christ.

    Remember that the Old Testament is basically a prefigurement of the New Testament. Many Old Testament events or situations dealt with physical life and death, and prefigured similar events or situations in the New Testament, which deal with spiritual life and death. So just as the Israelite’s had to eat a real lamb for physical health, so too, we must eat the lamb for spiritual health.


    For a more in-depth discussion of this topic see Dr. Scott Hahn’s talk: “The 4th Cup”

    The Fourth Cup - Dr. Scott Hahn - YouTube

    God bless.

  • #2
    Hello zeland,

    Welcome to the forum! If by chance you wish to share a little about yourself, and care to deepen your fellowship with others here in the forum, then please share a little introduction in the "Welcome Mat".

    Originally posted by zeland View Post
    To begin our discussion, we should ask two questions just for clarity. Does Christ have the power to change bread and wine into his own body and blood? And secondly, if He does, did He will to do so? I think most people would agree that Christ does have such power. If He created the entire universe out of nothing, He can certainly change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. So lets concentrate on the second question; was Christ talking literally when he said: “This is My Body”?
    The actual body of Christ is ascended to heaven. The body of Christ is really present in the sacrament in a spiritual sense by the power of the Holy Spirit. Protestants in general, believe, "this" is a memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and not a sacrifice again, to be done again, again and again. Curious, how do you answer to the charge of idolatry? That is, believing that Catholic priests (when properly administered) have turned God into an idol of bread and wine.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

    • #3
      Hi Zeland. We're not re-sacrificing Christ,so we don't need his body all over again. And, Jesus isn't literally a lamb. Likewise, it's incorrect believe that the bread is literally Jesus' body.

      Originally posted by zeland View Post
      while still retaining the outward appearance of bread and wine
      If God is making the body and blood falsely appear as bread and wine, doesn't that make God deceitful?
      Comment>

      • #4
        Hello Zeland,
        If you were one present at this supper and Jesus was holding the bread in his hand and said "this is my body " would you think that He was literally speaking of His body? If there was any question or confusion by those present as to what Jesus meant I think they would have asked Him, and Jesus would have clarified what He meant. The disciples had no problem asking a question when they didn't understand what He meant, for example the parables. Since Jesus was holding the bread with His body present, the only conclusion they would have is Jesus meant it symbolically. "Do this in remembrance of Me." Something to consider.
        Comment>

        • #5
          The problem with Catholicism (and cults) is that when you're discussing one specific doctrine, it's your argument (Jesus took bread -- bread -- and said this [bread], this baked food that is bread is...) vs. the whole purportedly divinely established Roman Catholic church (and sister rites). People are hard enough to convince of anything, even when they have no investment in something, but when their whole religion is invested in that little detail, how can they possibly budge? You have to refute all of Catholicism for a Catholic to accept that the bread is bread.

          Protestants don't have this problem. We have no problem disagreeing with our church on specific doctrinal details. And, it's not a huge deal to leave a denomination, if we think it's gotten too far off track. You show us something in scripture, we can accept it. Indeed, our doctrine begins and ends in the Bible. Our churches are guides, not dictators, of doctrine.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Well unfortunately man does not have the capacity to convince man of anything. That should obvious. The work of " convincing" belongs to The Holy Spirit. And what's really unfortunate is when a Christian can't "convince" another Christian because he's too proud to admit he's wrong. Instead of saying "Wow I never thought of that" " I'll have to check that out." He just digs his heels in and can't be moved.
            Originally posted by Cornelius View Post
            The problem with Catholicism (and cults) is that when you're discussing one specific doctrine, it's your argument (Jesus took bread -- bread -- and said this [bread], this baked food that is bread is...) vs. the whole purportedly divinely established Roman Catholic church (and sister rites). People are hard enough to convince of anything, even when they have no investment in something, but when their whole religion is invested in that little detail, how can they possibly budge? You have to refute all of Catholicism for a Catholic to accept that the bread is bread.

            Protestants don't have this problem. We have no problem disagreeing with our church on specific doctrinal details. And, it's not a huge deal to leave a denomination, if we think it's gotten too far off track. You show us something in scripture, we can accept it. Indeed, our doctrine begins and ends in the Bible. Our churches are guides, not dictators, of doctrine.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by Jason T V View Post
              Hello Zeland,
              If you were one present at this supper and Jesus was holding the bread in his hand and said "this is my body " would you think that He was literally speaking of His body? If there was any question or confusion by those present as to what Jesus meant I think they would have asked Him, and Jesus would have clarified what He meant. The disciples had no problem asking a question when they didn't understand what He meant, for example the parables. Since Jesus was holding the bread with His body present, the only conclusion they would have is Jesus meant it symbolically. "Do this in remembrance of Me." Something to consider.
              I would believe that Jesus was talking literally. Jesus I God, and I would accept everything He says as absolute truth. I might not understand how such a miracle would take place, but I would accept what He said as absolute truth! Wouldn't you?

              zeland
              Comment>

              • #8
                Rightly dividing the word of truth, the true teachings of the Lord are revealed. Taking the Last Supper elements as literal by themselves excludes other parts of Scripture which can clear the matter up, such as God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and He seeks such to worship Him.
                Comment>

                • #9
                  As a followup to Williams statement about the apostles lack of understanding. This was not the case. Jesus explained all things to his disciples (Mark 4: 34)

                  As I said, if it was only bread, then the last supper was invalid, because they had to eat a real lamb. (Ex. 12: 3-9, 14, 17 & 24).

                  Also, if it was only bread, then Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 11: 23-29 makes no sense. Can you explain that? There is nothing in scripture that says Christ was talking symbolically. Some try to use verse 6:63, one verse, to negate the entire bread of life discourse. Verse 63, along with verse 62, refutes the idea of cannibalism which the Jews incorrectly assumed.

                  As a side point, consider this question - can Jesus bi-locate?

                  zeland
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zeland View Post
                    As a followup to Williams statement about the apostles lack of understanding.
                    Hi Zeland,

                    I have no idea as to what you're quoting.

                    God bless,
                    William
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by zeland View Post
                      As a side point, consider this question - can Jesus bi-locate?
                      Can you?
                      Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                      "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                      "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                      "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                      "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Originally posted by zeland View Post
                        ...if it was only bread, then Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 11: 23-29 makes no sense. Can you explain that?
                        Hi Zeland, ok, let's take a look:

                        1 Corinthians 11
                        23 I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
                        24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
                        25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
                        26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
                        27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.
                        28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
                        29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly.
                        Jesus said:

                        Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep ... If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ~John 10:7,9

                        I understand Jesus' meaning here, and I'm sure you do too. I'm sure you also understand that Jesus did not intend for us to believe that He is a wooden door (with hinges & a gate hook :)).

                        Likewise, I have no problem understanding 1 Corinthians 11:24 as,

                        "This bread represents My body, which was broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me".

                        You insist that v24 cannot be understood in such a manner however, that it makes no sense as it was written by St. Paul, so I must be missing something. Please explain what that is (and why). Thanks!

                        Originally posted by zeland View Post
                        There is nothing in scripture that says Christ was talking symbolically. Some try to use verse 6:63, one verse, to negate the entire bread of life discourse.
                        There are many doctrines that are built upon a single verse or two (Genesis 1:27 teaches us that BOTH men and women were made in the image of God, for instance), and there are other's that are created from something as small as a single, qualifying phrase at the end of a verse (Romans 3:10's "not even one" comes to mind).

                        Likewise, where there are a number of additional reasons, both Biblical and extra-Biblical, to hold to a NON-physical presence in the Supper, let's face it, as single verses go, v63 certainly seems to have a lot to say about the passage that comes just before it in that regard. The entire verse, in fact, appears to "qualify" the preceding passage!

                        John 6
                        63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

                        BTW, Calvin hardly denied the "Real Presence" of the Lord in the Supper, rather, he taught that it was a "Spiritual" presence, not a physical one, the Lord's body and blood remaining with Him in Heaven.

                        This also makes sense logically and factually, The church maintains that Jesus Christ has been fully man since His Incarnation, and that He remains so, even today in Heaven (He is also fully Divine, of course), and a "man" cannot be in two places (much less two million), at the same time, and still be considered human (because men can't do that) ... which is why the Eucharist doctrine was invented, to solve that little problem .................................................. but did it? ;)

                        Yours in Christ,
                        David
                        Last edited by David Lee; 03-17-2017, 03:54 PM.
                        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by David Lee View Post

                          Can you?
                          I expected a more intelligent answer. Would you like to try again?

                          Thanks
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by David Lee View Post

                            Hi Zeland, ok, let's take a look:
                            Jesus said:

                            Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep ... If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ~John 10:7,9


                            I understand Jesus' meaning here, and I'm sure you do too. I'm sure you also understand that Jesus did not intend for us to believe that He is a wooden door (with hinges & a gate hook :)).

                            Likewise, I have no problem understanding 1 Corinthians 11:24 as,

                            "This bread represents My body, which was broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me".


                            You insist that v24 cannot be understood in such a manner however, that it makes no sense as it was written by St. Paul, so I must be missing something. Please explain what that is (and why). Thanks!



                            There are many doctrines that are built upon a single verse or two (Genesis 1:27 teaches us that BOTH men and women were made in the image of God, for instance), and there are other's that are created from something as small as a single, qualifying phrase at the end of a verse (Romans 3:10's "not even one" comes to mind).

                            Likewise, where there are a number of additional reasons, both Biblical and extra-Biblical, to hold to a NON-physical presence in the Supper, let's face it, as single verses go, v63 certainly seems to have a lot to say about the passage that comes just before it in that regard. The entire verse, in fact, appears to "qualify" the preceding passage!

                            BTW, Calvin hardly denied the "Real Presence" of the Lord in the Supper, rather, he taught that it was a "Spiritual" presence, not a physical one, the Lord's body and blood remaining with Him in Heaven.

                            This also makes sense logically and factually, The church maintains that Jesus Christ has been fully man since His Incarnation, and that He remains so, even today in Heaven (He is also fully Divine, of course), and a "man" cannot be in two places (much less two million), at the same time, and still be considered human (because men can't do that) ... which is why the Eucharist doctrine was invented, to solve that little problem .................................................. but did it? ;)

                            Yours in Christ,
                            David

                            Dear Dave,

                            Thanks for your reply. Your statement: "a "man" cannot be in two places (much less two million), at the same time" is incorrect.

                            God can be in as many places (physically) at one time as he wants. When we receive the Eucharist we receive the living, resurrected, heavenly, glorified body of Christ. Do you deny Christ this power?

                            Many of the great saints had the gift of bi-location. most notably of these was Padre Pio of Italy. Please read the following story which comes to us, not from the Church, but from the US military in 1943. I have provided two links to this story. Just tyoe into a search engine the phrase "Padre Pio in the air". Below I have provided two links.

                            Flying Monk, Padre Pio

                            Padre Pio The Mystic - Bilocation

                            There also have been many Eucharistic miracles where the host turned into the actual flesh of Christ. The most recent miracle was in 1996 in Buenos Aires Argentina.

                            See: (8 minutes)

                            This video is about a scientific investigation of the 1996 miracle.

                            The second video is about the scientific investigation of a similar miracle that happened in Lanciano Italy. I provide this link, because it is referred to in the first video.



                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zeland View Post

                              I expected a more intelligent answer. Would you like to try again?

                              Thanks
                              I just try to do the best I can with what I've got, Zeland ;)

                              I'll try again by asking my question in a different way. Actually, here's two for the price of one :)

                              1) Can ANY man "bi-locate"? (this is not a trick question!)

                              2) Jesus Christ is truly/fully God, but we know that He also has a dual nature (and that He maintains that nature even today in Heaven ... your church teaches this and so does mine). As God (who is "Spirit"), He is omnipresent, however, as a man, He cannot be! His physical body occupies a specific location in space/time, just like ours do, or He cannot be said to be "fully man".

                              Men are not omnipresent, nor can we "bi-locate", but the doctrine of Transubstantiation requires Jesus (as a man, NOT as God) to do what men cannot. So my 2nd question for you is, "how is this possible"?

                              Yours in Christ,
                              David
                              p.s. - there's a fun little philosophical question that atheists love to ask us (I'm sure you've heard it): "Can God create a rock so big that even He can't lift it?". The answer is: God is omnipotent, but even God can't do what cannot be done (e.g. make 2+2=5).
                              Last edited by David Lee; 03-22-2017, 04:04 PM.
                              Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                              "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                              "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                              "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                              "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                              Comment>
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