Episode 61

The Eucharist w/ Joshua Sherman


September 24th, 2021

56 mins 11 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


• Heaven meeting earth
    ◦ In the beginning
        ▪ Image of God 
        ▪ Temple cosmology
        ▪ Eden – the garden/mountain of God, where heaven meets earth (Genesis 2, Ezekiel 28:13-16)
    ◦ Old Covenant
        ▪ Tabernacle and temple modeled after Eden (Exodus 28, 1 Kings 7)
        ▪ Priests representing the people to God, and God to the people (Exodus 28)
    ◦ New Covenant
        ▪ Pentecost (Acts 2)
        ▪ “God has raised us up with Him…” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
        ▪ Heavenly temple (Hebrews 9)
        ▪ “You have now come” (Hebrews 12)
        ▪ Revelation and the New Jerusalem
        ▪ “The communion of saints”
    ◦ Does it feel like we come to worship with the expectation of heaven meeting earth? Do we sell short the concept of the “Communion of Saints” (ἁγίων κοινωνίαν)?
• “Holy Ones”
    ◦ Qedosh’im/Hagioi
    ◦ Exodus 15:11, Psalm 89:5, 89:7, Romans 15:25, 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 14:33, Ephesians 1:1, Ephesians 2:19, Revelation 5:8, Revelation 20:9
    ◦ What does this mean?
• “Sons of God”
    ◦ Bene Elohim/Huioi tou theou
    ◦ Job 38:7, Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Luke 20:36, Romans 8:14, Romans 8:19, Galatians 3:26, 
    ◦ “You will judge angels”
    ◦ “Sons of God, equal to the angels”
• “The Assembly”
    ◦ Edah/Ekklesia
    ◦ Leviticus 8:3, Psalm 82:1, Psalm 89:5, Acts 2:47, Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 2:1
• The Incarnation
    ◦ The Word became flesh (John 1)
    ◦ God incarnate in us “the Body of Christ” – 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 10:16-22 (ἁγίαν καθολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν from the Apostle’s Creed)
    ◦ Early heretics denied that Christ came in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16, 1 John 4:2, 2 John 1:7
• Why is the Eucharist just symbolic, then, and not incarnational?
    ◦ The Body: 1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 12:27
    ◦ Partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

These were basically ubiquitous, in our collective experience of Communion, growing up.
• Focus on remembering Jesus's death
• Focus on "getting right with God" to avoid partaking in an unworthy manner

These were very common
• Focus on private relationship with God
• Focus on the sacrifice's accomplishment, and forgiveness

It looks like 25% or fewer of us had any of these as part of our Communion experience.
• Focus on healing divisions, where possible
• Focus on meeting with God corporately for a meal together
• Focus on parting of the communion elements “in private”
• Focus on being knit together as the Body of Christ, connected to Christ, our Head
• Focus on proclaiming Jesus’s death
• Focus on individually meeting with God for a meal together
• Focus on “discerning the body” when partaking

What I'm curious about - which of the items that were rare do you see specifically called out in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34?

Do you feel like the practice of Communion that you grew up with was incomplete in some way, after reading this passage?

I have some thoughts that hit me a few days ago on this, reading through the passage, and will post on these later today. I want to see what surfaces for all of this.

Jesus instituted the Eucharist on Passover. Passover was instituted by God through Moses on the night the final of the 10 plagues hit Egypt, death of every firstborn son. Each Israelite household was to take a lamb on the 10th day of Nisan, care for it for 4 days and then on the 14th, slaughter and eat it. This is meal was to be performed every year, in remembrance of God's Exodus of the Israelite's from out of Egypt. Moses describes it like this:

"Now the length of time the Israelite's lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, on the very day, all the regiments of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt. It was a night of vigil for the Lord to bring them out from the land of Egypt, and so on this night all Israel is to keep the vigil to the Lord for generations to come. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover. No foreigner may share in eating it. But everyone’s servant who is bought for money, after you have circumcised him, may eat it. A foreigner and a hired worker must not eat it. It must be eaten in one house; you must not bring any of the meat outside the house, and you must not break a bone of it. The whole community of Israel must observe it. “When a foreigner lives with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, all his males must be circumcised, and then he may approach and observe it, and he will be like one who is born in the land – but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. The same law will apply to the person who is native-born and to the foreigner who lives among you.” So all the Israelite's did exactly as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on this very day the Lord brought the Israelite's out of the land of Egypt by their regiments."
Exodus 12:40‭-‬51 NET

New Testament

*Judas' Betrayal

Matthew 26:26‭-‬30 NET
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32 NET
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. For this reason, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself first, and in this way let him eat the bread and drink of the cup. For the one who eats and drinks without careful regard for the body eats and drinks judgment against himself. That is why many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few are dead. But if we examined ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned with the world.

*Is John 6:53-58 about the Lord's Supper?

1 Corinthians 10:14‭-‬22 NET
So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I am speaking to thoughtful people. Consider what I say. Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share the one bread. Look at the people of Israel. Are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? Am I saying that idols or food sacrificed to them amount to anything? No, I mean that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot take part in the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we trying to provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we really stronger than he is?

Chapter 9. The Thanksgiving (Eucharist)
Now concerning the Thanksgiving (Eucharist), thus give thanks. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. And concerning the broken bread: We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever. But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, Give not that which is holy to the dogs. [Matthew 7:6]

Chapter 10. Prayer After Communion
But after you are filled, thus give thanks: We thank You, holy Father, for Your holy name which You caused to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. You, Master almighty, created all things for Your name's sake; You gave food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to You; but to us You freely gave spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Your Servant. Before all things we thank You that You are mighty; to You be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Your Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Your love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Your kingdom which You have prepared for it; for Yours is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maran atha. Amen. But permit the prophets to make Thanksgiving as much as they desire.

An ordinance is a religious ritual whose intent is to demonstrate an adherent's faith. Examples include baptism and the Lord's Supper, as practiced in Evangelical churches adhering to the doctrine of the believers' Church, such as Anabaptist's, all Baptist churches, Churches of Christ groups, and Pentecostal churches. -Google

Calvin’s definition of Sacrament - "An external sign, by which the Lord's seals on our consciences his promises of good-will toward us, in order to sustain the weakness of our faith, and we in our turn testify our piety towards him, both before himself, and before angels as well as men. We may also define more briefly by calling it a testimony of the divine favor toward us, confirmed by an external sign, with a corresponding attestation of our faith towards Him."

According to Calvin, Augustine defines sacrament as a visible sign of a sacred thing, or a visible form of an invisible grace.

Connection between Greek μυστήριον and Latin sacramentum. "And it is well known, that what the Latins call sacramenta the Greeks call mustéria (mysteries)."

"Hence it is that the term was applied to those signs which gave an august representation of things spiritual and sublime. This is also observed by Augustine, 'it were tedious to discourse of the variety of signs; those which relate to divine things are called sacraments' (August Ep. 5. ad Marcell)."

(READ ALL FROM BOOK P. 492 IF TIME PERMITS) From the definition which we have given, we perceive that there never is a sacrament without an antecedent promise, the sacrament being added as a kind o appendix, with the view of confirming and sealing the promise, and giving a better attestation, or rather, in a manner, confirming it…

1a. Participate and become
1b. Partake of the Body so that we become the Body (we are what we eat)

  1. Focus on God at the meal
  2. Focus on the Body in Communion
  3. Get right with God before partaking (Confess sins, make peace with others, etc.)
  4. Eat in a worthy matter