THE EUCHARIST AS THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST PT. 2

I continue from where I previously left off: THE EUCHARIST AS THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST PT. 1.

In this post I will show how the [N]ew [T]estament application of Malachi’s prophecy depicts Jesus Christ as Jehovah God in the flesh, being that very Lord to whom the Gentiles present their sacrifices.

Note the words of Malachi carefully:

“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is the fear of Me?’ says Yahweh of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, ‘How have we despised Your name?’ You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, ‘How have we defiled You?’ In that you say, “The table of Yahweh is to be despised.” But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Please, bring it near to your governor! Would he accept you? Or would he lift up your face?’ says Yahweh of hosts. ‘But now, entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us! With this thing which is from your hand, will He lift up any of your faces?’ says Yahweh of hosts. ‘Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not light a fire on My altar in vain! I have no delight in you,’ says Yahweh of hosts, ‘nor will I accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be presented to My name, as well as a grain offering that is clean; for My name will be great among the nations,’ says Yahweh of hosts. ‘But you are profaning it, in that you say, “The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.” You also say, “Behold, how tiresome it is!” And you disdainfully sniff at it,’ says Yahweh of hosts, ‘and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I accept that from your hand?’ says Yahweh. ‘But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord (ladonay), for I am a great King,’ says Yahweh of hosts, ‘and My name is feared among the nations.’” Malachi 1:6-14 Legacy Standard Bible (LSB)

According to the NT, Malachi’s prophesy was fulfilled by the institution of the eucharist or Lord’s supper, which the nations began to observe and offer from the rising of the sun to its setting (from the East to the West), i.e., throughout the entire world:

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,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.’In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—if any one is hungry, let him eat at home—lest you come together to be condemned. About the other things I will give directions when I come.”1 Corinthians 11:23-34 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

“Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar?What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer 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 partake of the table of the Lord (trapezes Kyriou) and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 RSV

The blessed Apostle has deliberately employed the language of Malachi in depicting the eating of the eucharist as a participation in “the table of the Lord,” as a comparison of the Greek version of the [O]ld [T]estament, commonly known as the Septuagint (LXX), shows:

“In that ye bring to mine altar polluted bread; and ye said, Wherein have ye polluted it? In that ye say, The table of the Lord (trapeza Kyriou) is polluted, and that which was set thereon ye have despised… But ye profane it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord (trapeza Kyriou) is polluted, and his meats set thereon are despised.” Malachi 1:7, 12 LXX

Therefore, by equating the eucharistic celebration with YHVH’s table prophesied by Malachi, the holy Apostle has invariably identified Jesus as Jehovah God to whom that table/altar belongs!

This is brought out more clearly by the fact that Paul directly alludes to the following OT passage, where Israel provoked YHVH to jealousy by sacrificing to demons who were not God, thereby abandoning their Rock who had formed and sustained them:

“For I proclaim the name of Yahweh; Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He… But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked⁠—You grew fat, thick, and sleek⁠—Then he abandoned God who made him, And treated the Rock of his salvation with wicked foolishness. They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread. You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who brought you forth. And Yahweh saw this and spurned them Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters. Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them; I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness. They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a wickedly foolish nation,” Deuteronomy 32:3-4. 15-21

Now notice who that Rock was according to the inspired Apostle, whom the Israelites spurned during Moses’ time:  

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them, AND THE ROCK WAS CHRIST. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased. For they were struck down in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ Nor let us act in sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us put CHRIST to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-10 LSB

Paul makes it clear that Jesus was that spiritual Rock who appeared in the cloud to guide Israel by the hands of Moses, and was also that very God whom they tempted in the desert, causing him to send fiery serpents to bite them dead.

Contrast what the Apostle said with what Moses wrote:

“But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of Yahweh which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. Yahweh will fight for you, and you will keep silent.’ Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Speak to the sons of Israel so that they go forward. As for you, raise up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and split it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians with strength so that they will go in after them; and I will be glorified through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh, when I am glorified through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.’Then the angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night.Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Yahweh swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea into dry ground, so the waters were split. So the sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. Then at the morning watch, Yahweh looked down on the camp of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the camp of the Egyptians into confusion. And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from Israel, for Yahweh is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Then Israel saw the great hand which Yahweh had used against the Egyptians; and the people feared Yahweh, and they believed in Yahweh and in His servant Moses.” Exodus 14:13-31 LSB

“Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food.’ So Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died. Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned because we have spoken against Yahweh and against you; pray to Yahweh, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses prayed for the people. Then Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a standard; and it will be that everyone who is bitten and looks at it, will live.’ And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it happened, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.” Numbers 21:4-9 LSB

The foregoing texts all confirm that Jesus is being described as YHVH God Almighty, being that very divine Messenger of God who accompanied Moses to bring Israel out of Egypt, and who punished them in the desert for rebelling against him and for sacrificing to demons.

Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the Holy Spirit filled Apostle would thereby equate the eucharistic supper, being the sacrificial flesh and blood of Christ, as the very table of YHVH prophesied in Malachi, thereby identifying the risen Lord as that God for whom the sacrifice was made.

As the following NT scholars explain:

“The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20) is also a religious rite focused on Jesus Christ. Jesus himself instituted the Lord’s Supper on the Passover (Matt. 26:2, 18, 26-29; Mark 14:12-16, 22-25; Luke 22:8-20), the Jewish rite memorializing the Lord God’s deliverance of Israel from their bondage (Exod. 12:21-27, 42-49; Deut. 16:1-8). The apostle Paul spoke of Jesus as ‘the Lord’ honored in the rite that the Lord himself instituted…    

“While the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus and has its own religious background in the traditions of Judaism concerning the Passover, the Corinthians were for the most part converts from paganism who had yet to break free entirely from the temptations of idolatry in their polytheistic culture. Paul therefore sharply contrasts the rite of the Lord’s Supper with pagan rites that were superficially similar enough that some immature believers apparently were participating in both. In drawing these contrasts… Paul contrasts the Lord Jesus with the deities worshiped in the pagan rites (which Paul calls ‘demons’). Paul thus makes it clear that the Lord’s Supper is a religious rite in which the Lord Jesus is the presiding deity, the object of religious devotion or ‘service’ for Christians.” (Robert M. Bowman Jr. & J. Ed Komoszewski, Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the deity of Christ [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 2007], Part 1. The Devotion Revolution: Jesus Shares The Honor Due to God, Chapter 5. The Ultimate reverence Package, pp. 66-67: http://books.google.com/books?id=_W142FABnCsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=putting+jesus+in+his+place&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false; bold emphasis mine)     

And:

“… In 10:14-22 he compares and contrasts the Christian sacred meal with the cult meals of pagan deities. My main interests here have to do with the connection of the Christian meal with the exalted Jesus.

“The first thing to note is that the meal is obviously a ‘cultic’ occasion that formed a key part of the devotional/liturgical life of early Christian groups. Paul refers to the meal as the ‘Lord’s supper’ (kyriakon deipnon, 11:20), which clearly associates the meal with Jesus as the Kyrios of the Christian group. In 1 Corinthians 11:27 and 10:21, he refers to ‘the cup of the Lord’ and ‘the table of the Lord,’ which reflect the same explicit association. In the tradition that Paul recites in 11:23-26, he associates the bread and wine of the meal directly with Jesus’ redemptive death, which is constitutive of ‘the new covenant’; Paul also characterizes the continuing cult-meal practice as a proclamation of the death of ‘the Lord’ until his eschatological return.  

“Paul’s discussion of questions about Christian participation in the cult meals of the pagan gods (1 Cor. 10:14-22) directly poses as exclusive alternatives these feasts and the Lord’s supper. Here he refers to the cup and bread as ‘participation’ (koinonia) in the blood and body of Christ (v. 16), and he draws a direct comparison between the Christian meal and the eating of sacrificial food in the Jerusalem temple (v. 18). He also warns here about ‘provoking the Lord to jealousy’ (v. 22), biblical phrasing that originally referred to God, appropriated here to Jesus as the Kyrios whose divine power is to be taken seriously. This is reflected also in 11:29-32, where Paul warns about the serious consequences of being judged by ‘the Lord’ (Jesus) for inappropriate behavior at the Christian sacred meal.    

“Clearly the Lord’s supper is here the Christian cult meal where the Lord Jesus plays a role that is explicitly likened to that of the deities of the pagan cults and, even more astonishingly, TO THE ROLE OF GOD! This is not merely a memorial meal for a dead hero. Jesus is perceived as the living and powerful Kyrios who owns the meal and presides at it, and with whom believers have fellowship as with a god.” (Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI 2003], Chapter Two. Early Pauline Christianity, Binitarian Worship, pp. 145-146: http://books.google.com/books?id=_MH-_ZQuZrgC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false; bold and capital emphasis mine)

Hence, not only is the eucharist the sacrifice which the prophet Malachi foretold would be offered by the Gentiles throughout the world, but this also establishes that Jesus is the very God for whom this sacrifice is presented!

Endnotes

(1) The earliest and majority of textual witnesses all read Christ in 1 Cor. 10:9, thereby affirming that it was the preexistent Son whom the Israelites tempted and provoked in the wilderness:

The earliest support for Χριστόν is Marcion (the arch-heretic from Pontus who worked for a while in Rome c. 140); Epiphanius, in the late 300s, claimed that Marcion changed the text from Κύριον to Χριστόν.  But, as Osburn argues, it is reasonable to understand Epiphanius’ claim as a presumption – i.e., that Epiphanius’ text read Κύριον and he assumed that Marcion had changed it – rather than as an observation.  Slightly later is Irenaeus (in Against Heresies, Book 4, ch. 27), and slightly later than Irenaeus are Clement of Alexandria, Origen (in a statement preserved in the margin of GA 1739), and Theotecnus (bishop of Caesarea-in-Palestine, and an associate of Origen), writing against Paul of Samosata for the Council of Antioch (268).

The bishops involved in the Council of Antioch in 268 also produced the Letter of Hymenaeus, of which Osburn provided a relevant extract, which implies that “neither Paul of Samosata nor his opponents were aware of a biblical text which read other than Χριστόν in v. 9.”  (Osburn mentioned in a footnote, however, that the text of the Letter of Hymenaeus printed by M.J. Routh in 1846, and by E.Schwartz in 1927, has Κύριον.) 

Also in support of Χριστόν are Ambrosiaster, Ephraem Syrus, Pelagius, Augustine, Pseudo-Oecumenius, and Theophylact.  Chrysostom also cites I Cor. 10:9 with Χριστόν three times…

Χριστόν has in its favor the support of very early and geographically diverse patristic witnesses. The discovery of P46 with Χριστόν (written as ΧΡΝ – see BP II f.49 in the online Chester Beatty Papyrus Collection on the fourth line from the bottom) probably should have instantly elicited a change in the critical text here, inasmuch as with its discovery, Χριστόν scores high on multiple metrics: it is the reading of the oldest manuscript; it is the reading of the most manuscripts (by far); it is the reading of the most diverse array of manuscripts; it is the reading favored by a strong combination of early patristic writers. About the only counter-argument that favors Κύριον is the internal consideration that Paul would be unlikely to have written that the Hebrews in the wilderness tempted Christ – but as indicated in a note in the NET, Osburn built an effective cumulative argument that the case against Χριστόν driven by this internal evidence is weak. I cannot think of any reason but haste, and perhaps over-reliance on the work of Tregelles (who had no access to P46) to elicit the Tyndale House GNT’s adoption of κύριον. It was due to over-reliance upon À and B that κύριον was ever adopted in printed Greek New Testaments; hopefully the days of such over-reliance, repeatedly shown to be merely a disguised bias, are behind us. 

Χριστόν merits confident inclusion in the text. (James Snapp Jr., First Corinthians 10:9 – “the Lord” or “Christ”?; bold emphasis mine)

And:   

tc Χριστόν (Christon, “Christ”) is attested in the MAJORITY of mss, including many significant witnesses of the Alexandrian (P 1739 1881) and Western (D F G) text-forms, and other mss and versions (Ψ latt sy co). On the other hand, some of the significant Alexandrian witnesses have κύριον (kurion, “Lord”; א B C P 33 104 1175 al). A few mss (A 81) have θεόν (theon, “God”). The nomina sacra for these readings are quite similar (cMn, kMn, and qMn respectively), so one might be able to account for the different readings by way of confusion. On closer examination, the variants appear to be intentional changes. Alexandrian scribes replaced the highly specific term “Christ” with the less specific terms “Lord” and “God” because in the context it seems to be anachronistic to speak of the exodus generation putting Christ to the test. If the original had been “Lord,” it seems unlikely that a scribe would have willingly created a difficulty by substituting the more specific “Christ.” Moreover, even if not motivated by a tendency to overcorrect, a scribe might be likely to assimilate the word “Christ” to “Lord” in conformity with Deut 6:16 or other passages. The evidence from the early church regarding the reading of this verse is RATHER COMPELLING in favor of “Christ.” Marcion, a second-century, anti-Jewish heretic, would naturally have opposed any reference to Christ in historical involvement with Israel because he thought of the Creator God of the OT as inherently evil. In spite of this strong prejudice, though, Marcion read a text with “Christ.” Other early church writers attest to the presence of the word “Christ,” including Clement of Alexandria and Origen. What is more, the synod of Antioch in a.d. 268 used the reading “Christ” as evidence of the preexistence of Christ when it condemned Paul of Samosata. (See G. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles, 126-27; TCGNT 494; C. D. Osburn, “The Text of 1 Corinthians 10:9, ” New Testament Textual Criticism: Its Significance for Exegesis, 201-11; contra A. Robertson and A. Plummer, First Corinthians [ICC], 205-6.) Since “Christ” is the more difficult reading on all accounts, it is almost certainly the reading that gave rise to the others. In addition, “Christ” is consistent with Paul’s style in this passage (cf. 10:4, a text in which Marcion also reads “Christ”). This text is also christologically significant, since the reading “Christ” makes an explicit claim to the preexistence of Christ. (The textual critic faces a similar dilemma in Jude 5. In a similar exodus context, some of the more significant Alexandrian mss [A B 33 81] and the Vulgate read “Jesus” in place of “Lord.” Two of those mss [A 81] are the same mss that have “God” instead of “Christ” in 1 Cor 10:9. See the notes on Jude 5 for more information.) In sum, “Christ” has all the earmarks of authenticity here and should be considered the autographic reading. (NET Bible https://netbible.org/bible/1+Corinthians+10; bold and capital emphasis mine)

This leaves absolutely no doubt that the blessed and holy Apostle and the early Christians all believed that Jesus is YHVH God Almighty who became flesh, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit.

3 thoughts on “THE EUCHARIST AS THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST PT. 2

  1. Very interesting post proving that Jesus’s Deity in the scripture and supported by early manuscripts !
    The lord applied to Jesus as God is obvious in the epistles of Paul where the passages are about Jesus in the context that would be strange to refer the“ lord” to the Father !!
    One verse often overlooked and underused in the New Testament by Christian apologists :
    2 Peter 3:18
    BUT GROW IN THE GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD SND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
    TO HIM BE ALL GLORY AND HONOUR , BOTH NOW AND FORE EVERMORE !!

    Like

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