Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"You Gotta Eat The Lamb"


Jesus said I have come not to abolish the Law but fulfill it. His incarnate entry into our salvation history was not intended to subjugate all of Judaism prior to His advent and re-invent a completely disparate religion called "New Testament Christianity." To be sure, Jesus instituted a New Covenant through His blood, shed once and for all, for sin. But did establishing a New Covenant mean that all of Jewish history and God's dealings with His people needed to be cast aside? Through the "retrospectacles" of history we tend to view Christianity as this completely innovative movement which is the anti-thesis of Judaism. However, when we cut the Jewish roots from Christianity, we lose a perspective and historical way of thinking that was intended to inform our theology and help us understand our faith.
The doctrines of Catholicism have become easier for me to understand when I look to the Jewish roots of this religion. Note John the Baptist's first words regarding Jesus:
"Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."
This was such a vitally important statement to his Jewish followers because it distilled the concept of salvation from the past to the present and onto the future. His proclamation immediately connects all of Jewish history and the importance of the Passover to Jesus entry into our world. At the same time, John's announcement foreshadowed the Last Supper (and therefore the Mass) when Jesus gave us His body to eat.

Every Jew knew that to escape the angel of death they needed to "eat the lamb." It was a core belief of historical Judaism. The Passover was part of who they were as a people. It would follow then, that Jesus, when he commanded us to "take and eat for this is my body" was doing nothing less than continuing the pattern that God had instituted from the beginning of salvation history.
So I need to ask again, why is the sacrament of the Eucharist a human invention? Christ came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it. If you can accept the ancient Jewish paradigm that God required a spotless Lamb to be sacrificed for our sins, why not bring it to its logical completion? Bottom line: You Gotta Eat the Lamb!

ADDENDUM: This is what the Church historically has taught and practiced since 33 AD. The term "sacrifice of the altar" was used repeatedly by the early founders of Christianity to describe what transpired in the Mass. Just ask Emperor Diocletian why he slaughtered so many Christians in the early fourth century. He would tell you that the Christians were cannibals because they ate the flesh and drank the blood of the Son of Man.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy said...

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Jewish Shabat dinner (as part of an interfaith gathering)at a local synagogue. Part of the evening was to sit in on the Sabbath prayers at sundown. Seeing it through a Catholic perspective, the connection between our liturgical tradtion and the Jewish was as obvious as it can get.

February 17, 2007 4:28 PM  
Blogger sattvicwarrior said...

EAT LAMB?? yuk!!!!!!!!! what would have happend if CHRIST ate TOFU???????????/
stick to the " christ on a cracker" [ communion wafer.] far less carbs!!!!!!] and jesus would have wanted it that way im SURE!!!!!

February 17, 2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Someone gave me 'the 4th cup' lecture on CD by Scott Hahn. It was very profound and later that week I was eating lunch with someone who is now Christian but grew up Jewish. I asked him about the details of the liturgy and he said that it was all correct.

Powerful stuff. I hope more of our Protestant brothers and sister come back home soon so they can experience the full mystery of Christ.

February 17, 2007 8:40 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

God bless the sattvicwarrior!

February 17, 2007 8:54 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Nancy:
I look forward to attending one of those some day to better appreciate and understand our faith
Thanks for the post!

GFF:
I heard the 4th cup video very early in my journey, about 2 years before actually coming back home so I need to see/hear it again.
It is amazing how The Old Covenant unfolded to reveal the New! without throwing the baby out with the bath water!

February 17, 2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger NotMyOpinion30 said...

I bet that sattvicwarrior is a really nice person. I wish the best for him. God bless you, sattvicwarrior. Though I am unworthy, I will pray for you.

February 18, 2007 8:12 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Better yet, we can offer up our Communion for him today!

February 18, 2007 10:11 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Nice piece. If Protestants only bothered to see the big picture of the Old Testament, many of these issues would be easily resolved, including the Eucharist, the Pope, and Mary.

February 20, 2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Russ,

Diocletian... wouldn't he have counted that as Just one of the reasons? I recall reading about Polycarp, and the last thrust of Anger against Him was brought about by Him saying that Christ lived within Him (the crucified one). Thus they went on to attempt to burn him, but had to thrust a sword into him to kill him.

I thought the eating the flesh was only one claim against them.

None the less a good concise post. Still a hard one for me to CHEW on :) I am not walking away, I am just left sitting on a rock pondering :)

Love you brother,
-g-

April 22, 2009 9:17 PM  
Blogger TJ said...

"I thought the eating the flesh was only one claim against them.'
Yes I am sure it was one of many, but it's the one claim that makes it hard for people to insist that transubstantiation is a "new" doctrine.
thanks for reading the post, keep pondering!

April 23, 2009 7:11 AM  

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