A Further Look at the Mystery of the Consecration.
St. Paul writes, “For Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor 5:7-8).
On the night before He suffered Jesus linked His “Last Supper” with His crucifixion on Calvary. Jesus, present with His apostles and serving them as both high priest of the celebration and the Paschal Lamb being offered to the Father; on that night, He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them saying, “take, eat, this is My Body, which is given for you.” After supper He took the wine, blessed it, and gave it to them saying, “Drink this, all of you, for this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins.”
Jesus transformed His death from an execution to an offering. St. Paul writes, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it, saying, Take, eat: this is My Body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup saying, This cup is the new testament in My Blood, this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor 11:23-24). His choice of words explains everything. He uses sacrificial, temple, atonement and covenant language to illustrate why Jesus celebrated the Passover as He did.
Jesus offered His love and life to the Father as the required unblemished Paschal victim for the redemption of the world! “Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit!” And having said this He breathed His last. (Lk 23:46). This is true love!
Being present at the holy Eucharist and receiving holy Communion infuses love into us as we unite our self to Christ and His holy sacrifice. This unity with our Lord’s passion is what we pray for in the Prayer Book, that we “… may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of His passion.” (BCP 335).