Q392 : Passover in relation to Communion

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Q392 : Passover in relation to Communion

Hi Tony,

I have come across this claim from a professing conservative Reformed evangelical regarding the observance of the Passover:

“The Eucharist/Lord's supper (in connection with the crucifixion) is the fulfillment and NT practice of the OT Passover

The reasoning may be something like this: just as circumcision is not required, an in a sense antithetical to the gospel, for Gentiles, and so baptism had superceded circumcision, so likewise the Passover would be, since we have been transposed it in the light of Christ, to Communion/Eucharist. We are not Jews except by union with Christ, the true Israel.

We should not turn back to the old administration when Christ has come.”

Would what the brother claims be valid? Or is some form of supercessionism at play here?

A392 : by Tony Garland

I’ve highlighted some phrases in the citation you sent to which I might respond.

Baptism has superseded circumcision

This is questionable logic, often encountered in the Reformed world and often used to justify infant baptism. Since circumcision of young Jews was done prior to belief (not after faith) — the argument goes — so too should children of believers be baptized in the present age. Equating baptism with circumcision raises numerous issues: For one, women did not participate in circumcision but undergo baptism. For another, Believing Jewish males in the NT era generally undergo both circumcision and baptism.

Passover . . . transposed . . . to Communion/Eucharist

Notice that “Passover” is a biblical term, while communion/eucharist are terms created by the church following New Testament times. These terms are not wrong in themselves, but they contribute to the concept of discontinuity between Passover vs. the ordinance of the Lord’s supper (a more biblical phrase). While it is true that Passover foreshadows the Last Supper where the ultimate Lamb was offered for the sins of the world, Jesus Himself pointed beyond the Last Supper, to a future fulfillment in the millennial kingdom (Mat. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18). Viewing the Passover as superseded makes light of this future celebration in "My Father's kingdom" and fails to appreciate how solidly-anchored the Last Supper is with the Passover Seder. The cup of wine that Jesus highlighted and shared was a specific action associated with the Passover celebration.a

We are not Jews except by . . .

This is typical replacement theologyb terminology which views New Testament believers as "Jews" or "Israel." This use of the term Jew (referring to Gentiles as "spiritual Jews") underwrites the thinking of this Reformed evangelical. The result is the distancing of today's believers from the Jewish roots of the faith. A more careful consideration of the use of the terms "Jew," "Israel," "Jacob," and the related phrase, "sons of Abraham," within the New Testament will show that the terms "Jew" and "Israel" never refers to Gentiles. Rather, distinctions are made between Jews of physical descent, and true Jews,c the subset of ethnic Jews exhibiting the faith of father Abraham in Messiah Jesus.

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