Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thick Meaning

In his chapter entitled "The Lord's Last Supper in the Fourfold Witness of the Gospels" from The Lord's Supper: Remembering and Proclaiming Christ until He Comes, Jonathan Pennington says that the Lord's Supper has many interconnected meanings and applications which he describes as "nodes of meaning within the thick, broad structure of ideas that the meaning is." He identifies five thematic nodes.

  1. The Lord's Supper is an enacted parable of Jesus' impending sacrificial death.
  2. The Lord's Supper shows the fulfillment of the Passover and the New Exodus.
  3. The Lord's Supper pictures the inauguration of the New Covenant in Christ.
  4. The Lord's Supper serves to form and re-form the community and identity of Jesus' disciples.
  5. The Lord's Supper is an appetizer of the eschatological banquet.
He concludes, "The banquet of the Lord's Last Supper as presented by the Evangelists is as rich and deeply aged as the finest wine that could be imagined."

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