Eucharist and Different Models of Sacrifice Essay

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.....sacrament of the Eucharist epitomizes the concept of transubstantiation, in which the spirit and presence of Christ is revealed to believers in the recognizable and tangible form. God's transcendence becomes God's immanence, thereby initiating a process of spiritual transformation. As Cooke (1994) points out, the Eucharist sacrament must also take place within a community, allowing each individual to perceive Christ through other believers. The importance of community is embedded within the ritual of the Eucharist because it is an act of sacred communion -- implying community, gathering, and communication. Therefore, the concept of the Eucharist is rooted in the act of sharing, on one level Jesus sharing His body with the people and on another level the community sharing the Word with each other. Moreover, the Eucharist represents "the message of human life redeemed and transformed by the power of God working through the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ," (Cook, 1994, p. 96). Consuming the ritual sacrament allows the believer to internalize Christ in a potent way.



As a mystical ritual, the Eucharist can be interpreted and understood from multiple perspectives. The elements of Eucharistic Communing that Cooke (1994) identifies includes the gathering together of people with the express purpose of worshipping Christ, listening to scripture to hear and understand the Word of God, listening to sermon, and ingesting the consecrated bread.

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The latter element of the Eucharist is only one part, although the bread does symbolize the core concept of transubstantiation. Cooke (1994) also describes the sacrament of the Eucharist in terms of Jesus's new covenant and the covenant meal as representative of the ritual sacrifice. Jesus's death changed the whole concept of sacrifice, as Cooke (1994) points out, from a sacrifice focused on death to one focused on resurrection and eternal life.



In "Six Ways of Salvation: How Does Jesus Save?" the author offers six models of atonement to show the various processes by which Jesus saves. The six models include Jesus as teacher of true knowledge, Jesus as moral example, Jesus as victorious champion and liberator, Jesus as our satisfaction, the happy exchange, and Jesus as final scapegoat. Peters (2006) shows how Jesus's sacrifice is integral to the Eucharist, which is why the model of our satisfaction fits well with Cooke's (1994) analysis of the Eucharist as a symbol of sacrifice. Jesus's death was voluntary, notes Peters (2006), making….....

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References

Cooke, B. (1994). Eucharist as communion. Sacraments and Sacramentality. March 1994

Peters, T. (2006). Six ways of salvation: How does Jesus save? Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 45(3): 223-235.

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