Jesus the New Paschal Lamb


In Paul and John we have the reference to Jesus as the new paschal lamb  (I Cor 5/5; Jn 19:36). The old Passover meal is over; the new paschal lamb is now Christ himself with him a new covenant is sealed. But they do not mention a paschal meal with a paschal lamb. In the synoptic as we have seen already the last supper took place in the frame work of a Passover meal. But there is no hint that the meal is a Passover one. No reference to the Passover lamb; or to the unleavened bread or to the bitter herbs etc. So it is a new Passover meal without a paschal lamb; the important features of this meal are the following:


1. Christ is giving his life as a sacrifice

            The last supper makes it clear that Jesus was about to die…he was giving his life freely…..”Body broken for you” and the blood shed for many…

2. A New Covenant….. In the 4 narratives we find mention of the word Covenant. An alliance must be concluded in blood (cf. Gen15:17; Ex 24:5-8). It is a Universal Covenant…

3. Redemption Motif …”For the forgiveness of sins….”. Jesus suffers for the sinners.

4. Jesus gives his life as food

5. Jesus commands to repeat his action

According to Paul and Luke, Jesus asked the disciples “do this in memory of me”. Was it a later addition? Why should it be repeated? “By his command to “do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19; 1 Cor 11:25), he asks us to respond to his gift and to make it sacramentally present. In these words the Lord expresses, as it were, his expectation that the Church, born of his sacrifice, will receive this gift, developing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the liturgical form of the sacrament. The remembrance of his perfect gift consists not in the mere repetition of the Last Supper, but in the Eucharist itself, that is, in the radical newness of Christian worship. In this way, Jesus left us the task of entering into his “hour.” ‘The Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of his self-giving’” (Ap.Ex. SC 11).

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Recommended Articles and Books 

Eucharist and Old Testament

Last Supper of Jesus in New Testament

Eucharist and Gospel of John



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