From sacrifice to sacrament

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer

We humans used to focus our worship on offering things to god(s). Plants, animals, delicacies, gifts — even fellow humans in our darkest seasons. It was all about sacrificing something to appease whatever god we were worshipping at the time. This is how status with the divine was established.

That’s how a lot of Christians in modern times see Jesus. As a form of human sacrifice to a bloodthirsty God. Now, maybe it’s my layman’s naivety and ignorance, but I think this misses the point (hugely). I think Jesus came around and flipped this entire principle on its head.

It seems to me that he took the opportunity in the last supper to showcase that it was time for us to accept God’s sacrifice this time.

Jesus offered his body and blood via bread and wine to us. Now, instead of having to feed God through sacrifice, we were being fed by God through sacrament.

This meant that the sacrificial status game was over. This God that Jesus represented needed nothing from us. All this God wanted was for us to receive Godself into us. To stop the obsessive feeding and become fed. To step away from the spiritual ranking system, sit down at a table together, eat, drink, and be merry.

From sacrifice to sacrament. What if this was the paradigm shift that Jesus ushered in?