Christian Science Bible Lessons
- Section 5 -
In ancient Rome a soldier was required to swear allegiance to
his general. The Latin word for this oath was sacramentum, and
our English word sacrament is derived from it. Among the Jews it
was an ancient custom for the master of a feast to pass each guest
a cup of wine. But the Eucharist does not commemorate a Roman
soldier's oath, nor was the wine, used on convivial occasions and
in Jewish rites, the cup of our Lord. The cup shows forth his
bitter experience, - the cup which he prayed might pass from him,
though he bowed in holy submission to the divine decree.
The true sense is spiritually lost, if the sacrament is confined
to the use of bread and wine. The disciples had eaten, yet Jesus
prayed and gave them bread. This would have been foolish in a
literal sense; but in its spiritual signification, it was natural
and beautiful. Jesus prayed; he withdrew from the material senses
to refresh his heart with brighter, with spiritual views.
(Jesus' sad repast)
The Passover, which Jesus ate with his disciples in the month
Nisan on the night before his crucifixion, was a mournful
occasion, a sad supper taken at the close of day, in the twilight
of a glorious career with shadows fast falling around; and this
supper closed forever Jesus' ritualism or concessions to matter.