Avondmaal van de Heer, een speciale offergave

Wanneer je dus je offergave naar het altaar brengt en je je daar herinnert dat je broeder of zuster je iets verwijt, laat je gave dan bij het altaar achter; ga je eerst met die ander verzoenen en kom daarna je offer brengen. Matt. 5:23, 24.

Laten we met Jezus' tussenkomst een dankoffer brengen aan God: het huldebetoon van lippen die zijn naam prijzen, ononderbroken. Heb. 13:15.


But every Lord’s Day, gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow man come together with you, until they are reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is the thing that was spoken of by the Lord: “‘In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King,’ the Lord says, ‘and my name is wonderful among the nations.’” Didache (c. 80–140, E), 7.381.

He then speaks of those Gentiles, namely us, who in every place offer sacrifices to Him, i.e., the bread of the Eucharist, and also the cup of the Eucharist. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.215.

God anticipated all the sacrifices which we offer through this name, and which Jesus the Christ enjoined us to offer—i.e., in the Eucharist of the bread and the cup, which are presented by Christians in all places throughout the world. So He bears witness that they are well-pleasing to Him. . . . Now, that prayers and giving of thanks, when offered by worthy men, are the only perfect and well-pleasing sacrifices to God, I also admit. For Christians have undertaken to offer only these, and in the remembrance effected by their solid and liquid food, by which the suffering of the Son of God which He endured is brought to mind. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.257. He took that created thing, bread, and gave thanks, saying, “This is My body.” And the cup likewise, which is part of that creation to which we belong, He confessed to be His blood. And He taught the new oblation of the new covenant, which the church receiving from the apostles, offers to God throughout all the world. . . . Concerning this, Malachi, who is among the twelve [minor] prophets, spoke beforehand in this manner: . . . “‘In every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure sacrifice. For great is My name among the Gentiles,’ says the Lord Omnipotent.” By these words, He indicated in the plainest manner that the former people [the Jews] will indeed cease to make offerings to God, but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to him, and that it will be a pure one.
Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.484.

The oblation of the church, which the Lord gave instructions to be offered throughout all the world, is considered by God to be a pure sacrifice, and it is acceptable to Him. . . . For by the gift, both honor and affection are shown forth towards the King. And the Lord, wishing us to offer it in all simplicity and innocence, did express Himself in this manner, “Therefore, when you offer your gift upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then return and offer your gift.” We are bound, therefore, to offer to God the first-fruits of His creation. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/ W), 1.484.

Therefore, sacrifices do not sanctify a man. For God does not stand in any need of sacrifices. Instead, it is the conscience of the offerer that sanctifies the sacrifice when it is pure. This moves God to accept it as from a friend. . . . It behooves us to make an oblation to God and in all things to be found grateful to God our Maker. We should do this in a pure mind, in faith without hypocrisy, in well-grounded hope, in fervent love, offering to Him the firstfruits of His own created things. And the church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.485.

The oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual one. And in this respect, it is pure. For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment. And then, when we have perfected the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread (the body of Christ) and the cup (the blood of Christ) in order that those who receive these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life eternal. Irenaeus (c. 180, E/W), 1.574.

You, however, have no cause for appearing in public, except such as is serious. Either some brother who is sick is visited, or else the sacrifice is offered, or else the word of God is dispensed. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 4.24.

In the priest Melchizedek, we see the sacrament of the sacrifice of the Lord prefigured. . . . It says, “And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine.” Now, Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God, and he blessed Abraham. The Holy Spirit declares in the Psalms that Melchizedek was a type of Christ. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.359.

Certainly, only the priest who imitates that which Christ did [i.e., using wine mixed with water] is the one who truly discharges the office of Christ. He only offers a true and full sacrifice in the church to God the Father when he proceeds to offer it in the manner that he sees Christ Himself to have offered it. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.362.

Learn what occurred when I myself was present and a witness. Some parents who were fleeing [persecution] left an infant daughter under the care of a wet nurse. The nurse turned the forsaken child over to the magistrates. They gave the child bread mingled with wine in the presence of an idol where the people flocked. . . . Later, the mother recovered her child. But the girl was unable to speak or indicate the crime that had been committed. . . . When we were sacrificing, the mother brought the daughter in with her. . . . When the solemnities were finished, the deacon began to offer the cup to those present. When the rest had received it and her turn approached, the little child—by the instinct of the divine majesty—turned away her face, shut her mouth tight with resisting lips, and refused the cup. Still, the deacon persisted . . . and forced on her some of the sacrament of the cup. However, there then followed a sobbing and vomiting. The Eucharist could not remain in a profane body and mouth. The drink, sanctified in the blood of the Lord, burst forth from the polluted stomach. … Another woman tried with unworthy hands to open her box in which was the holy [sacrament] of the Lord. However, she was deterred by fire rising from it—because of her daring to touch it. And another person, who was also defiled, dared to secretly receive a part of the sacrifice celebrated by the priest, along with the rest. However, when he opened his hands, he found he had a cinder instead. Thus, by the experience of one, it was demonstrated that the Lord withdraws when He is denied. That which is received does not benefit unto salvation those who are undeserving. For the saving grace is changed by the departure of the sanctity into a cinder. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.444.

The Eucharist is to be received with fear and honor. In Leviticus it says, “But whatever soul will eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of salvation, which is the Lord’s, and his uncleanness is still upon him—that soul will perish from his people” [Lev. 7:20]. Also, in the first letter to the Corinthians: “Whoever will eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.554.

In our religion, there is no place even for a slight and ordinary offense. And if anyone comes to a sacrifice without a sound conscience, he hears what threats God denounces against him. Lactantius (c. 304–313, W), 7.157.

© OTR 2023