Thursday, March 17, 2011
What is a todah?
One of the more interesting concepts that we learn from Judaism is the todah sacrifice. You see there were many different types of sacrifice but the todah is one that we will all recognize very quickly as Christians. The todah was a sacrifice offered in recognition of God delivering someone from some great tribulation. They had just gone through something very difficult, and when they came to the other side they wanted to show God that they know he was the reason they were delivered.
The todah meal was a meal of sacrifice and thanksgiving to the Father. A priest would sacrifice a lamb, and the family would then consume that lamb with wine. It's already starting to sound familiar. "One gives thanks for a particular deliverance from suffering or mortal danger."
You and I were in mortal danger. The wages of sin is death. That means that if you broke any commandment in any way, the punishment is death. All of us are sinners. We have all sinned in someway or another. We all deserve death. God redeemed us through Christ on the cross. Our todah is communion. Now each church has a different way of going about communion, and I don't want this to get into a conversation on how to go about it, or who is right, or who is wrong. This is about how that the concept of communion goes directly back to a todah.
Through communion we are offering a sacrifice to God, one that He gave us freely. Just like a lamb is only ours because God gives it to us, the sacrifice of Christ is only ours because God provided it. Just like Abraham and Isaac, a ram has been provided for us. The bread represents his body, and the wine his blood. Just like Melkizedk who offered bread and wine, so do we. We participate in the communion to show that sacrifice. Jesus is our lamb, just as the bible refers to him.
The Jewish scholars many years ago wrote a very important statement. "In the comming Messianic age, all sacrifices will cease except the todah sacrifice. This will never cease in all eternity" (Pesiqta, I, p 159). We know that Jesus was our messiah. The communion act is a representation of that todah sacrifice.