The Significance of Bread and Wine
Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday January 29, 2017
Theme – When Jesus instituted the ritual of Communion during the Last Supper, He did so using elements that were part of daily life for people of that time. He intended Communion to be accessible and inclusive.
Thankfulness needs to be expressed
- When we are thankful for something, we should express it.
- Thankfulness is not something we simply feel, it is something we share.
- When we participate in the Lord’s Supper, we should do so with thankfulness expressed.
- Jesus is the only way to eternal life with God. Jesus is the only way to communicate with the Father.
- Communion is one important way to communicate with God because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.
- Jesus instituted Communion to be something easily available.
Significance of the bread
- The bread of Jesus’ time was often a mixture of different kinds of grain.
- Together the different kinds of grain went through the fire of an oven in order to emerge as a usable product.
- Bread was a big part of each meal. It was easy for everyone to make or purchase.
- Bread was an “inclusive” food. It was a common food that brought together many people to a common experience.
- Symbolically, the bread represented Jesus’ body, and what it was going to have to endure during the crucifixion. By eating it, we recognize what He had to go through.
Significance of the wine
- Wine was a common drink at meals of that time.
- It was widely available and less risky than water because the grapes had gone through a fermentation process that made the liquid safe and good for digestion.
- So, like bread, wine was an “inclusive” drink that everyone could share.
- For grape juice to properly ferment, the grapes were pressed, but not so forcefully that the seeds were crushed. This is reflective of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10 “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
- On the cross, Jesus was crushed so we don’t have to be.
- In Communion, wine represents the blood Jesus shed during the crucifixion. His shed blood was the price sufficient to pay for our sins. Putting ourselves under that blood gives us forgiveness.
- When we drink the wine during Communion, we acknowledge and accept the meaning of Jesus’ shed blood.
What He intended
- When Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion, he did so knowing the elements had to be commonly available and representative of what happened during the crucifixion.
- Jesus’ intention was for Communion to be an “inclusive” ritual; easy to perform and easy to remember its significance.
- We should partake in Holy Communion with thankfulness. John 3:14-16 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”