Jesus was A Jew ?
THE COMMUNION SERVICE
THE COMMUNION SERVICE
by Ray LeRoux
Many, many people who observe Christian “communion” services in western churches lack a fundamental knowledge of the background of the original communion service Yeshua ha Messhiach (Jesus Christ in Greek) held at “the last supper” the night (actually the beginning of the day of) before His death on the cross.
The last supper was actually the observance of the Jewish seder meal observing the “pesach” or the feast of “passover”, the first of the four (of seven feasts mandated by God Himself) in the spring of the year. The passover meal had, by the time of Yeshua, been being celebrated for 1,500 years, from the time God, through Moshe (Moses), led His chosen people out bondage in Egypt (a symbol of the world – where Satan holds dominion – to freedom in the promised land (itself a symbol or type of the freedom Yeshua (Jesus) would, by his death and resurrection, free all mankind from bondage to sin (to ALL those who would believe, trust and obey.
Yeshua (Jesus) fully observed all of the elements of the passover service – in fact “full filled” THE passover service.
At the passover service, only matzah – or unleavened bread – could be used. In all of scripture, leaven is a symbol of sin. Only a sinless or leaven free bread (matzah) could be used – God NEVER allows sin in His presence.
Matzah, the Hebrew word for bread, is very important to understanding both the passover service and Yeshua's “last supper”. Look at matzah – it is (a) flattened, (b) has brown spots or bruises on it, © has holes in it, i.e., it is punctured. The matzah, or passover/last supper “bread” fulfills the scriptural prophecies that the annointed one, the saviour, the messiah, would be beaten, would be bruised, would be pierced (see Isaiah and Zechariah). The matzah is also without leaven, i.e., sin-less. The matzah is exactly a description of Yeshua/Jesus.
When we, Christians, partake or eat of the matzah/bread of Yeshua/Jesus, we are literally and figuratively taking up His cross. We are becoming part of His body, the community of His believers, followers, tzaddikim. Take this and eat, for this is my body.
A second point considering the matzah/bread of the passover meal/last supper is that the rabbis have long taught (see Ecclesiastes) that matzah/bread is a symbol for the Torah, for God's word. Thus the “lord's prayer” can and does mean, when it says give us this day our daily bread, is pleading for God to give us believers our daily Torah, our daily “word” - the real food, the spiritual food we all need to walk with the Lord, in the Lord.
In understanding the meaning of the bread, or matzah, in the passover service, the last supper, we should also go back and study what the “bread” means for us when God provided “manna” for 40 years in the desert, when Yeshua/Jesus fed thousands and thousands (on two different occasions) with loaves and fishes. We also have to reread John 6:66 when he told the people they HAD to eat of His body, i.e., His Word – and when scripture tells us many found this hard to either believer or follow “and many tzaddikim (disciples) followed Him no more. Even before Yeshua/Jesus told His followers at the last supper “take this and eat it”, He had already given the same message to the people. A few did, many didn't). Even at the last supper, Yudah ha Kariot, Judas, did not.
In the Jewish passover meal, the matzah/bread is broken into three pieces The central piece is hidden or set aside until later on in the meal. That central piece is set aside for the annointed one, the saviour, the messiah – for Yeshua Himself. It is this piece Yeshua took, broke it, distributed it, bade his followers to partake of. Every one, every one at the last supper knew exactly what Yeshua/Jesus was saying. He was asserting again and underscoring the fact that He is the messiah, He is God, He is the food of life (see John later when “I am the bread (matzah) of life” is stated unequivocally.)
There are four glasses of wine in the Jewish passover meal. The first is a blessing over the service. The second one is literally spilled, a drop for each of the plagues in Egypt. The spilled blood is a literal and figurative symbol that atonement for sins must be atoned for by a blood sacrifice. The third is the cup that Yeshua/Jesus drank with His disciples. (The fourth cup is at the end of the meal and for Ellijah, the harbinger of the second coming of the Lord, when Yeshua/Jesus will drink again with us, literally at the wedding feast of the Lamb with His bride).
The third cup, the one Yeshua/Jesus did drink is the one we are asked to do often in remembrance of Him. To understand more completely this third cup, one has to reflect upon and study the marriage customs of God's chosen people. Remember when Eliazer was sent as an agent by Abraham to find a bride for Isaac, the bride being Rachel. Abraham is a type of the father, Isaac is the son, Eliazer, which means “come-forter” in Hebrew is the agent sent by the father to perform a function for the son. Here we have a clear message of the Trinity, father son and holy spirit.
When the marriage arranger in the custom of the chosen people arranged a marriage, he brought his bona fides to the table, i.e., he placed on the table what he is offering in this marriage. A glass of wine sat at the table. If the potential bride found the offer acceptible, she would take a sip of the glass of wine. If she did, the offer was accepted. If she found the offer unacceptible, she would refuse the wine and the proposition ended. If she drank the wine, the offer was accepted and she was officially engaged, literally set apart or saved for that bridegroom. In Jewish culture, they were then married, a marriage that would be consummated later. Thus engaged, the bridegroom would start building rooms in his father's house, and would only come for the bride when ready. Who decided the rooms were ready, not the son, but the father. One could understand the bridegroom would want his bride right away but the father determined the time and place.
1.This is the custom all Jews understood. They would understand the LAST supper because of the parallels of the passover meal. They would have understood that matzah meant Torah. They would have understood that the middle piece of matzah that Yeshua/Jesus took up was the portion set apart for the saviour. They would have understood the prophecies of sinless, unleavened bread, the prophecies of the bruising and piercing, the need for a sinless sacrifice. And they would have understood all of the marriage custom meanings in the cup, the third one, that Yeshua/Jesus offered up. God, in the cup, is offering marriage to us. He is asking us to be His chosen bride. He is asking us to consummate the transaction then and there, to agree to a contract. He is telling us He is going away to prepare the rooms in the Kingdom. He is tellling us He WILL come back for His bride, us.
The wine is at the same time another graphic reminder that blood must be shed, that IS the price He is paying for the bride, to clothe us in white, pure garments. His sacrifice or bride payment is what He brings to the table. While He is away, we are to stay committed to the marriage we have agreed to, we are to follow our end of the bargain. We are not to go off and share our beds with others, with the world, with satan, with anything.
For those wonderful Jewish brothers and sisters who have come to accept Yeshua as Lord and Saviour find all of these old testament insights completely understandable, simple to comprehend, easy to follow.
The last supper didn't end with what we think of as the communion service. There was and is a fourth cup, set apart for Elijah, or the heralder of the coming of the Lord, when the shofar or trumpet is blown and the Lord comes for His bride (at the rapture). Then the passover meal continued with many prayers to the Father. These prayers include what is known in Hebrew as the “hillel”. They include Psalms 113-118 and Psalm 136. Yeshua/Jesus prayed these psalms to the Father with His disciples at His last supper with them before He went and prayed His personal prayer to the Father (see John 17).
The “communion service” means the COME UNION service. Come to Yeshua. Come to Jesus. Be one with Him. We are being asked to be part of His body, a member of His “community”.
There are so many fruits in the Word of the Lord, in studying and discerning ALL of scripture. As majestic as the gospel accounts of the last supper are, study of all of scripture places so many more fruits on the table, makes the feast so much fuller, makes the final wedding feast so much more to look forward to.
As in the Jewish wedding custom, we are now, if we accept, “engaged” and the best is yet to come. While we are engaged, just as the bridegroom is away acting on our behalf, praising and looking out for His bride to His father, preparing our rooms, we are to be observing, as we wait, the mitzvot of the contract, which are God's teaching, His word, His commandments, His Torah.
Amen, even so, come Lord Yeshua.
A Murder of Crows Salvation Download the first chapter by clicking on here