The most solemn and special sacraments in all Christendom, called the "Eucharist" or LORD'S Supper is also one of its most Jewish practices, also. It is enjoined by clergy and parishioner with rapt attention, reflection, and reverence as a most sacred act of devotion. Among some Christian churches, a specially-decorated table is set in front of the members, before the throne or altar of God.
Scripture is read, a prayer is spoken, and a song or hymn accompanies the partaking of a jigger of fruit of the vine (unfermented fruit juice in almost all cases) along with a piece of some type of unleavened bread, wafer, or cracker. One Christian denomination substitutes water for fruit of the vine and another one offers the option of drinking from one of two large cups (goblets) while receiving the sign of an ashen cross on your forehead. The times vary for this rite, as some observe it every Sunday, every first or fourth Sunday, and still for an even smaller minority, once a year. Now let's see how all of this works out.
Luke 22: 17, 19-20
Then, taking a cup of wine [fermented??], He gave thanks [Heb. b'rakhah], and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves. Also, taking bread [Heb. Matzah- "Bread of Affliction"], gave thanks [Heb. b'rakhah] broke it, gave it to them and said, "This is my body, which is being given for you; do this in memory of Me. He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, "This cup is the New Covenant (Heb. Brit Berith), in My blood, which is being [will be] poured out for you."
NOTE: According to Jewish tradition, four different cups [of wine] were used during the Passover meal (Heb. Seder), based upon the following:
Exodus 6: 6-7
Therefore say to the sons of Israel, I AM YHVH, and (1) I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and (2) I will rescue you out of their bondage. And (3) I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments. And (4) I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I AM YHVH, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians.
COMMENTARY: The "Cup of Sanctification" is taken from (1) I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, where God would set apart the Israelites from the Egyptians that they may worship and serve Him; which is derived from the Heb. Abad, meaning to serve, worship, be a husbandman, etc. The "Cup of Deliverance" is taken from (2) I will rescue you out of their bondage, as God took them away from the rigorous labor inflicted by the Egyptian Pharaoh. The "Cup of Redemption" is where God said, (3) "I will redeem you with an outstretched arm" and inflicted upon the Egyptians grievous plagues, including the 'Death of the Firstborn,' which caused Pharaoh to let the children of Israel leave Egypt. And the last one is the "Cup of Acceptance" (4) I will take you to Me for a people (Cp. 2 Samuel 7: 23-24).
Now, according to the New Testament (Heb. Brit Hadashah) this practice is as follows:
1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, 33-34a
For what I received from the LORD is just what I passed on to you- that the LORD Jesus (Yeshua), on the night he was betrayed, took bread [Heb. Matzah]; and after He made the b'rakhah (gave thanks), He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this as a memorial to Me." Likewise, He also took the cup after the meal (Heb. Seder), saying, "This cup is the New Covenant (Heb. Brit Berith) in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, as a memorial to Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the LORD until He comes. So then, my brothers, when you gather together to eat, wait for one another. If someone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it will not result in judgment.
NOTE: It would appear that the so-called Eucharist (LORD'S Supper) was part of the Passover Seder, which was observed by Jesus of Nazareth with His disciples before His crucifixion, and just like under the Old Testament, if participation in this part of the Feast was profaned [treated as a common meal], God's judgment was incurred (Cp. verses 29-30). This would certainly involve more than just the miniscule sampling of fruit juice and cracker that is distributed within most, if not all the Christian Churches who celebrate this memorial [See verses 33-34].
1 Corinthians 5: 7-8
"Get rid of the old leaven [Heb. Hametz], so that you may become a new batch of dough, because in reality you are unleavened. For indeed, Christ [Yeshua] our Passover [Heb. Pesach] lamb, has been sacrificed. So let us keep the Feast [celebrate the Passover Seder] not with the leftover leaven [Heb. Hametz] of wickedness and evil, but with the unleavened bread [Heb. Matzah] of purity and truth.
NOTE: The Apostle Paul uses the imagery and symbolism from the Passover Feast [Heb. Seder-meal] which the recipients of his letter doubtless observed, to point out uncorrected discipline regarding sexual immorality that was not repented of; and the effect of this sin could spread throughout the entire body of believers just like the action of leaven in dough. It must also be remembered that the Corinthian Church started from among the synagogue, with the ruler of the synagogue (Cp. Acts 18: 1, 4, 5b, 8, 17??) becoming a believer, as well as Gentile proselytes (Cp. Acts 18: 7, 8b), and it is more than likely that they continued to observe some of the Jewish religious customs and Feast Days.
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March 19, 2010
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