Remembrance Through Communion EGP Blog post from December 26, 2012

Usually when people do communion (the Lord’s Supper), they either have a wafer, a small square of cracker bread, or people tear off a piece of normal bread. In Jewish culture, they use matzo (or matzah) bread (which is pretty much an over-sized cracker that’s about 4”–6” on either side). They don’t have leaven (yeast), which is symbolic of Christ being without sin (, ). One of the characteristics of matzoh bread is that it usually has darker stripes from being cooked, which is symbolic of the scourging Christ endured so “by His stripes we are healed” (, ). When using it for communion, people break off a piece, which is symbolic of Christ’s body being beaten and “crushed for our iniquities” (, , ). This bread reminds us of what Christ endured as He took the punishment for our sins ().

The second part is “the fruit of the vine” (). The grapes are crushed to make the juice, which, like the bread, is symbolic of the beatings Christ endured in our place. People usually use grape juice nowadays, but originally it was wine. In fact, Paul got onto the Corinthian church for using this time of remembrance as an excuse to get drunk (). Wine is usually referred to as a blessing in the Bible, which is symbolic of the blessings we have through Christ (). It also has medicinal purpose, which is symbolic of Christ healing those who come to Him (). The fermentation of the wine preserves the wine, which is symbolic of our eternity with God that was gained through His sacrifice (). Also, when Jewish priests provided wine for the original Passover ritual, they would often dilute the wine with water to prevent drunkenness, this is symbolic of the Holy Spirit (Living Water) working alongside Christ to bring salvation to us and bringing His sanctifying power (, , ). And, of course, the wine is symbolic of Christ’s blood (), which Hebrews tells us is is greater than that of any animal could ever be, because instead of just delaying punishment for sin and not dealing with our conscience, Christ’s blood washes away sin and cleanses our consciences from sin (, ).

1 Corinthians 11:23–25 ()

[23] For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; [24] and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” [25] In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”