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Coptic Orthodox Church
why bread and wine?
edited December 1969
Coptic Orthodox Church
Does anyone know why the Lord chose bread and wine to become his body and blood? He could have used anything, what is the significance of Bread being the Body and wine being the blood? Did any early church fathers ever talk about this?
Well in arabic(which is close to aramaic) bread means life(a3ash) and the communion is the Bread of Life. Wine looks like blood so that makes sense, but this is just my speculation i dont have anything to back up my reasoning.
also they are very important parts of the Jewish feast of passover; the meal before Jesus' crucifixion was the passover meal.
if there are any Hebrew scholars (or good internet surfers) out there, they can enlighten us further...
Also the symbol in the old testament of Melchizedek who offer bread and wine as his sacrifice.
wow, i hadn't noticed that!
just re-read it (Genesis 14; 17-24) and u r exactly right
yeah i knew that about melchizedek, but i wanted to know if anyone knew why specifically bread and wine was used to become his Body and Blood
[glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father+ and of the Son+ and of the Holy Spirit+, the One True God. Amen.[/glow]
Bread is a staple food from flour and meal mixed with a liquid, usually combined leaven and kneaded, then shaped into loaves and baked. Bread played an important role in Israel's worship. During the celebration of Pentecost (the Jewish feastday)," 17
You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23:17).
" There was a type of ritualistic bread called 'Showbread' consisting of 12 loaves baked without leaven by the Levites and was placed weekly in the Tabernacle, and later in the temple. When removed at the end of the week, the loaves were eaten by the priests. The purpose of the Showbread was to symbolize God's Presence with His people.
When fleeing from bondage in Egypt, the Israelites made unleavened bread (bread without yeast). This is found in
Exodus 12:8, 13:6-7
. For that reason, the Exodus (Exodus means 'departure' or 'leaving') was remembered annually by eating unleavened bread for a period of 7 days (Leviticus 23:6). This celebration was called "the Days of Unleavened Bread" (Acts 12:3).
In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus was tempted by Satan with turning rocks into bread (Matthew 4:3-4). In the Lord's Prayer, we ask God to "give us our daily bread" (Mat.6:11). The Lord Jesus called Himself "The Bread of Life" (Mat.6:35) and the "Bread of God" (Mat 6:33). This is a reference to the Manna that God gave to the Israelites in the desert (Exodus16). This is all brought together in the Last Supper (Mat.26:26).
So we see how important bread was (and still is ) in the Middle East and the Biblical role it had. This is why He used bread.
[glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father+ and the Son+ and the Holy Spirit+, the One True God. Amen. [/glow]
Wine was only fermented grapes during biblical times. It was first mentioned when Noah became drunk (yes, he became drunk-it was wine after all,
after the Flood (Genesis 9:20-21). Wine was a common commodity in Hebrew life and was regularly included in the summaries of agricultural products (Gen. 27:28, 2Kings 18:32, Jeremiah 31:12). Wine was a significant trade item in Palestine. Solomon offered Hiram 20,000 baths of wine in exchange for timber (2Chronicles 2:10,15). Damascus was a market for the "wine of Helbon" (Ezekiel 27:18). Penalty fines were sometimes paid with wine (Amos 2:8).
Wine was also used in worship. Libations to false gods were condemned (Deuteronomy 32:27-38, Isaiah 57:6, 65:11, Jeremiah 7:18, 19:13), but the drink offering prescribed by the Law of Moses was a libation of wine offered to the Lord. There are many more Old Testament examples of wine that you may able to find. It was used as a beverage or drink. Wine was created by God to cheer men's hearts and bread to strengthen men's hearts (Psalm 104:15), given by God and not Baal (pagan god) in Hosea 2:8. It was used as medicine- it revived the faint (2Sam. 16:2), and was suitable as a sedative for people in distress (Proverbs 31:6), it eased suffering Mat. 27:34, Mark 15:23, the Good Samaritan used it to heal a victim (Luke 10:34), St. Paul prescribed it a s a way to ease an upset stomach (1Tim 5:23).
Thus we can see the role wine played in ancient Israel and why it is used for the Holy Eucharist. Simply put, The Lord Jesus used it and not orange juice nor water. Why change it if it's necessary.