This Is My Body - Jesus and the Breaking of the Bread

This is My Body - Jesus and the Breaking of the Bread - How understanding the Jewish roots of the faith gives you a clearer picture of Jesus the Messiah | God | Christian teaching | Jewish Roots | Jesus | Encouragement www.worthbeyondrubies.com/breaking-bread/
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This is My body.  We hear those words all the time in church services.  But what exactly did Jesus mean when He said it?

The Last Supper was a Passover Seder.  There is no dispute about that; the Bible makes that much clear.

A seder is the ritual service and a feast that is held at the beginning of the Passover.

“Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” Luke 22:11 (NKJV)

In this post, I am going to focus solely on the unleavened bread.

Jesus broke the bread and gave it to His disciples.

This is the bread…matzah.  So let’s look at this more closely to see what Jesus meant by referring to it as His body.

Matzah for the Passover Seder - This is my body | Jesus | Seder | Messianic

Matzah is a bread baked without leaven.  Leaven, or chametz, is a rising agent and during the Passover the Jewish people are told to rid their homes of leaven for the eight days of the feast.  The matzah is what the Hebrews baked for their trek out of Egypt; without leaven as they did not have time to let the bread rise.

Leaven is also used in the Bible as a reference to sin.  The matzah, the unleavened bread, is what Jesus would have broken with His disciples at the Last Supper.  It is the bread on every seder table.  Some make it soft by adding more water to the mixture while some make it harder, like a cracker, but there is little distinction between them other than that. If you look at a piece of matzah you will notice some unique things about it.

Leaven is also used in the Bible as a reference to sin. #jewishroots Click To Tweet

For one, it contains bruises from the baking process.  These are brown marks seen throughout the piece.  Second, the matzah contains tiny holes throughout, so it is pierced.  This was done to prevent air bubbles from forming.  And last, it contains stripes down the length of it where it is ridged higher than the rest.  From what I understand this was due to the type of roller that was used on the dough.

This is My Body - Jesus and the Breaking of the Bread - How understanding the Jewish roots of the faith gives you a clearer picture of Jesus the Messiah | God | Christian teaching | Jewish Roots | Jesus | Encouragement www.worthbeyondrubies.com/breaking-bread/

So looking at the matzah we see it is bruised, pierced, and striped.  Is this beginning to sound familiar?

Looking at the matzah we see it is bruised, pierced, and striped #jewishroots Click To Tweet

During the Passover seder, the bread is broken multiple times throughout, each time saying a blessing as prescribed throughout the seder, giving thanks to God.

“And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me’.”  Luke 22:19 (NKJV)

You see, without the Passover seder to show us how the matzah is a picture of Him, we don’t get the full understanding of what Jesus meant when He said ‘This is my body’.  Jesus said this because the unleavened bread had the elements of being bruised, pierced, and striped.  It was broken.  It was without chametz (leaven) or sin.

Ah but there is more!  During the Passover seder, there is a piece of matzah that is called the Afikomen, meaning “that which comes after”.  It is a piece of matzah that is broken off and is set aside for later to be eaten as part of the dessert.  However, in many homes, the Afikomen is hidden away before the seder and then afterwards the children look for it and a reward is given to the one who finds it.

Jesus’ body, for a time, was hidden away to be resurrected after three days!   Those of us who find Him receive a great reward.

Those of us who find Him receive a great reward. #jewishroots Click To Tweet

Stay tuned for more posts on the Jewish Roots of Our Faith!

Worth Beyond Rubies www.living31.org/christian-blog

 

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29 Comments

  1. Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for the information! I will think of all of it every time we break the bread for Communion from now on. Love the idea too, of a series on our Jewish roots. Looking forward to more!

    • Thank you so much!! I am actually going to be changing the whole direction of the blog (well..most of it) to be teaching from a Jewish perspective so that people can learn more about the faith!! Very excited about it!!

    • I think it's a great idea! I know I already told you that, but I can't wait to read it all!

    • Thanks again!!! I am working out the details now!!

  2. So interesting! I love learning about different traditions and the significane behind them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Just love this and any reference to Jewish history related to understanding more if our Jewish Jesus. We miss put on so much when we ignore these references! So much appreciate this slice of fascinating info about His body and unleavened bread!

    • Kathy thank you!! I am looking forward to doing more on my blog in that direction!!

  4. Wow! Beautiful post! I never knew there was symbolism in the Matzah. Thank you for sharing!

  5. What an interesting perspective. I'm glad you share the history! Thanks!

  6. This is very informative and truly brings out the beauty of the bread in communion. Thank you for sharing!

    • Yes knowing that definitely gives one a whole new appreciation for communion!

  7. I am not Jewish so some of these words are unfamiliar to me, but I really enjoy reading and learning more about the Jewish faith and history. Great post and thank you for sharing these "roots" of your Jewish faith.

    • Thanks Danielle...I am going to be doing a lot more on the Jewish roots and I will be sure to explain the words. I sometimes get carried away LOL

  8. This is great! I live it when people are able to put things into context, and shine light on hidden scriptural gems!

  9. So interesting! I had never heard about all the elements of the unleavened bread. This was very informative, thanks!

    • Thank you Rebekah!! I am going to be devoting a lot more of my blog to teaching the Jewish roots moving forward!

  10. So interesting! I love looking into Jewish history, as a researcher at heart, I really appreciate this!

    • Thank you!! I am going to be doing many more posts like this!! So stay tuned! :-)

  11. Hi, Diane- I really liked your article. I was curious to know what you would think of this, though. I was looking something up about the Passover Seder and stumbled upon it and didn't know what to think. What is your take on this? http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/march-web-only/jesus-didnt-eat-seder-meal.html?start=1

    • So my issues with this article are two-fold. First, while the seder as we know it today may not be the same exact format as Jesus celebrated it, the Passover meal and the fact that He was breaking unleavened bread and drinking wine shows He did in fact honor the Passover with a feast. What form that took in comparison to today's seder isn't really relevant to me because He clearly said He wanted a room to hold the Passover meal with His disciples. That would have been the first night of Passover and a seder in one form or another.
      My other problem is that it talks about adopting a ritual as a lack of respect while the Bible in Romans says we are ONE in Messiah. The gentile believers were grafted in to the vine that is Israel. While I do agree that there are dangers when replacement theology comes into play, it is nonsense to think that any Messianic Jew would feel like gentile believers are adopting THEIR rituals...it is not ours it is God's. We are celebrating a feast day that the Lord ordained...not man. The form it takes may have changed but that is all that has changed. We still break bread, still have the four cups, and we re-tell the story of how we were slaves and are now free...nothing could be more Christ-like in my opinion. So I would have to respectfully disagree with some of the article.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read it and respond, Diane! I agree—we can't fully understand our Christian faith without understanding the Jewish roots and world of the Bible, so the arguments here seemed a bit off. I had many of the same responses/objections to it that you state here, but I wasn't sure if I was overlooking or mistaking something. Thanks so much for offering your perspective to help me out!

    • I think it is great that you asked! There are many well-meaning articles out there that just come from a place of keeping the two separate. We are one in Messiah but I think sometimes it is easy to keep that distinction. Many times it is treated as though Jesus came to form another religion apart from Judaism. But He lived and died a Jew. He celebrated the feasts. He was the living Torah. So why shouldn't gentiles, if they are so led, celebrate the same days He did? He celebrated Hanukkah (its in the Bible that He did), Passover and the other feasts. It should never be a burden placed on Christians but if they choose to...why should they be told they are hijacking anything? So I love seeing non-Jewish believers interested in the Jewish roots!!

  12. You've gone into such depth and detail here! I did a Write 31 Day challenge on Communion a few years ago, which I'm working on condensing into 7 days. I'm totally going to link to this because it is such a great description and portrayal linking Passover with communion.

    • Thank you so much Lizzy!! Looking forward to seeing it!!!