Scriptures: Matthew 26:26-29, John 19:28-37 & 1 John 5:6-7
Song of Praise: Doxology
Food is something that humans love to celebrate. You might look on television to find multiple networks devoted to food, or perhaps try searching your Instagram feed.
There, you will likely find a friend's photo, artfully chronicling one of their recent meals.
Food is celebrated in just about every culture, and especially in the Bible.
That is because humans are created to feast and fellowship.
From the beginning to the end of the Bible, food is often being used to teach, celebrate, and even mediate for God's people.
Understanding how the Bible uses food helps us to understand why Jesus calls Himself bread and wine.
Why is the imagery of bread and wine so pervasive in scripture?
Bread and wine are used by Jesus in the Lord's supper, but long before Jesus' arrival, God instructed the priests of His Tabernacle/Temple to use bread (or its other forms, such as grains and beer) in their sacrifices.
The priests stood as the mediator between God and His covenant people; offering sacrifices to God, as instructed by God, for the atonement of God's people.
Bread personifies the priestly role, symbolizing unity with God.
Only the Levites were able to serve in the Tabernacle/Temple. Even still, only Aaron's sons were able to serve as the high priest.
Being a priest was a highly selective job.
Unlike bread, wine takes much longer to produce.
Upon it's harvest, grain is a resource that is able to be immediately utilized, while wine must be given time to mature and ferment.
Wine personifies wisdom, maturity, and finished toils. Wine symbolizes joy and the ultimate Sabbath rest.
Jesus called Himself the bread of life, not because He was partial to odd nicknames, but because He was explaining an important concept; His body must be broken, and offered up to God as a sacrifice. Because Jesus was sinless (unleavened), He was able to act as our sin offering.
Just like the priests would break unleavened bread, offering it as a grain offering to the Lord, so too Jesus, unleavened by sin, was broken and offered up as a propitiation to God.
Just like the grain offerings were a pleasing aroma to God, Jesus' offering for sin pleased the Father.
At Passover, before His crucifixion, Jesus promised His disciples that He wouldn't consume more wine until He served them His heavenly feast.
However, when Jesus was thirsty and drawing near to death, the guards offered Jesus sour wine to drink.
That's right, Jesus drank sour wine.
Did Jesus break His promise to His disciples?
The Passover feast incorporates 4 whole glasses of sweet wine into their liturgy.
The fourth glass of sweet wine is called 'the cup of redemption'.
This cup was drank to commemorate the redemption of Israel from the bonds of their slavery.
Jesus was explaining to His disciples that He would not complete the Passover meal by drinking the fourth cup of redemption with them.
Passover always pointed to Redemption, but as of that passover feast, ultimate redemption had not yet been accomplished.
Jesus would forsake the final cup of passover wine, and instead consume the sour cup of suffering in order to accomplish true redemption, and acquire Sabbath rest for His people.
When Jesus drank sour wine on the cross, He wasn't breaking His promise to His disciples.
Sour wine was not the same as sweet Passover wine. Sour wine was akin to vinegar.
It was not something that anyone would consider feast-worthy. It didn't taste of sweet redemption, or rest.
After Jesus' death, one of the guards plunged their spear into His side.
Do you remember what flowed from Jesus' wounded side?
After His death, water and blood flowed from Jesus. This symbolized the sacraments of His newly inaugurated covenant; Water/Baptism and Blood/communion.
Enjoying bread and wine during our celebrations and feasts is a monumental blessing.
Jesus did win the 'redemption cup' for His people.
Passover is completed, and now God's people are invited to partake in the final cup of Communion wine.
Christ, served as our sacrificial grain offering.
Christ drank from a bitter cup, rose from the grave, ascended to His throne where He is now ruling as King over all.
We are invited to sup at His prepared table; beckoned to feast on His broken body of bread and rest in His sweet cup of redemption.
Table Talk Questions:
What role does bread and sweet wine symbolize?
Did Jesus lie to His disciples about drinking a fourth cup of wine?
What does the water and blood that flowed from Jesus' side symbolize?
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Meal: Cucumber Salad, Potluck Bowtie Lasagna, Poofy Butter Biscuits, & Boston Cream Poke Cake
Beth's Cucumber Salad
Prep and Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
*If possible, prepare in the morning so cucumbers can marinade.
5 medium Cucumbers
1 large Onion
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
1 cup White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 teaspoons Black Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Peel and slice the cucumbers in thin coin shaped slices.
Slice the onion, and place it, along with the cucumber, into a storage bowl.
Add in the remaining ingredients, and mix very well, until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Serve as you would a pickle.
The longer they sit in the brine, the better they taste.
Potluck Bowtie Lasagna
Prep and Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
1 pound ground Beef
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 ½ boxes Farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Mozzarella cheese + ½ cup for the top
⅓ cup Sour Cream
Brown ground beef and onion in a pan over medium heat, drain and set to the side.
In a large pot of salted water, boil bow tie pasta to al dente, drain.
Mix in spaghetti sauce, meat, seasonings, cheese and sour cream.
Combine the ingredients well, and pour into a 9x13 baking pan, sprinkle with additional mozzarella cheese, and pop it in the oven to broil until the cheese on top melts.
Poofy Butter Biscuits
Prep and Cook Time:40 minutes
Yields: about 9
2 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
2 cups Buttermilk* see tips
1 stick Butter
4 teaspoon Baking Powder
4 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoon Salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Besides the butter, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well
Melt the butter and then pour it into an 8x8.
Pour the batter on top of the melted butter.
Cut the portions of your raw dough, allowing the butter to seep through the edges of the biscuits.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until brown.
Serve Hot or Cold
*if you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Mix and allow the acid to work through the milk for a few minutes. Use as you would buttermilk.
Boston Cream Poke Cake
Prep and Cook Time: about 2 hours
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients to prepare)
2 boxes Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 cups Milk
½ teaspoon Vanilla
1 ½ cups Chocolate Chips
1 cup Heavy Cream
In a 9x13 baking dish, bake your yellow cake according to the directions on the box.
Allow to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pudding, milk and vanilla. It should start to thicken pretty quickly.
With the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the top of the yellow cake. The pudding should now be poured on top of the cake, filling in all the holes. Cover and place in the fridge to continue to set.
On the stove, in a medium sized pot, on medium heat, add your chocolate chips and the heavy cream. The chocolate will melt and combine with the cream, creating a thick ganache. Once melted, remove from heat and
allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then pour over the top of the pudding and cake. Spread the ganache evenly over the cake, ensuring it reaches the edges of the pan.
Cover and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.