Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, March 15, 2020 

Shavuah Tov,

Does God Use Communion to Make Announcements to Us? 

(Part 2 of 3)

By Dr. and Senator Raymond Finney

INTRODUCTION: I continue this series, suggesting that God uses a Communion meal (bread and/ or wine) when He makes important announcements to mankind.


(Communion meal– Not specified, except “they ate and drank”)

(Announcement– Moses’ descendants are commanded to live by God’s laws.)

** (Exodus 24:9-12): Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up. They saw the God of Israel, and under His feet was something like a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens. Yet He did not raise His hand against the nobles of Bnei-Yisrael. So they beheld God, and ate and drank. Then Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the Torah and the mitzvot, which I have written so that you may instruct them.” 

Moses recorded that these men “ate and drank,” but he does not specify that it was bread and wine. I believe they may have eaten a Communion meal. God, a Spirit, does not hunger or eat, and Moses and the others would be too excited to order Big Macs and fries. If God explained the implications of a Communion meal, all likely would have readily eaten bread and wine. This meeting was convened for a most significant announcement for Bnei-Yisrael (the children of Israel). They were given the Torah and the mitzvot (the 613 commandments by which the Israelites/ Jews were expected to live). Was this memorial meal-meeting with God the Father or with Yeshua (as another Christophany appearance)? I ask this because Moses’ request to see God’s face at another time was denied (Exodus 33:18, 20). 

Moses did not record what was discussed with the God of Israel, but it may have been on the mountain that Moses learned of a future Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15-16): Adonai your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst– from your brothers. To him you must listen. This is just what you asked of Adonai your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly when saying, ‘I cannot continue to hear the voice of Adonai my God or see this great fire any more, or I will die.’” Yeshua HaMashiach is the “Prophet like Moses.” There are at least fifty parallels between Moses and Yeshua. See some similarities in:

https://unityteacher.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/similarities-of-moses-and-jesus-christ/ .

Understand that these laws (the Torah) were given to Moses in the wilderness fifty days after the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. Centuries later, the Ruach ha-Kodesh visited Yeshua’s followers in Jerusalem fifty days after Yeshua’s resurrection (see Acts, chapter 2). On this same calendar day many centuries apart– a day recognized now as the Day of Pentecost– both the Old Testament and the New Testament forms of worship were established. [Pentecost, from Greek pentecoste = “fiftieth (day)”]  This same calendar date is called Shavuot (weeks) in the Hebrew Scriptures.

God expected then (and still expects today) that we should live by His commandments, laws and ordinances.  Simply put, we should obey Him.


(Communion meal– wine)

(Announcement– God sent His Son as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind, and this act of love was His New and Final Covenant. The Messiah has come!)

** (John 3:16): [Yeshua said] “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This verse, a favorite for Believers, sums up the reason (God’s love for mankind) that a Savior, Yeshua HaMashiach, was sent to us.

For thirty or so years, Yeshua lived in virtual obscurity. Then, He suddenly appeared to lead a crusade for the souls of mankind. Why was He silent so long? Many believe that He chose not to start His ministry until He was eligible to become a Jewish priest. In a future RR, I may discuss how a man became a Jewish priest, but one requirement was that he must be at least thirty years of age.

** (John 2:1-3, 6-11): On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in the Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there, and Yeshua and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to Him, “They don’t have any wine!” |…| Now there were six stone jars, used for the Jewish ritual of purification, each holding two to three measures. Yeshua said to them, “Fill the jars with water!” So they filled them up to the top. Then He said to them, “Take some water out, and give it to the headwaiter.” And they brought it. Now the headwaiter did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. As the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, he calls the bridegroom and says to him, “Everyone brings out the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, then the worse. But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” Yeshua did this, the first of the signs, in Cana of the Galilee– He revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. 

In this election season, we are familiar with politicians making announcements that they are candidates for certain offices. How does a Man (Yeshua) announce to the world that He is the long-awaited Messiah? Yeshua made this announcement by performing His first miracle– a highly symbolic miracle. Understand that this miracle– changing water to wine (not healing the blind or other acts) – appropriately began Yeshua’s ministry. What did this miracle involving wine announce to the wedding party in Cana?

** Yeshua’s relationship with Believers is as Bridegroom and Bride, respectively. The sacred bond of matrimony began with the marriage of Adam and Chavah, or Eve (Genesis 2:24), and will be completed with the marriage of Believers to Bridegroom Yeshua (Revelation 19:7).

** At the Cana wedding, a social faux pas occurred. Wine, the symbol of joy in the future wedding, had been consumed. A marriage feast was the highlight of most Jewish couples’ lives, and this feast would be ruined without wine.

** Do not lose sight of the chain of authority, here. Mary, when told, deferred immediately to Yeshua. If Mary were co-redemptrix (co-equal with Yeshua), as Catholics teach, could she not have performed the miracle herself?

** Note the symbolism of the miracle There were six ceremonial (purification) jars,  filled with water. Water was used in Jewish ceremonial cleansing rituals. In Hebrew gematria, six is the number of man (man was created on the sixth day in the Genesis account). Therefore, God had given to man (number six) water purification rituals, but Yeshua came with a new, better plan from God, as hinted by the headwaiter: “But you’ve reserved the good wine until now!” Also, new wine  must not be put in old wineskins, but in new wineskins (Matthew 9:17).

** Yeshua miraculously changed the water to wine. Wine would become the new symbol of cleansing man from sin, because wine symbolized the blood of Yeshua and only by faith in His blood sacrifice can anyone receive salvation (Matthew 26:28, Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19, and other verses).

** At the marriage in Cana, Yeshua quietly announced something to this effect: “By my changing water to wine, know that your Messiah has come, and I am He!”

** Yeshua prophesied the importance of His coming: the Second Temple, a source of Jewish pride to His generation, would be destroyed after His death (Matthew 24:1-2); He would create a new form of worship, based on the Rock, the Rock rejected by the people– Yeshua, Himself (Matthew 16:18-19). Upon Yeshua’s crucifixion, the temple veil– which had separated God from man– was torn in two (Matthew 27:51a), bringing God in direct contact with man. God and man were now closely associated, with Father God making each person’s body His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), and with the Ruach ha-Kodesh walking beside each person as Paraclete, serving as Counselor, Helper, and Comforter (John, chapters 14-16).


(Communion meal– bread and wine)

(Announcement– Yeshua was sent as our Passover Lamb, and we eat and drink from the Communion table in remembrance of Him.)

** Now when it was evening, Yeshua was reclining at the table with the Twelve. |…| Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins.” (Matthew 26:20, 26-28; see also Mark, chapter 14, and Luke, chapter 22). Yeshua’s explanation to “the Twelve” (twelve disciples) was the last meal (“Last Supper”) He ate with His disciples before His crucifixion. This passage is the basis for our Communion.

Matzah (unleavened bread) and wine (fruit of the vine) would have been on every Seder table. These items symbolized Yeshua’s death and the New Covenant.

Matzah (unleavened bread) symbolized Yeshua’s body, soon to be broken cruelly by the Roman legionnaires:

** Matzah (“bread of affliction”) would have reminded the Jewish disciples of Adonai’s Passover, when He passed over their ancestors on the last night of their enslavement to Egypt’s pharaoh. On that night, they left in such haste that they had no time to permit the leaven (yeast) to cause their bread to rise, and they baked what we would call a cracker. Yeshua came to replace the matzah with Himself, becoming the Bread of Life for all generations (John 6:48-51, 53-58).

** The recipe for matzah is simple: flour (made from crushed wheat) and water is baked until done. Each of these components symbolized Yeshua: (1) wheat comes from the earth, and Yeshua is Son of Man; (2) water is an ancient symbol of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, and God’s Spirit implanted Yeshua into a virgin’s womb; and (3) the fire of baking symbolized Yeshua’s Passion, His excruciating pain before and during the crucifixion. [Passion = Yeshua’s scourging and crucifixion]

** Readers who bake will notice matzah has no leavening (yeast, baking powder, or baking soda). Rabbis, noting this deviation from the usual bread recipe, soon equated leavening with sin. Leavening causes dough to puff up (sin causes man to swell with pride); leavening spreads from one batch of dough to another, as in sourdough starter (sin spreads from one person to others); and dead yeast cells cause bread to become sour, bitter, and spoil (sin causes a person to become embittered and unhappy and may lead to eternal death of the soul). The Feast of Unleavened Bread, occurring at essentially the same time as Passover, commemorates the removal of leaving from bread (more importantly, a time to remove sin from the hearts of mankind).

** Matzah is an unattractive bread, reminding us of the prophecy of HaMashiach (Isaiah 53:2b): … He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him.

** The matzah we eat today is prepared on a griddle, which leaves scorch marks, and the dough is pricked (docked) to keep the bread sheet flat, leaving many perforations. These imperfections should remind us of the scourging, nailing, lance marks, and thorny crown insertion suffered by Yeshua on the terrible day of His death. The Suffering Servant chapter of Isaiah prophesied the Lord’s Passion (Isaiah 53:5, 10a): But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. |…| But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…. 

** Some day, presently “blinded” Jewish people will understand that Yeshua is HaMashiach, (the One they/we have been waiting for) and that He died for them, as well as “the Greeks,” or Gentiles (Zechariah 12:10): [Adonai said] “Then I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, when they will look toward Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son and grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for a firstborn.”

The second element of Communion is usually called “wine,” and Yeshua likely  used wine. Grape juice would not have been available at this time of the year in Jerusalem. Fermented grape juice (wine) could be stored from the previous harvest year. Yeshua did not specify wine at that first Communion. In Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, and Luke 22:18, He spoke (in the Greek text) of genematos tes ampelou (English translation = “produce [fruit, harvest] of the vine”).

SIDELIGHT: I mention the distinction of wine and fruit of the vine for a reason. Several years ago, I was part of the Blount County Jail Ministry of the church I attended. This ministry was a great experience for me. (I am quite certain I gained more from visiting the jail than the inmates gained from my visits.) 

The inmates had real hunger for the Gospel, a hunger that surpasses that of most of us “on the outside.” The inmates treated us with great respect, always calling us “preachers.” One inmate made a painting for me and somehow persuaded the guards to send it to me. He took M&M candies and a Q-tip, and moistened the colored candy coating to use as a water color paint. Some inmates were very talented, but “sorceries” (drug abuse) ruined their lives. 

Back to the subject: I was among the Protestant jail ministers, and we could take properly inspected and sealed grape juice and a sealed form of matzah into the jail pods for Communion. A priest led Mass for Catholic inmates. The priest insisted he could use only wine during Communion, but the sheriff had a strict policy of not letting alcohol or other drugs into the jail pods. If I understand correctly, the priest refused to serve Communion to inmates because he could not use wine. In this instance, the priest should have read his Bible and relented to the sheriff’s policies. Yeshua would have grabbed a bottle of Welch’s grape juice and gladly celebrated Communion. We at Shomair are scripturally sound, when we drink grape juice at Communion. END sidelight.

** The color symbolism is obvious. Red grape juice (“wine”) resembles red blood.

** Yeshua completed, at this supper, the example of protection against physical death by the Israelites’ painting lambs’ blood on doorframes and the prophecy He commenced at the wedding in Cana. God announced the New Covenant, when sins will no longer be purified by washing in water (or even by water baptism), but by the covering of blood shed by our Passover Lamb, Yeshua HaMashiach.

** Scriptures record that Yeshua drank from “a cup” that contained fruit of the vine. In the Greek text, poterion is translated as “cup.” There is nothing in the text to suggest this cup was special, ornate, or magical. Yeshua and his disciples were poor and walked the countryside preaching the Gospel. Why would anyone assume they had a valuable chalice from which to drink? Their Seder, likely catered by a local family, was typical of the day and probably employed common dishes, including the cup from which Yeshua drank. Yet, this cup has been memorialized in art and literature as the “Holy Chalice” or “Holy Grail.” This cup was probably re-used in other meals until accidentally broken and, then, discarded in a Jerusalem trash dump. I will not bother you with most of the silly myths about the Holy Grail, but I will mention one that is, in my opinion, blasphemy.

In “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, published in 2003, Brown claims the Bible was written by men, and not by God. Brown’s fictional novel has a “symbologist” and a cryptologist investigating a murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris. In their entanglement with the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei, they come to believe that Yeshua was sexually involved with (married to?) Mary Magdalene. Fleeing to southern Europe, Yeshua and Mary Magdalene’s progeny established the Merovingian bloodline of French royalty. 

Brown writes that Leonardo Da Vinci knew all about the plot to cover up the “secret” that Jesus was mortal, not God. Da Vinci tried to encode a warning to us in his famous painting, “The Last Supper.” That young ”man” seated to Yeshua’s right is not John, the Beloved Disciple, but is really Mary Magdalene, Yeshua’s wife. “Holy Grail” translates a French word, Sangreal. Moving the “g” and creating two different words (san greal or sang real), Sangreal can be made to read either “royal blood” (French royal bloodline from Yeshua) or “holy grail” (cup of the New Covenant). 

I will spare you further nonsense. Read criticisms of this fictional work at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_The_Da_Vinci_Code . If you believe  “The Da Vinci Code,” I suggest you stop reading Brown’s novel and, instead, read God’s book, The Holy Bible. Unfortunately, “The Da Vinci Code” has been purchased by tens of millions of readers and has been made into a major movie. 

After Yeshua announced the New Covenant, He made a statement that His disciples could not understand (Matthew 26:29; similar passages are in Mark and Luke): [Yeshua said, after drinking from the cup] “But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” We can understand the statement because we now have a complete Bible, which was not available to the disciples. 

SIDELIGHT: In a traditional Passover Seder, there are four cups of wine. The wine is drunk at different times during the Seder. The cups are named after God’s promises to the Israelites, as they prepared for their exodus from Egypt. These promises are named after four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption of His children: 

** First cup (Sanctification): I [Adonai] will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” 

** Second cup (Deliverance): I [Adonai] will deliver you from their bondage.”

** Third cup (Redemption): I [Adonai] will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”

** Fourth cup (Praise): I [Adonai] will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God.” 

Most interpreters believe Yeshua taught the New Covenant with the third cup (Cup of Redemption) and declined to drink the fourth cup (Cup of Praise), reserving it for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The messaging offered by these cups is consistent. By the New Covenant (third cup), He redeems us; by the marriage (fourth cup), He takes us as His people. END sidelight.

In declining to drink wine, Yeshua had not suddenly joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Rather, He prophesied His future Marriage Supper. At a Jewish wedding, the bridal couple sips wine from the same cup, publicly announcing that they have become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). I have never been married in a Jewish ceremony, but I believe (if movie versions are correct) that the bridegroom steps on and smashes the wine glass, symbolizing that the marital joy and conjugal intimacy this couple might enjoy are to be kept exclusively to them and to no other person(s). 

Yeshua will next drink wine at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9a). Imagine this future scene! Rows of tables, covered with purest white linen cloths, stretch farther than the eye can see. Hopefully, you and I have reserved chairs at a table. Before each “bride” is a silver chalice. (Why silver? Silver is the metal of redemption in the Bible, and we brides have been redeemed.) Angels pour wine even finer than the wine at the marriage in Cana. Bridegroom Yeshua probably tells us how long He has waited for this moment, when His bride would join Him in Heaven. We  drink together, attesting to the assembled angels that we are mystically married to Yeshua for eternity. Mazel tov!

NEXT SUNDAY: I will conclude this series of God’s announcements made during Communion meals in next Sunday’s RR. Shalom and Maranatha.