Rabbi’s Reflections – Sunday, March 22, 2020 

Shavuah Tov *|FNAME|*,

Does God Use Communion to Make Announcements to Us? 

(Part 3 of 3) by Dr. and Senator Raymond Finney

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


(Communion meal– bread)

(Announcement– Eyewitness accounts verified Yeshua’s resurrection; He was recognized in part because of His participation in Communion; Yeshua confirmed the importance of Communion.)

** And it happened that when He [Yeshua] was reclining at the table with them, He took the matzah, offered a bracha and, breaking it, gave it to them. |…| … They [after returning to Jerusalem] found the eleven [disciples] and others with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!” Then they began telling about the events on the road and how He became recognized by them in the breaking of the matzah. (Luke 24:30, 33b-35)

** They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers. |…| They began selling their property and possessions and sharing them with all, as any had need. Day by day they continued with one mind, spending time at the Temple and breaking bread from house to house. They were sharing meals with gladness and sincerity of heart praising God and having favor with all the people…. (Acts 2:42, 45-47a)

Consider several points:

** Part of the Communion meal (breaking/ eating matzah) was so important that Believers confirmed that they knew the Lord had risen because of His participation in this meal. A Believer should feel kinship with Yeshua, as he/ she participates in Communion. Communion is a family meal– a meal for the family of God.

** Early Believers “broke bread” from house to house. We use “breaking bread” as a metaphor for eating a meal, but I prefer to believe this practice of early Believers described daily Communion. The author of Acts (Luke) also separated “breaking bread” and “sharing meals.”

** Why daily Communion? Yeshua inferred that Communion should be practiced frequently as a remembrance of Him and His sacrifice (Luke 22:19): And when He [Yeshua] had taken matzah and offered the bracha, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you. Do this in memory of Me.”

Early Believers likely used Communion as a time to confess and repent sins, realizing they frequently fell short of God’s desires for them (Romans 3:23): … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 

** In an earlier RR, I discussed the formation of the earliest faith congregation,  asking whether it was founded on the Rock (Yeshua HaMashiach) or a stone (Simon Peter). This controversy separates Catholics from many non-Catholics. Earliest Believers worshipped in the Temple in Jerusalem, not a church in Rome. Their leader was Jacob (James), not Simon bar-Jonah (Peter). They formed churches outside of Rome, that is, in Jerusalem (Acts, chapter 2) and elsewhere– Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7), etc. These churches were greatly loved by Yeshua. They worshipped as Jews, not as persons recognizable as forerunners of Catholics. They differed from other Jews in Jerusalem by believing that the long-awaited Messiah had come, and His name was Yeshua.

SIDELIGHT 1: Some Christians teach and believe replacement theology. They  are tragically wrong. Replacement theology– also known as supersessionism–  sadly, erroneously teaches: Christianity has replaced Judaism. Since most Jews refused to accept Yeshua as Messiah, Jews no longer are God’s chosen people. God no longer has plans for Jews or Israel. All of God’s future plans are vested in Christianity, Christians, and the Church. Besides being Scripturally ignorant (see Romans, chapter 11), do these “Christians” risk incurring God’s wrath? Consider Genesis 12:3: [Adonai said to Abram] “My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” I put “Christians” in quotation marks for a reason. Can anyone truly be a Christian– one who follows the Christ– if he/ she rejects Yeshua’s genealogy, God’s promises to Abram, and major teachings of the Bible? 

Millions of American Christians attend denominations which support replacement theology. The following major American denominations are said to believe in or teach this heresy: (This is not to say all of these denominations reject everything, all the promises, concerning Israel and Jewish people, but significantly in part do so.) Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Day Adventists, United Methodist Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod), African Methodist Episcopal Church, Episcopal Church, Churches of Christ (Corsicana, Texas), Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, United Church of Christ, Christian Churches and Churches of Christ (Joplin, Missouri), and Jehovah’s Witness. We are warned “to come out of” congregations which teach errors that should be apparent to a Believer (Revelation 18:4-5): Then I [John] heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues! For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.” END sidelight 1.

SIDELIGHT 2: When we partake of a Communion meal at Shomair, we recognize the piece of broken matzah and fruit of the vine (grape juice) as symbols. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches hold a different dogma– transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the belief that there is a miraculous, supernatural change by which the eucharistic elements (bread and wine) – after consecration by an ordained priest, who serves as (substitutes for) the Messiah on earth– become the actual body and blood of the Messiah, even though they keep the visual appearances to us as bread and wine. They base such beliefs on Yeshua’s statements, “This is My body… / This is My blood….” Form your own beliefs on this one. END sidelight 2.


(Communion meal– wine)

(Announcement– In every Believer’s future is promised a wedding, and he/ she will be eternally married to the Bridegroom Yeshua.)

** Then I [John] heard something like the voice of a great multitude– like the roar of rushing waters or like the rumbling of powerful thunder– saying, “Halleluyah! For Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready, she was given fine linen to wear, bright and clean! For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the kedoshim.” Then the angel tells me, “Write: How fortunate are those who have been invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb!” He also tells me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9) [Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot = Lord God of hosts || kedoshim = holy ones || Lamb = Yeshua]

Appreciate how much God honors marriage. The first human relationship (Genesis, chapter 2) was the union, or marriage, of Adam to Chavvah (Eve). Israel is the wife of God (Ezekiel, chapter 16 and other Scriptures). Believers are the brides of Bridegroom Yeshua (Revelation, chapter 19 and other Scriptures). Adonai set the standard for marriage (Genesis 2:24):This is why a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife; and they become one flesh. Yeshua confirmed this covenant of marriage (Matthew 19:4-6): “Haven’t you read?” He [Yeshua] answered. “He who created them from the beginning ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.” Man has profaned marriage with all sorts of same-sex and deviant unions. In a shameful 5-4 decision in June of 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Obergefell vs. Hodges that it was unconstitutional for any state to prohibit same-sex marriage. Black-robed justices in Washington may have one standard, but a higher Judge (Yeshua) has the final standard. A Believer’s standard must be taken from the Bible (Acts 5:29): Peter and the emissaries replied, “We must obey God rather than men.” 

Our marriage to the Lamb (Yeshua) is something every Believer should anticipate with great hope. Occurring immediately after the Bema Judgment, we Believers will sit at one of innumerable tables, all covered with finest, pure white linen. We will be dressed in finest linen gowns, all washed the brightest white because of Yeshua’s blood. Our gowns will be adorned with decorations we earned by service on earth to others in Yeshua’s name. Each Believer will have a chalice made of silver. (Silver is the metal of redemption, and we brides have been redeemed.) We will hear choirs of angels singing praises to God. Angels will fill the chalices with the finest wine ever produced, perhaps the identical wine Yeshua miraculously created at the wedding in Cana. Yeshua will stand before us and take His chalice of wine, which is the fourth Passover Seder cup He declined to drink at His “last supper.” He will tell us how much He has longed that we would join Him. All of us will drink wine together with Yeshua. As in Jewish weddings for many centuries, the marriage will, then, be complete with our drinking wine together. We will have been joined together “in one flesh,” never to be separated.

DOES GOD COMMUNICATE ANYTHING TO YOU THROUGH COMMUNION? When we observe Communion at Shomair, is this merely a rote ritual you must endure before you leave? Or, does God have a message for you?

Understand that participation in Communion could actually be a sin. Before partaking of Communion, heed the Apostle Paul’s warnings (1 Corinthians 11:27-29): Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and then let him eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For the one who eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

How, then, can a person be worthy to come to the Lord’s Communion table? Consider three points:

** Point no. 1: Have sin forgiven. It is beyond the scope of this RR to discuss sin forgiveness. Sin forgiveness is more complicated than saying, “I’m sorry.” Many persons conveniently overlook one piece of the puzzle, taught by Yeshua immediately after teaching His model prayer (the Lord’s Prayer). This easy-to-forget step mirrors other teachings of Yeshua, and involves forgiveness of others in the manner you wish to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15): [Yeshua said] “For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” 

We are assured that God will forgive sin (1 John 1:9): If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 

Remember Yeshua’s Passion. “Passion” (capital “P”) refers to the humiliation and pain Yeshua experienced during His scourging and crucifixion. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John describe some of the Passion events. Even though a young, healthy Man, Yeshua was beaten so severely that He nearly died from this torture. He could not even carry the crosspiece (patibulum) of His cross the full distance to Golgotha. He was stripped naked and put on public view for humiliation. He was nailed to a cross until dead, which was an extreme, painful method of execution.

SIDELIGHT: I am a retired pathologist. As part of my duties, I served as medical examiner for Blount County and I performed forensic autopsies for several eastern Tennessee counties. I have seen and examined many gruesome deaths. I have thought: Why was Yeshua’s death worse than some other horrible deaths I have examined? The answer is: We mortal humans will all die, and some of us will be unfortunate enough to experience painful, agonizing deaths. A few of us may even be murdered. But, we believe Yeshua was/ is God. We believe Yeshua was present at the creation of man (John 1:3, 10; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; and Hebrews 1:2). Yet, He allowed His creation (man) to nail Him (as God) to the cross. What kind of God would behave like this? What kind of God would endure pain and humiliation at the hands of those He created? Answer: OUR God was willing to become our Passover Lamb, and, although sinless, to be sacrificed for our sins. Billy Graham said, “… the thing that kept [HaMashiach] on that cross was love, not the nail.” Yeshua foretold His great love for us (John 15:13): [Yeshua said] “No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” END sidelight.

** Point no. 2: When you break off a piece of matzah and eat it, be mindful that this represents Yeshua’s body tortured and broken for you. It would be appropriate for you to think or say a simple prayer as you break the matzah, something like, “Thank You, Yeshua, for sacrificing Your body and suffering for my sins.”

** Point no. 3: When you drink of the fruit of the vine, be mindful that this represents Yeshua’s blood shed for the remission of your sins. Incidentally, we speak of “remission of sin,” perhaps without considering the meaning of this word. “Remission” means “forgiveness or cancellation of a debt.” We owe a debt to God for disobeying (sinning against) Him, but Yeshua’s death cancelled that debt. Yeshua’s dying statement from the cross was recorded as a Greek phrase “Tetelestai.” Tetelestai was a first-century phrase used in commerce, meaning: “This debt has been paid in full.” It would be appropriate for you to think or say a simple prayer as you drink the juice, something like, “Thank You, Yeshua, for shedding Your blood to pay for my sins. Thank You, Abba Father, for Your grace in cutting the New Covenant, that I may be forgiven of my sins.”

CONCLUSION: I have tried to condense this Communion message into three RRs, but the Scriptural messaging is so rich and interwoven that many, many weeks of RRs could be written and the record would still be woefully incomplete. If you see Communion as only munching a piece of a cracker and sipping grape juice, you have completely missed Yeshua’s message for you. This meal symbolizes God’s New Covenant with you. You can be saved only through God’s grace and the shedding of the Lamb Yeshua’s blood.

Communion carries a simple message, but God uses simple messages to communicate with us (1 Corinthians 1:27-31): Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things that are– so that no human might boast before God. But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, who became to us wisdom from God and righteousness and holiness and redemption– so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in Adonai.” Charles Hodge beautifully explained the Gospel: “The gospel is so simple that small children can understand it, and it is so profound that studies by the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.” 

I have only skimmed the surface of the rich details about these Communion announcements. A lengthy book could be written about each announcement, and details would still be incomplete. I sympathize with the Apostle John, when he concluded his Gospel (John 21:25): There are also many other things that Yeshua did. If all of them were to be written one by one, I suppose that not even the world itself will have room for the books being written! I hope, though, that I have included enough information for you to study more about anything that interests you. What a Creator God we have! What a Savior we have! Rejoice that we have God’s teaching of Communion! Rejoice that we can live eternally because of the message embedded in Communion! Shalom and Maranatha.