Why did Chrst choose wine for the Sacrament, and not another liquid?
I am not sure, maybe it has to do with the fact that wine was drunk during the Passover meal.
And Melkezedik offered bread and wine as a thanksgiving offering for Abraham, and Jesus is a Priest in the order of Melkezedik.
I am sure there are Old Testament Prophesies which would show that it would have been wine, but I do not know them right off hand.
Because the beer was skunky? I dunno. How many beverage options did the ancient middle east have? Is it really important? I’m not sure.
Look to Jacob’s blessing of Judah, as well, at the end of Genesis.
Gen. 49:8-11 - "You, Judah, shall your brothers praise --your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you. Judah, like a lion’s whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him? The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people’s homage. He tethers his donkey to the vine, his purebred *** to the choicest stem. In wine he washes his garments his robe in the blood of grapes.
It is important to a non-Catholic friend of mine.
Because the water was being used in baptism, and there was no apple juice in the middle east then?
I honestly don’t understand why this would matter (I know it’s your friend not you, just weird to me is all) but I might hazard a guess that wine was oftentimes associated with life and celebrating, wasn’t it? Jesus was making a connection with a symbol that humans would already understand maybe. Also, wine looks an awful lot like blood; red and thicker than water, so maybe the physical sign was supposed to more closely mimick what it truly was.
Aquinas gives a rather straightforward answer:
“And the reasonableness of this is seen first, in the use of this sacrament, which is eating: for, as water is used in the sacrament of Baptism for the purpose of spiritual cleansing, since bodily cleansing is commonly done with water; so bread and wine, wherewith men are commonly fed, are employed in this sacrament for the use of spiritual eating.”
In other words, Christ had already used pure water as the symbolic substance of Baptism; therefore, bread and wine, which would consititute a common meal for anybody during Jesus’ day, was the perfect option. I forget if it was Christopher West or Vinny Flynn, but an excellent Catholic speaker once said, “God finally figured out how to stay with us!” What better way than through a “common meal”?
It was through eating fruit that man imbibed death. How appropriate that Jesus would change fruit of the vine into a drink that brings life.
clearly it was red wine
1. Because (if it was a Passover seder) the meal included the use of wine - why should He want to be different from other Jews ?
Because the meal looked forward to the eschatological banquet at the end of days. In that banquet, the righteous would drink the “new wine” of the Kingdom/Reign/Kingship/Rule of God"; & Jesus’ preaching is of that Kingdom, which is made present in Him: He is the Kingdom, in person; the Kingship of God is to extend out from Him, to His people: & ultimately, to the entire world. So the feeding of the 5,000 was an eschatological meal - not a mere “spectacle”: it looked forward to the same banquet. Jesus makes the seder into a foretaste of that banquet which God would provide for His chosen - by doing so, Jesus anticipates His victory over satan on the Cross.
The coming of the Kingship of God involved the defeat of His enemies, & the pouring out of His anger upon them. The righteous anger of God which is poured in judgement on the nations in the OT, is “a cup to make the nations stagger” - they have to drink it. The cup that Jesus drinks, & that James & John cannot drink, is this cup of “the fury of the wrath of God” that the Book of Revelation mentions. It has to be drained to the dregs - Jesus drains it by being crucified, thereby satisfying the righteous wrath of God against sin, & breaking the power of sin, death, & the devil, which are far worse enemies than the nations which threatened God’s People in the OT.
The meal is also a prophetic action - to show what was to happen, or what was threatened, many prophets carried out symbolic actions. 1 Kings 22, Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, are all full of examples of this. To smash a vessel was not simply a vivid action to show what was threatened against (say) Jerusalem - it was an effective sign of the reality of judgement, if there was no repentance; the future punishment was for all practical purposes as certain as if it had happened
The Last Supper is made into a symbolic action like this - the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom is not a possibility; it is already realised by anticipation in the Supper. Which is why Jesus treats it as such.
- Of all this, wine is a natural symbol - like blood, it is liquid; it flows; is often blood-red; blood is compared to wine in the OT; like the wrath of God, it causes intoxication; it is also a symbol of joy & gladness (as in the Psalms). So it is highly appropriate for symbolising:
*]1. The eschatological banquet of God’s Messiah
*]2. God’s wrath on sin
*]3. God’s judgement on the enemies of His people
*]4. The joy of God’s chosen[/LIST]- & there is also a hint that it symbolises the “river that makes glad the City of God” in the Psalms: the blood & water flowing from the side of Jesus in John 19.34 may also hint at this. ##
Here’s an interesting link between “blood” and “the juice of the grape”:
from ‘damam’ (1826) (compare '‘adam’ (119)); blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy, the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (i.e. drops of blood):–blood(-y, -guiltiness, (-thirsty), + innocent
Also you could probably toss in Jesus used the things around them to explain things to them. Like the tree or look at the birds of the air, or bring the children to Me.
It is in keeping with His “style” of teaching to use the everyday items.
If your friend is concerned about the grape juice look up Welchs grape juice site, he invented it for communion as a non alchol alternative. But until Mr Welch invented it, grape juice as we know it didnt exist. It always had to be fermented into wine.
Wednesday I start a class on the comparision of the two great communions; the Roman and the Anglican. Plan to start with the call of Abram. Any ideas?
Manly because blood was life and wine is alive…try a whole bottle and you will see. Jesus is giving us real life
There is a parallel in the Hebrew word “Dam” which can be used for blood or “the juice of a grape”…food for thought.
Because it was very difficult to find clean water during those days. Wine was much safer to drink without getting sick.
In the OT blood and wine are are used as synonyms.
See Gen 49:33, Deut 32:14, Isaiah 63:1-6, 3:13-14 and others.
Likewise grain and wine are frequently cited in the OT as offerings to God. The “blood of the grape” as used in the OT is wine. The Jews believed that life was in the blood. Leviticus 17:11 says: " For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life."
The connections in the OT between wine, blood, sacrifice, and atonement are plentiful. It is only in the NT when we see these connections completely unveiled in John chapter six and the Last Supper which is obviously connected to the Passover. We receive life from the sacrifice of Jesus body and blood on Calvary. We receive Jesus in the Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine in the sacrifice of the mass which is the unbloody re-presentation of the sacrifice on the cross.
No other substances in the OT are used and referred to in the same way that bread and wine are used.
I hope this helps.
Wine is sacred to the Jewish people. It is used whenever there is joining of the human and divine. Because wine is created by humans and God. Wine is “the work of human hands” but is transformed from grape juice to wine by God.
11 Tying his foal to the vineyard, and his donkey, 0 my son, to the vine. He shall wash his robe in wine, and his garment in the blood of the grape.
And I will feed thy enemies with their own flesh: and they shall be made drunk with their own blood, as with new wine: and all flesh shall know, that I am the Lord that save thee, and thy Redeemer the Mighty One of Jacob.
New American Standard
Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,With fat of lambs,And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, [Ps 81:16; 147:14] With the finest of the wheat–And of the [Gen 49:11] blood of grapes you drank wine.
And [Is 63:3; Lam 1:15; Rev 19:15] the wine press was trodden [Heb 13:12; Rev 11:8] outside the city, and [Gen 49:11; Deut 32:14] blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of [Lit sixteen hundred stadia; a stadion was approx 600 ft] two hundred miles.
John 2:1-11 Jesus changes the water into wine.
God, with a little help from yeast