Jesus Broke Bread

Jesus is often referred to as “braking bread.”  He blessed bread and broke it at the feeding of the five thousand, and again for the four thousand.  He broke bread at the Last Supper, and finally in one of the post-resurrection appearances.  That’s when they recognized him, as he broke bread, then he vanished from their sight!

So what’s up with breaking bread?  Hebrews in the Old Testament had swords and daggers, and we know there were skilled craftsmen in Israel.  Jesus himself was a carpenter; obviously they had the ability to slice bread.  It’s not that Jews couldn’t slice bread, they simply did not slice their bread.  Thanks was given to God before food was eaten, and bread was probably offered at every meal.  There may not be a command from God to not cut through bread, but there actually were rules about cutting stones for the alter of sacrifice.  The Temple was made of all sorts of carefully worked materials, but the alter was put together with stones that no tool had worked.  Beams, doors, cup, bowls, candle holders, et. al. were cut, carved, beaten into shape, etc.  But the alter was carefully fitted together using stones in their “original” God-given shape.  Breaking bread, especially right after thanking God for it, reminded the Jews were their meals really came from.  It would have been disrespectful to cut their bread with tools.

Our communion wafers are uniform in shape and size; they come out of the box that way.  They go together well with the little 3 oz plastic cups we use.  The bread and the cup remind us that Jesus’ body was broken and his blood spilled.  The symbol would work just as well with Oreo’s and Kool-Aid.  But if you really want a feel for the disciples at that first last supper, try baking a loaf and passing it around.  Each believer could tear off their own piece.  You could go the distance and dip your bread into wine grape juice rather than sipping it.  Just remember what is important – Jesus body was broken.  What we need is a savior.