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Wine signifies blood, and blood signifies life "the life is in the blood" (Lev 17:14) and Jesus "poured out His life unto death", which means He surrendered His natural human spirit/life, to do the will of the Father (to be led by His Spirit) which was "in Him in all fullness", as a cup full of wine. So likewise, when we partake of His cup, it symbolically means we are partaking of His life (walking as He walked), living as He lived (to be led by the Spirit of Christ) "if any man will follow Me he must walk as I walked", "if any man will follow Me he must deny himself". The same will be granted with a crown of immortality. Jesus said "I am the living bread that came down from heaven." John 6:51 and He is the "Word of God" (Jn 1.1), so to eat Jesus means to consume and internalise the Word of God, which is what these words symbolically mean "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you." (Jn. 6:53).

Jesus said: "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate (physical bread), and died(physically), he who eats this (spiritual) bread shall live (spiritually) forever." The words of Jesus are called the bread of heaven.

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven." John 6:51

"Whoever eats this bread will live forever" John 6:52

"The words I have spoken to you they are Spirit and they are life." John 6:63

Jesus said and He is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,14).

So to eat Jesus means to consume, digest and internalise The Bible/Word of God.

The Bible often uses the idea of eating Gods words, "and I took the little book out of the Angels hand, AND ATE IT UP: and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and as soon as I had eaten it." (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 3:1; Psalm 19; Rev. 10:10). Learning great truths is like eating. One must digest that which is eaten.

To eat Jesus means we are to eat spiritual bread which we are told are his (words/Gospels).

So it is the (words) of Jesus that give life not literal bread, but symbolic bread (words).

In the Bible natural things are used to represent spiritual things. So just as we need natural bread to live naturally, so we need spiritual bread to sustain us spiritually (the words/teachings of Jesus).

Jesus commanded his followers to remember Him by eating bread (His body) and drinking wine (His blood) until He returned. How can we remember Jesus by eating literal bread? We remember Jesus when we eat spiritual bread (His words) and when we share his bread/words with each other and participate in His cup/life.

So instead of doing a literal ritual in which we literally eat bread and literally drink wine the ritual is actually telling us to...

1. Eat the (words) of Jesus who is "the Word of God" Jn1.1 (study, internalize and digest the Bible)

2. Drink the wine or participate in the example of His life.

Jesus is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,14). So to eat Jesus means to consume, digest and internalise the Bible/Word of God and to drink wine means to participate in the example of his life, "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you." (Jn. 6:53).

Wine is symbolic of blood and the blood is symbolic of life "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Gen 9:4, Lev 17:4). In the New Testament the apostles translate this spiritually in accordance with Isaiah 53:12, "because he poured out his life in death". So "blood" signfies "life" and to partake of the symbolic wine means we are participating in Christs life which "he poured out unto death".

In the Christian ritual the bread represents spiritual food, "I am the bread from heaven" (John 6:51), or the body of Christ. Jesus said and He is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,14). So to eat Jesus means we are to eat spiritual bread which we are told are his (words). Eating words was a common Biblical idea (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 3:1). So to consume bread represents eating and internalising the Words of God (studying the Bible). "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63). So the bread represents spiritual food (His Words) and the wine represents the example of His life. To partake of the cup; "they are spirit[bread], and they are life [wine]" and "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

The idea of a ritual is to transfer the meaning to what the symbols are spiritually telling us to do. life.

In the Bible natural things are used to represent spiritual things. So just as we need natural bread to live naturally, so we need spiritual bread to sustain us spiritually (the words/teachings of Jesus).

The symbolic meaning of turning water into wine

Jesus had to fill the jars with water first before He changed the water into wine. As He teaches in John 2 "man is first born of water and then spirit" signified by the wine to become "vessels acceptable to God"; "full of the Spirit" of His life and truth (represented by the wine). This is why John 2 says the jars were "keimenai" = lying down. meaning a dead man (a man being asleep - spiritually) - being raised from the dead to be taught by God.

Learning great truths is like eating. One must digest that which is eaten. Then that which gives life will become a part of your body. As you get new understandings, the new will replace the old, "no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." (John 3:3-5) the vessels full of water will be changed to vessels full of wine (symbolic of the life or spirit of Jesus); as were the vessels of water in Kana.

Wine and Bread in Christian symbolism

Jesus said: "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate (physical bread), and died(physically), he who eats this (spiritual) bread shall live (spiritually) forever." The words of Jesus are called the bread of heaven.

The Bible often uses the idea of eating Gods words, "and I took the little book out of the Angels hand, AND ATE IT UP: and it was in my mouth sweet as honey, and as soon as I had eaten it." (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 3:1; Psalm 19; Rev. 10:10). Learning great truths is like eating. One must digest that which is eaten.

To eat Jesus means we are to eat spiritual bread which we are told are his (words/Gospels).

So it is the (words) of Jesus that give life not literal bread, but symbolic bread (words).

Jesus said: "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate (physical bread), and died(physically), he who eats this (spiritual) bread shall live (spiritually) forever." And the words of Jesus are called that bread of heaven, it is the symbollic meaning of the Lords prayer "give us this day our daily bread". Not natural bread, but spiritual bread (the words of Jesus), the Words of the Gospel; "my words are Spirit and they are life". To consume the Word of God to internalise the spiritual sense of the Word.

"unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you." (Jn. 6:53)

Interestingly in John 6:66 the reason why the followers of Jesus walked away after hearing this is because they could not understand it was symbolic, not literal "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" (Jn 6:66). This is the reason most people walk away from the Bible today.

In ancient times the style of writing was to try and cause offense in the literal sense in order to (force) the reader to interpret the meaning symbolically (this is the style of a riddle) and the Bible is a book of symbolic riddles, we call this an intentional paradox, "Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?" John 6:61 (it was intended to in the literal sense to force its abandonment for the metaphoric in which the meaning is completely transfered).

The Bible often parodies paganism in the literal sense to subvert it in the metaphorical. The most obvious example is blood or animal sacrifice which God transfered metaphorically (i.e represents sacrificing our own animal nature within). All rituals have their meaning metaphorically or allegorically and are intended to be internalised (applied spiritually to us). One of the best ways to change someones world view is to accomodate their existing beliefs. The style of the Bible is to accomodate pagan ideas only to subvert them to what God wants to say (metaphorically). Therefore interpretting rituals literally not spiritually is paganism and a gross misunderstanding of the Bible style. Same applies with the Creation account which is a parody of the Babylonian myth in the literal sense only to change its theology and decode a prophecy of mans spiritual creation in the metaphoric.

HIDDEN BREAD

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of thehidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."

Jesus obviously spoke symbolically, phrases such as "born again" (John 3:3), "living water"; "destroy this temple and I will raise it in 3 days", as the whole Old Testament was written in such a way but the natural man (Pharisees) could not perceive it as the Churches cannot likewise today. "And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scripture" (Luke 24:27,32). Therefore, to make an Idol is to materialise spiritual mysteries. The Priests, then, were Idolaters, who coming after Moses, and committing to writing those things which had been delivered unto Israel, replaced the true things signified, by their material symbols which perpeutuated ignorance, and those who trusted in them went into [spiritual] captivity through the continuation of meaningless rituals (externalised) "due to lack of [spiritual] knowledge" - like animal sacrifice taken literally and not spiritually "your burnt offerings are not acceptable…" (Jeremiah 6:20); Isaiah 1:11-15 … "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? …I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats… Bring no more vain oblations… your hands are full of blood." The animal sacrifice was about sacrificing the animal nature in us. That is why Abels sacrifice was accepted, he made a LIFE sacrifice (i.e gave up greed, lust, desire, pride), the same basic motivating principles we share with animals, which we are to rise above.

Jesus is the "bread of life" and the "Word of God". In the Christian ritual the bread represents spiritual food, "I am the bread from heaven" (John 6:51). Jesus said and He is "the Word of God" (John 1:1,14). So to eat Jesus means we are to eat spiritual bread which we are told are his (words/Gospels).

Eating Gods words was a common Biblical idea (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 3:1). So to consume bread represents eating, digesting and internalising the words of Jesus. "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63). So the bread represents spiritual food (His Words) and the wine represents the example of His life. To partake of the cup; "the words I have spoken to you they are spirit [bread], and they are life [wine]".

Learning great truths is like eating. One must digest that which is eaten. Then that which gives life will become a part of your body. As you get new understandings, the new will replace the old, "no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." (John 3:3-5) the vessels full of water will be changed to vessels full of wine (symbolic of the life or spirit of Jesus); as were the vessels of water in Kana.

Wine is symbolic of blood and the blood is symbolic of life "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Gen 9:4, Lev 17:4). In the New Testament the apostles translate this spiritually in accordance with Isaiah 53:12, "because he poured out his life in death". So "blood" signfies "life" and to partake of the symbolic wine means we are participating in Christs life which "he poured out unto death".

Jesus is the "bread of life" and the "Word of God", the shewbread inside the temple has this meaning. The word shewbread or lechem paniym is literally the bread of presence. God uses bread to symbolise or speak of His presence. God's presence is experience in obedience to His Word, which is also Himself. The comparison is literal bread that gives life to the body, with the bread of God (the Word of God) which gives life to the soul and spirit. The unleavened bread upon the table of shewbread in the temple (human body) symbolizes the "logos" Word. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual light inside the tabernacle (the candlestick). It is the Holy Spirit who enlightens us. The golden candlestick was set "over against the table" (Ex 26:35) which means directly across from the shewbread on purpose so that His (God's) light will directly illuminate the Word of God as the New Testament also tells us represents the Holy Spirit. Together, the Holy Spirit (candlestick) and Jesus (shewbread) are the "rhema" Word of God. "The Word (logos) was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:14).

Interestingly in John 6:66 the reason why the followers of Jesus walked away after hearing this is because they could not understand it was symbolic, not literal "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him" (Jn 6:66). This is the reason most people also misunderstand the Bible today. In ancient times the style of writing was to try and cause offense in the literal sense in order to (force) the reader to interpret a riddle symbolically and the Bible is a book of symbolic riddles. This is how riddles used to be written in ancient times, we call this an intentional paradox, "Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you?" John 6:61. In other words it was supposed to sound offensive in the literal sense to force the abandonment of it and the search for the symbolic meaning. The Bible often parodies paganism in the literal sense to subvert it in the metaphorical. The most obvious example is blood or animal sacrifice, a continuation of a pagan idea which the Bible parodies to subvert symbolically (i.e represents sacrificing our own animal nature within). All rituals have their meaning metaphorically or allegorically and are intended to be internalised (applied spiritually to us). Jesus had to fill the jars with water first before He changed the water into wine. As He teaches in John 2 "man is first born of water and then spirit" signified by the wine to become "vessels acceptable to God"; "full of the Spirit" of His life and truth (represented by the wine). This is why John 2 says the jars were "keimenai" = lying down. meaning a dead man (a man being asleep - spiritually) - being raised from the dead to be taught by God.

It is the symbollic meaning of the Lords prayer "give us this day our daily bread". Not natural bread, but spiritual bread (the words of Jesus), the Words of the Gospel; "my words are Spirit and they are life". To consume the Word of God is to internalise/digest the words of Jesus.

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At "The Last Supper" in the Bible, Jesus knew He would be crucified, so He gave the sacrament of bread and wine to the disciples. He said that bread was symbolic of His body, and wine was symbolic of His blood, so that by participating in this sacrament of eating the bread and drinking the wine, we would create a condition to claim Jesus as our "restored lineage". Since the Bible calls Jesus "the second Adam", this "restored lineage" would connect us with God's original intent for Adam and Eve.

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13y ago

In the protestant churches, the bread and wine are seen as symbols of the Body and Blood of Christ. To protestants, the miracle of the Eucharist is the actual receiving of the bread and wine in faith, in obedience to Christ's request to do so as a memorial to him, and its importance is what goes on in ones heart as one receives the bread and wine.

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14y ago

Bread symbolizes the body of Christ which was sacrificed for believers. Wine represents the blood of Christ which was shed for believers. Communion is done to remember Jesus and his sacrifice.

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12y ago

Bread represents the Body of Christ. According to the story of The Last Supper, as Jesus gave his disciples bread, he told them that it was his body.

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from The Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, English translation 1994

1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the word of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord's command the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: "He took bread . ." "He took the cup filled with wine . . ." The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, (Cf. Ps. 104:13-15.) Fruit of the "work of human hands," but above all as "fruit of the earth" and "of the vine" - gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of the king-priest Melchizedek, who "brought out bread and wine," a prefiguring of her own offering.(Gen 14:18; cf. Roman Missal, EP ( (Roman Canon) 95.)

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8y ago

Protestant and non-denominational Christians have a different understanding of the Eucharist than Orthodox and Catholic Christians, so the bread represents different things to different churches. A Catholic answer would be that the bread and wine consecrated as Eucharist actually becomes the sacred body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, though under the appearances still of bread and wine. This change of substance from bread into the flesh of Christ while retaining the appearances of bread is called transubstantiation, and is considered by Catholics to be a miracle of God that happens every day on the altars of Catholic churches.

In the Roman Catholic church, the belief is that the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. Protestants strongly disagree with this doctrine, called the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

Catholic Answer

The Bread and Wine, after the Epikelsis and the Words of Consecration does NOT represent anything, It becomes the actual Body and Blood of Our Blessed Lord under the appearances of bread and wine. Bread and wine are used because that is what Our Blessed Lord used, for a fuller understanding of all this, please read the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel - even the first half, it is there for a reason!

St. Thomas Aquinas, using Aristotle's definition of substance and accidents used this to explain what happens. This is not the easiest thing to understand. Everything that we see is composed of two things (this is the philosophical way of defining things): substance and accident. Look at water, you can have steam, liquid water, ice, or snow. They are all the same "thing" - H20, but they certainly look different. If we didn't know better we would think that there were four different things. The H2O is "water", that is the "substance". The "accidents" are cold, hard, liquid, soft, vaporous, etc. In other words, you can change the accidents but the substance remains the same.

Another example might be wood, you could have a tree, a floor, or a pile of ashes. Same thing, they are all "wood", but with different accidents. But in all the things we can look at in the world, the accidents can and do change, but the substance remains the same. The Eucharist is entirely the other way around, the "accidents": looks and tastes like bread - remain the same, BUT the entire substance, what it is, changes. So even though to every sense we have, even with sophisticated instruments, everything we can see, touch, etc. it remains bread; but the entire substance of bread has, through a miracle of God, changed into the substance of Jesus Christ, His Body, and Soul, His Humanity, and Divinity, are all present where previously bread had been present.

This is a great mystery, but, hey, God is all powerful, and so far beyond us as to be incomprehensible. But He condescended to become human so that we could comprehend Him. The fact that He also condescended to appear under the appearance of bread is no less a miracle than that He came as a human being. Please see the links below for the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel, and for an explanation of it.

from The Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, English translation 1994

1375 It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Crysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. The word transforms the things offered. (St. John Chyrsostom, pro. Jud. 1:5: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Graeca {Paris, 1857-1866} 49, 380)

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. (St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Latina {Paris: 1841-1855} 16, 405-407

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When the priest consecrates the bread it becomes the body of Jesus; when he consecrates the wine it becomes the blood of Jesus. At this point they are not symbols but rather the real presence of Jesus in the form of bread and wine.

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Catholic AnswerThis is not the easiest thing to understand. Everything that we see is composed of two things (this is the philosophical way of defining things): substance and accident. Look at water, you can have steam, liquid water, ice, or snow. They are all the same "thing" - H20, but they certainly look different. If we didn't know better we would think that there were four different things. The H2O is "water", that is the "substance". The "accidents" are cold, hard, liquid, soft, vaporous, etc. In other words, you can change the accidents but the substance remains the same.

Another example might be wood, you could have a tree, a floor, or a pile of ashes. Same thing, they are all "wood", but with different accidents.

But in all the things we can look at in the world, the accidents can and do change, but the substance remains the same. The Eucharist is entirely the other way around, the "accidents": looks and tastes like bread - remain the same, BUT the entire substance, what it is, changes. So even though to every sense we have, even with sophisticated instruments, everything we can see, touch, etc. it remains bread; but the entire substance of bread has, through a miracle of God, changed into the substance of Jesus Christ, His Body, and Soul, His Humanity, and Divinity, are all present where previously bread had been present.

This is a great mystery, but, hey, God is all powerful, and so far beyond us as to be incomprehensible. But He condescended to become human so that we could comprehend Him. The fact that He also condescended to appear under the appearance of bread is no less a miracle than that he came as a human being.

from

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, English translation 1994

1375

It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. The Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Crysostom declares:

It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God's. This is my body, he says. The word transforms the things offered. (St. John Chyrsostom, pro. Jud. 1:5: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Graeca {Paris, 1857-1866} 49, 380)

And St. Ambrose says about this conversion:

Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed . . . Could not Christ's word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. (St. Ambrose, De myst. 9, 50; 52: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Latina {Paris: 1841-1855} 16, 405-407

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13y ago

The bread sybolises Jesus' body and the wime his blood. When he gives them to his disciples, it symbolises jesus giving himself to man kind.

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11y ago

The body and blood of Jesus coming from the last supper scriptures.

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It means Jesus's body and his blood

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Q: What does the bread and wine represent in Eucharist?
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What are signs of the Eucharist?

The outward signs for Holy Eucharist are the words the priest says when he blesses the bread and wine and the words he says when he gives the bread or wine. Another outward sign is the breaking of bread.


Why do they use wheat as a symbol for Eucharist?

the use of the bread and wine as the Eucharist is because when Jesus instituted the sacrament at the Last Supper, He used the bread and wine as it was a Passover meal or Seder that Christ and his disciples celebrated. Jesus also referred Himself as the Bread of life in the sixth chapter in the Gospel of John. both unleavened bread and wine are common elements of the Passover Seder. whenever bread and wine are shown together in Christian art, it is the portrayal of the Eucharist. Also from the Catholic point of view, the Eucharist is not symbolic, at all. the Eucharist is the truly actual Body and Blood of Christ; it does not symbolize Him or represent Him; the Eucharist is Him.


What are the symbols for the Eucarist?

In the Eucharist, unleavened bread is used to represent the body of Christ, and wine (or unfermented grape juice) represents His blood.


Why do people eat bread and wine at mass?

The bread and wine of the Eucharist symbolises the body and Blood of Jesus.


How is eucharist practiced?

by the blessing of bread and wine, and the consumption after


What happened during the Liturgy of the Eucharist?

The priest consencrates the bread and wine.


What is the thing called which holds the bread and wine?

In the Christian Eucharist, also called Communion and The Lord's Supper, the wine is in the Chalice and the bread is on the Paten.


Why do catholic think bread and wine is symbolic?

Catholics believe in transubstantiation, that the bread and wine in the Eucharist is not symbolic but Christ's REAL PRESENCE-the body and blood of Christ.


When do the bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus?

During the concecration of the Eucharist during the mass, the bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ.


What is the eucarist about?

well in a catholic church the eucharist is about Jesus Christ. we take the bread and wine to the priest and the priest is actually Jesus but in priest form and the priest (Jesus) converts the bread and wine into the body and blood of christ. when we take the body and blood, we are receiving the eucharist. eucharist has an H in it btw


What part of the mass where the bread and wine become the body and blood of christ?

Liturgy of the Eucharist


Why is the consecration of the bread and wine and the holy eucharist the two most important part of the mass?

because after the preacher blesses it...they say the wine is Jesus's blood and the bread is his body