What Was The Content of The "Fruit of the Vine" in the Original Lord's Supper? Is There Any Definitive Evidence?
The Lord's Supper was a partial "carry over" of the Passover (which involved the Passover lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs and later on “wine”; read Exodus 12:1-11; Matthew 26:17-29).
The Lord's Supper involves two elements designed for Christians to memorialize as symbols of the Lord's death:
One of the elements is "bread" (1 Corinthians 11:23-28; Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19), specifically "unleavened" (Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7 and perhaps alluded to in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8).
The other element is the "fruit of the vine" (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18; called the "cup" in Luke 22:20 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-28), specifically "vine" (this word also occurs in John 15:1,4-5; James 3:12 and Revelation 14:18-19, where the figure of speech mentions "clusters" and "grapes" - a clear reference to grape juice). Another variant of the word is found in Matthew 21:33, translated "vineyard", where the "winepress" is mentioned upon which grapes were trodden to produce "wine," that is, grape juice (see Isaiah 65:8 where “wine” can mean the unfermented juice of the grape).
Regarding the drink of the Passover known as "wine", one would rightfully assume that since the bread was not allowed to contain "leaven" (because the Jews were to clean out any "leaven" in the house during the Feast of Unleavened Bread), the drink would not contain any "yeast" either (yeast would contribute to the fermentation process). God sought purity in both of those elements of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 5:8), representing the pure sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
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