In Communion, The Lord’s Supper, the eucharist (meaning thanksgiving, not transubstantiation), we have two elements present; the bread and the wine. What kind of bread would the Lord have broken in “the last supper?”
Of course the answer can be found in the Jewish roots of our faith, and the time of the feast of Passover (and preparation for it, and the feast of unleavened bread) which Jesus and the disciples would have been in the midst of. Would He have had a perfectly round, white wafer, such as the RC uses in their celebration of Mass? Would it have been a big loaf of white bread, full of yeast as used in some churches? No; it would have been Jewish Matzoh (AKA: Matzah, Matsah, Matzo, or Matza).
It would have been Matzoh specially prepared for Passover. Matzoh is unleavened bread; bread with no yeast, or leavening agents. Why is this important? Well, first of all, yeast or leaven represents sin. During the time leading up to Passover, Jewish families would purge all yeast from their houses.
Why else? Because Jewish Matzoh paints a visual picture of Christ Himself, and it explains in more depth Jesus words; this is My Body.
Matzoh is unleavened, representing Christ as having no sin. It’s appearance is striped, bruised, and pierced; as His body would become for us. In the picture above, you can see the striped appearance, and the bruised appearance, and if you held a piece up to the light, you can see light coming through the piercings in the bread.
Within the Passover meal, there is a particular piece of Matzoh used (I’ll explain all the images in Passover a bit more at some later date), that is hidden, then taken out, and broken. It was this piece of Matzoh that Christ would have blessed and broken. The blessing would probably have gone something similar to this: Blessed art Thou, o Lord Our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. If you hear the resurrection in this blessing, you are spot on!
Notice that the bread was indeed broken. This bread is like a thin cracker and breaks quite dramatically. It was all a visual of what Christ’s own body would go through for us; He would be bruised, striped by the cruel whips of the Romans, pierced by nails, and a spear…His body broken (not His bones, but His body, His flesh); He is sinless, as the bread is unleavened. This bread is again, like a picture.
Now, does one have to use this bread in communion? No, I don’t believe so; it should not be a legalistic issue. However, it is a valuable lesson in our roots, and also why Christ chose that type of bread to represent His body. (I also think it shows a stark contrast with the RC’s white, unpierced, unstriped, unbruised, and unbroken hosts that they choose to use in their celebration of the Mass.)
I do think that using Matzoh aids us in remembering Christ’s sacrifice, as we have a picture, or a type of Christ right before us while partaking…and after learning a lot of this from Levitt Ministries I do prefer to partake of Matzoh in communion when and where possible. Again the aim of communion is to “keep our eyes” on Christ, and remember Him.
If you are interested in obtaining some Matzoh, either for your church, or for home communion, or just for studying/eating, you can find it at larger grocery stores, or if you are like me and live in a very rural area, you can find “for Passover Matzoh” online. Some Matzoh is cleared by Rabbi’s for Passover use, and some is not (just look on the box). The difference is in how long it takes to make. Often times you can only get Matzoh marked for Passover use around…well, Passover. However, I’ve been able to find it online all year round.