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An Equation of Blood and Grapes

February 27th, 2009

“And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them saying, Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom”

(Matt. 26:27-29)

The early Christians met upon the first day of the week to partake of communion, as instituted by Jesus himself in Matthew 26:26-29 (see also Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17ff.).  Have you ever wondered why “the fruit of the vine” was chosen to represent the blood of Jesus?    Consider that-

1.      The Passover Feast (Ex.12:43-51; Deut. 16:1-8) centered around the blood of a lamb.  Christ is the Christian’s Passover Lamb (1  Cor. 6:11).  His blood is redemptive (Eph. 1:7).

2.      Grapes had to be pressed to make a drinkable beverage [Gr., oinos]       (fresh or fermented). Jesus could “tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God” (Rev. 19:15) because he, himself, was pressed upon the cross (2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53:2,4,7,10,12).

3.      Genesis 49:11 contains an unmistakable connection between blood and grapes. It is an ancient correlation with contemporary Christian relevance.

Before there were government grants to study grapes, there was a plan to grant pardon by the fruit of the vine which flows from Immanuel’s veins.

-Robert M. Housby