THE BLESSING, THE B'RACHA
By Barri Cae Seif
He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying,
"Drink from it, all of you.”
~ Matt. 26:27 ~
ברוך אתה ה' אלוהינו
מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן
Blessed are You, O LORD our God,
King of the Universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.
night, Jewish people usher in the Shabbat with three blessings, one for the
lighting of the Sabbath candles, one blessing for the bread and one for the
wine, the fruit of the vine. We Jews have been brought up reciting this
blessing. For celebratory occasions, for the Passover, for Shabbat, this
blessing is recited. When I came to faith in Yeshua, Jesus, and heard this
verse, I knew immediately that Jesus would have recited this prayer. It is
the prayer we say EVERY Friday night to welcome Shabbat, to greet the
Sabbath. This is the same prayer that Yeshua Jesus also recited in Mark
14:23-25 and Luke 22:17-18. He gave thanks to God, acknowledging that God
creates the fruit of the vine.
One of the stumbling blocks that my Orthodox father had about my faith in
Jesus with that I drank blood. He never really quite understood the symbolic
meaning of embracing communion with Jesus through the elements of the fruit
of the vine and the bread. No matter how much I did try to explain to him
the deep meaning, he never really understood. Years later, I should not be
as surprised as this seems to be a stumbling block for many individuals.
Some believe that we are cannibals because we “eat flesh” and “drink blood.”
In the Old Testament, God required blood to be shed, to atone for sin. Life
for life; substitution was required. This was God’s plan, it was not our
plan. In Egypt, the blood was needed to be applied to the doorpost of the
|The blood shall be a sign
for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I
will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you
when I strike the land of Egypt.
~ Exodus 12:13 ~
God was true to His word and indeed, no plague came upon
any home upon which the blood had been applied to the doorpost.
When the children of Israel came to Mount Sinai, God required another
covenant by blood. Instead of having the blood applied to the houses, the blood
was to be sprinkled upon the children of Israel:
|Then he [Moses] took the
book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and
they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be
obedient!" So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people,
and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made
with you in accordance with all these words."
~ Exodus 24:7-8 ~
Now, the blood had to be ON them. God’s connection with
them had to be closer. There is a difference in placing blood upon your home
and now having blood sprinkled upon you. In obedience, the children of
Israel obeyed Moses and God.
Yet, Yeshua Jesus tells His disciples (and us who follow Him), to DRINK from
it. We are to take him IN. Yeshua Jesus is speaking at the Kehilat Kfar
Nahum, the Capernaum Synagogue and He said to them,
|Truly, truly, I say to
you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you
have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has
eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true
food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood
abides in Me, and I in him.
~ John 6:53-56
Yeshua exhorts us to drink, to eat. Unless we do, we have no life within
ourselves. It must have been very difficult for Yeshua to admit this truth,
standing in a synagogue amid many detractors. I appreciate the statement in
verse 60 that there were many disciples who admitted that this was a
difficult statement, who can listen to it? This verse echoes my father’s
Yet, for those of us who believe, this is music to our souls, music to our
spirits. Yeshua wants to abide with us; Yeshua wants to abide in us. The
gospel is simple and yet profound. He gave His life for us so that we can
have life in Him. Forever. Not only does He want us to come near, He wants
us to come in and dwell in Him and allow Him to dwell in us.
The blessing over the fruit of the vine is profound. As we take Him in, we
enjoy fruitfulness. He is the vine and we are the branches and we are told
that if we abide in Him, we will bear fruit for His glory. What a glorious
blessing, not only for the present, and for the future, but for ETERNITY!
Perhaps the next time that you take communion, that you take the Lord’s
supper, that you partake of ארוחת יהוה, the LORD’s
supper, you will pause and remember and maybe even recite that beautiful
blessing. Enjoy His drink, for eternity!
Barri Cae Seif holds a PhD
in Biblical Studies from
Trinity Theological Seminary. Other
Barri Cae may be found at www.barricae.com.
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