A few weeks ago I was reading Scriptures on trees when I came across this passage:
And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart. ~Psalms 104:15 (NKJV)
This Scripture reverberated straight through to my heart immediately. I kept thinking, wine, oil and bread were significant to Jesus before His crucifixion and were also prominent in the worship at the temple. HMMMM! I wrote it down and made a note to come back to it as soon as I finished the study on trees. Last night, I began to peruse different passages that include the three elements of wine, oil and bread.
Jesus experienced and imparted wine, oil and bread in his final days on earth.
At the Passover meal, wine, bread and oil are prominent in the presentation and observance of the meal. The same olive oil that was used to accent and prepare meals could also be used to produce light, anoint the priests of the temple for ministry, and produce medicines and perfume when mixed with herbs and fragrant plants. It was even used in the preparation of the bodies of the dead for burial.
Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.” ~John 12:1-8 (NKJV)
When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. ~Luke 22:14-23 (NKJV)
Anointed. Oil throughout Scripture represents anointing, and it also represents the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 61, God promises to give, through the Messiah, the oil of gladness for those who mourn: An anointing of joy in exchange for a season of grief.
Joy. In the Scripture that drew my heart to these three words, wine makes glad the hearts of men. In the story of Jesus’ final hours before his arrest, wine became the representative of His blood that would be shed through beating, suffering and crucifixion. “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. ”
Our former pastor used to say that when someone received Salvation that the angels in heaven were rejoicing over the decision. A sacrifice that brings joy. Lord, restore to us the Joy of our salvation.
Wine makes the heart glad, the new covenant wine means release, redemption and restoration. That makes my heart very glad.
Provision. Under the Old Testament laws, worship at the temple and access to God always began with sacrifice. Just like when Abraham went up to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son, Isaac, at God’s command. There was a sacrifice required. Abraham believed God would provide the sacrifice and was willing to give up his precious son to be obedient to God. In the end, God provided the lamb for the sacrifice. And, Abraham called that day upon the name of the Lord, Jehovah Jireh – “The Lord will see to it” (Genesis 22). One Hebrew commentary I read on this name of God indicated that from a Jewish perspective. This name of God, Jehovah Jireh, does not simply mean that God will provide, but that He, in Himself, is all the provision we will ever need. He is all sufficient to us in every way.
In a more perfect way, Jesus went to the cross as our provision. He became a curse for us so that we would no longer endure the curse. Scripture tells us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 2:19). And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
The wine brings the joy of salvation, the oil carries His presence, His anointing and His glory, and the bread makes provision that satisfies our every need. All of which are provided to us through Jesus – the mediator of our Covenant of grace.