RISE and Shine Designers!
On this Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter), as the Christian world celebrates the remembrance of the Risen Messiah, which happened of course the Sunday following the most famous Passover Seder, The Last Supper, I would like to highlight two of the items that were most certainly on the menu that night in the Upper Room atop Mount Zion just outside Jerusalem a little over 2000 years ago.
Those two items simply enough are Matzah and Red Wine.
That unleavened, seared, pierced, striped and broken bread Jesus passed around the table to His disciples, which was foreshadowing how His body was going to be displayed hanging dead on the cross at Golgotha the following day prior to Him rising from death three days later, is no better or worse nutritionally than its “risen” counterparts.
Surprisingly, at least to me, whether or not bread is leavened is NOT a determining factor to its nutritional value. So, if one eats traditional Matzah (“the bread of affliction” because of its lack of taste and remembrance of it being a staple of the enslaved Jews’ diet under Pharaoh’s rule), the ingredients vary little (except from the raising agent used: air, bread soda, baking powder or yeast) as compared to other forms of white bread. Therefore, since traditional Matzah is made up of refined grains (which are low in magnesium, zinc, vitamin E and essential fatty acids), high on the Glycemic Index (causing sharp spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels – increasing the risk of weight gain, type 2 diabetes and heart disease) and low in fiber (limiting the body’s digestion process), a healthier choice is the whole grain variation. Because as my readers know, a diet rich in whole grains limits the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.
Later, as Jesus continued with the Passover tradition, He offered the Cup of Redemption (the third cup of the Arba Kosot [four cups of wine]) which, that night, represented His blood that was going to pour out of His beaten body in the most compassionate act of love He could do for them (and the entire world for generations to come).
Now what about us imbibing in a glass of red wine or two or three? While we all know the downsides of drinking too much, it has been reported that drinking “moderate amounts” of red wine improves heart health, lowers LDL cholesterol levels, reduces the body’s inflammatory process, helps manage diabetes and fights obesity and weight gain. The question is then, “What is moderation?” Research shows, a good rule of thumb is, even if you can “handle” your alcohol better than others, have no more than five glasses a week and no more than two a day. So how much constitutes a glass? Four and no more than five ounces is the acceptable amount of wine per glass for this “discussion”.
So this week, to those who celebrate Passover with Matzah at their meals, remembering their ancestors’ deliverance from sin and subsequent safe exodus from Egypt by the hand of Yahweh in such a hurry, they didn’t have time to wait for the bread to rise before eating, I say, “Chag Sameach!”
And to everyone celebrating Resurrection Sunday, I say, “It is finished!” “He is risen!!”