Scriptures references:  Matthew 26:26 – 30; Mark 14:22 – 26; Luke 22:14 – 23; 1 Corinthians 11:23 – 32

The purpose of this article is to focus our attention on the sacrament we call Communion.  My fear is that, for many, it has become meaningless; just another “thing” we do while at church.  Perhaps we need to consider its origin and how it came into being.

On the night of the Passover meal, Jesus was in the Upper Room with His disciples.  The Scriptures tell us that He had a fervent desire to eat the Passover with them before He was to suffer.  He humbled Himself as a servant and washed the feet of His disciples, knowing full well that one was going to betray Him that evening and the others would scatter as sheep without a shepherd in just a few hours.  But Jesus stays the course and introduces the rite/sacrament, that we now refer to as Communion, for the very first time.

While, I suppose, many would argue that Communion was given to replace the Passover meal and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, still others would passionately debate in complete opposition.  However, that is not my focus.  My focus is solely upon the four elements that are found in both the Passover and Communion, and to ask one question.

The Lamb

PassoverExodus 12:5 defines the sacrificial lamb as follows:  “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.  You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.”

Communion – Jesus has to be perfect, just as the Old Testament sacrifice has to be perfect.  This is confirmed through John the Baptist in John 1:29, when he declares; “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

The Bitter Herbs

Passover – Bitter herbs were a symbol of the suffering and bondage that Israel experienced at the hands of the Egyptians.

Communion – We are called to remember the bondage and suffering of Jesus Christ at the hands of our own sins, each time we partake of the Communion.

The Unleavened Bread

PassoverAll leaven was to be removed from each of the houses during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Agents of fermentation were representative of sin and corruption before God.  The penalty for eating leaven during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread was that individual being cut off from the congregation of Israel.

CommunionJesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51).  He was born in the city of Bethlehem, whose name means House of Bread.  He was free of corruption and sin, which were the two exact references that leaven represented.  Unless we eat this Bread (make Jesus the Lord and Savior of our lives), we will be eternally separated from the family of God.

The Fruit of the Vine

Passover – The fruit of the vine represents the blood of the sacrificial lamb that was displayed on the doorposts of the houses of Israel on the night the death angel passed through Egypt.  Exodus 12:13 states, “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are.  And when I see the blood, I will pass over you.

Communion – Here, the fruit of the vine represents the blood of Jesus, shed for all who will accept Him as the Lord and Savior of their lives.  The blood of Jesus, being pure and without blemish, has removed our sins from us, not just covering them for another year.  No longer would the saints of God have to slay an animal as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, whether it was daily or annually.  The precious blood of Jesus has paid everyone’s debt in full, completely and absolutely2 Corinthians 5:21 states, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

So, the question is this. “What do you remember that has been removed from your life through Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God?”  Maybe a second question should be, “Have you given thanks for Him raising you from spiritual death to life and setting you free from the bondages that once held you captive?”

Each time you consider taking Communion, consider this short prayer.  “Father, as I am about to take the elements of Communion, I want to stop and give thanks to You for all that You have provided.  I thank Jesus for the sacrifice He made on my behalf.  Now, may I proclaim the death, burial and resurrection of Your only begotten Son until He returns!  In Jesus’ name I pray!  Amen!

1 Corinthians 11:23 – 25  “The Lord Jesus, on the same night which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'”

Remembrance is the key to Communion.  By remembering the sacrifices Jesus made for us, and the debt He paid for us, we can more confidently live the life He has called us to live.  Hallelujah and amen!!