Passover is a yearly festival during which the Israelites celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from a land of bondage. It is a day for the Jewish community to remember how the blood of the slaughtered lamb saved them from the smiting hand of God that killed all the ﬁrst-born of Egypt. Today, Christ the Passover lamb has been slain and his blood has spared us of eternal death. We, the spiritual chosen people of God, must also commemorate Christ’s grace by partaking in the new Passover— the Holy Communion.
|“In Remembrance of Me”
|Fellowship with Christ
Also known as the Lord’s Supper, the Holy Communion is a sacrament instituted by the Lord Jesus himself during his last Passover meal with his disciples.
“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’”
(1 Corinthians 11:24-25)
|The Lord Jesus said, “Whoever eats my ﬂesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my ﬂesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my ﬂesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him”
|The Holy Communion is a fellowship through which God bestows his life on the participants. After the thanksgiving prayer, the bread and grape juice become the body and blood of the Lord in the Spirit. By partaking of this sacrament, believers join with the Lord Jesus Christ and with one another in the spirit and share the fullness of life that the Lord has promised.
|During the Holy Communion, we meditate on and proclaim the immense grace of our Savior shown by his personal sacriﬁce. The sacrament is also an occasion for us to renew our determination to love the Lord more by giving our lives to serve him.
|The Meaning of the Holy Communion
|Parting of the Holy Communion
|The “one bread” used in the Holy Communion signiﬁes that Jesus has only one body and all the believers are members of that one body. Therefore, the bread we partake of during the Holy Communion is a participation in the body of Christ. Eating this bread demonstrates the unity and fellowship with the Lord Jesus and with other believers.
|The elements of the Holy Communion consist of one bread, made without yeast, and grape juice. The worker administering the sacrament (usually an elder, deacon, or preacher) gives thanks for the bread in the name of the Lord Jesus, breaks it and distributes it to the congregation, which says a silent prayer before partaking of it. The grape juice is also received in a like manner. All the bread and grape juice must be consumed on the same day.
The “unleavened bread” represents the holiness of Jesus; it is a reminder that the church, as the body of Christ, must strive to be holy and blameless. We must keep our thoughts, speech, and daily conduct pure. The church as a whole must also uphold her integrity and pledge her allegiance to the Truth of God.
|To partake of the Holy Communion, we need to have been baptized in the true church and must not have committed any serious sin. The Holy Communion is to be received in a thoughtful and worthy manner. During the Communion, we should examine ourselves, repent of our sins, and remove any grudges against others.
|The cup we receive is the cup of the new covenant established by the blood of Christ. This new covenant is a sign that we have become God’s chosen people through Jesus Christ and that we are to abide by his commandments. Having been cleansed by Christ’s precious blood in baptism, we may communicate directly with the Heavenly Father through prayer without the mediation of priests. We also have the wonderful privilege of entering his eternal Kingdom in the future.
|Real Flesh and Blood?
|Jesus said that those who eat his ﬂesh and drink his blood will have eternal life. Are we to take his words literally? Do we actually eat and drink the ﬂesh and blood of Christ during the Holy Communion?
|Flesh and blood represent a person’s life. To partake of Jesus’ ﬂesh and blood means to partake of his spiritual life, rather than his physical body.
|With the presence of the Holy Spirit, the bread and juice used during the Communion become the spiritual ﬂesh and blood of Jesus. The Lord Jesus called himself, in ﬁgurative terms, the bread from heaven and the living water. By eating this “spiritual food” and drinking this “spiritual drink” (1 Cor 10:4), we share the life of Jesus Christ. Our communion with Christ through the sacrament keeps us from becoming weary or thirsty on the heavenly journey. And on the last day, Jesus Christ will resurrect us and give us his everlasting life.