For His final meal on earth, Jesus ate supper with His disciples, His closest friends and companions.
First, He humbled Himself and washed their dirty, dusty feet as a servant would. Then He joined them to celebrate the Passover, commemorating God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt centuries before. He knew it would be the last time they were together: His mission would soon take Him to a place they could not follow.
Jesus left with a request for His followers to remember Him every time they ate a similar meal together. Today, that is why we take communion: to remember our Savior’s sacrifice while we wait for His return.
I participate in communion to honor and remember Jesus’ life, sacrificial death, and resurrection
He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.”
Jesus is waiting to celebrate communion with His friends in heaven
He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins. But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
Communion serves as a witness to Jesus’ death until He returns
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Participating in the Lord’s Supper with fellow believers is to be taken seriously
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a way unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup.
Jesus ended His last supper with a song
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The cup and the bread represent our sharing in the blood and body of Christ
The cup of blessing which we bless, isn’t it a sharing of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, isn’t it a sharing of the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf of bread, we, who are many, are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf of bread.
Jesus is the living bread
“I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Nourishing my soul with Jesus is the key to eternal life
Jesus therefore said to them, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven—not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
Communion is a vital part of growing the church
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls. They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer.
My belief in Jesus, and my communion with Him, is all the nourishment my soul needs
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever who comes to me will not be hungry, and whoever who believes in me will never be thirsty.”