The Bible shows that communion was instituted as a way to remember the sacrifice that Christ made by giving his life for mankind. Communion has been ritualized in most Christian circles by eating a small piece of bread and taking a sip of wine during church services, but this was not the intention Christ had in mind when he initiated it.
Christ met with his disciples on the night before his arrest and subsequent execution. They were eating together that night in what is commonly called the “Last Supper,” and during the meal Christ took a moment to speak to them about his impending death. His disciples had a hard time excepting this, so he took bread and wine to demonstrate a way to remember him. The Bible says he took bread, gave thanks, and then broke it, and handed it to his disciples and said, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19). He then took a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). When Christ said “do this,” he was speaking about eating a meal, not holding a ritual.
The bread and wine are not the actual body and blood of Christ. They were symbols Christ used to illustrate a point of remembrance. Bread and wine were staples of just about every meal the people of that time enjoyed, so it would have been something easy to remember. The point Christ was making was that every time we eat a meal, it should remind us of the sacrifice he made for the sins of mankind.
The Day of Pentecost was the start of the Christian Church. At that time, believers began meeting in homes and sharing a meal to remember Christ’s sacrifice. These meals were called “The Lord’s Supper” in 1 Corinthians 11:20 and “love feast” in Jude 12. We may seldom have just bread and wine at our meals today, but when we do sit down to eat, whatever we are about to consume, we should ask God’s blessing on the food, and remember and reflect on what it cost Christ to secure our salvation.
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