- Giving thanks to God, breaking the bread and then distributing it to each person was a common way to begin a meal (Matthew 14:9). The Passover meal also had a number of words recited to commemorate Israel’s exodus from Egypt.
- That the bread is “broken” and given to “all” symbolizes that Jesus died for all humanity.
- The fact that Jesus offers this meal to his disciples shows that Jesus does not force this on anyone, it must be received voluntarily.
- Jesus calls himself “the bread of life” (John 6:48).
- In the Old Testament, a goat was sacrificed once a year to take away the sins of the people and make atonement for Israel (Leviticus 16).
- Jesus is the sacrificial lamb of all humanity who reconciled humanity to God and takes away all sin once and for all (John 1:29, Heb 9:14, 1 Peter 1:18-21).
- With this meal, Jesus shifts the focus from the exodus of Israel to his own death. Just as God saved Israel from the bondage of Egypt through the blood of the Lamb, so God saves all humanity from the bondage of sin through Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Jeremiah prophesied that God would establish a new covenant: “No, this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after this time, says the Lord: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. Then they will no longer have to teach one another, no one their brother, and say: “Know the Lord!” For all will know me from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more.” (Jer 31:33-34).
- This new covenant is based on God forgiving our sins, putting his word in our hearts and opening up a close relationship between God and man.
- This first communion will be the beginning of this new covenant, and those who partake of it will also partake of the covenant.
- The first time Jesus came to earth, he planted the kingdom of God and sacrificed himself for humanity. The second time Jesus comes to earth, he will fully establish the kingdom of God and reign as king (Rev 20:4-6).