The Last Supper
The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci
When Jesus celebrated the Passover Meal the night before he was crucified, he did so with the following words:
• While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." MATTHEW 26:26-28
• And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup (the third cup which was the Cup of Redemption) , saying, "This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." LUKE 22:19-20
Celebrating Communion As A Memorial Of Jesus' Death For Sin
Luke makes it clear Jesus was telling his disciples to celebrate this meal as a way of remembering his death for the forgiveness of sins and our deliverance from the bondage of sin, death and satan.
The apostle Paul in 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26 also makes it clear it is a memorial meal to remind us of what Christ has done for us on the Cross at Calvary. 'For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: 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, which is 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." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes'.
NOTE: There is no sense of it being a re-enactment of the Old Covenant sacrifices celebrating the Passover, since the old sacrificial system was abolished with Christ's death and resurrection (which was accompanied by the tearing of the veil in the Temple between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies) and by the Romans' destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. [For an exposition of this see HEBREWS 9:1-28.]
• The BREAD symbolises Christ's BODY, broken for us on the Cross
• The WINE symbolises Christ's BLOOD, poured out on the Cross
so our sins may be forgiven when we repent and turn to Christ in faith.
Jesus is referred to as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" by John the Baptist in JOHN 1:29 and 35, reflecting the Paschal Lamb slaughtered in front of The Temple in Jerusalem at Passover, until the destruction of the the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD.