On the evening before he died, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his disciples. In the Passover festival, the Jews remembered how God had saved their ancestors from slavery in Egypt. When the angel of death went through the land, he “passed over” those homes
of the Israelites which had the blood of a lamb smeared on the doorposts. So, in the Passover a lamb was killed and eaten as a celebration of God’s saving act.
After celebrating the Passover, Jesus gave a new meal to his followers. They had something new to celebrate: Jesus’ death as the Lamb of God who gave his life to save all people. This
meal celebrated the new covenant in which God offers his love and forgiveness to people of every nation.
Whenever we celebrate Holy Communion, these events described in the Bible are brought into our time. Jesus is present as the Host who sets his meal before us. He gives us bread to eat and wine to drink. As he gives us the bread, he says: “This is my body, which is given for you.” As he gives us the wine, he says: “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
With his body and blood which were given and shed for us, our Lord gives us all the blessings he has won for us: forgiveness, peace, everlasting life. Holy Communion is God’s
special way of saying: “You can be sure that I am for you.”