When Jesus was on earth, He gave just two institutions for us to follow, Baptism and the Lord’s supper, so from that alone we should realize that it is important. Jesus gave the first Lord’s supper to His disciples the night He was betrayed (Luke 22:14 -20, Matthew 26:26 -30, Mark 14:22-26, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). They were celebrating the feast of Passover together.
Jews celebrating the feast of Passover
The Jews celebrated this feast every year to remind them of the time when God brought them out of the land of Egypt where they had been slaves (Exodus 11 – 13). He redeemed them from being slaves, when God brought death to all the firstborn sons of Egypt. The Israelites were told to kill a lamb and take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts as a sign to the angel of death that this was a house belonging to the people of God, and the angel passed over that house.
The fulfillment of this feast
When Jesus ate the last Passover with His disciples He said that He was the fulfillment of this feast. He was telling them that He was God’s lamb, and those who took shelter in Him would be saved from death through Jesus’ blood. Jesus took the bread, and compared it to His body, which was soon to be broken – beaten and killed, and the wine, He compared to His blood which was to be shed. Jesus said that this cup from which they were drinking was a sign of the covenant that He was making with everyone who took shelter in Jesus’ death, recognizing that this is the only way that we can come to God, be forgiven, and counted as people of God.
Remembering the death of Christ
Jesus told His disciples to hold this feast often, remembering Christ’s death for us until the time that Jesus returns and takes us to be with Him forever. In the early church the Lord’s supper was known as “breaking of bread”, and the Christians in the New testament are known to have done this frequently, possibly every time they met together (Acts 2:42, 46).
Another name for the Lord’s supper is Communion, when we recognize God’s presence with us, and have communion with Him. Communion means “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a spiritual level”. When we come together with other Christians, to pray, encourage one other, read and study God’s word with one another, this should be with open hearts where we share with one another honestly and deeply the things that are happening in our lives so that we can help each other to grow and encourage one another in times of hardship.