The day before Jesus was crucified, he observed Passover with the disciples. Passover is the time that Jews remembered their freedom and exodus from Egypt. Jesus told his disciples that the bread symbolized his body that would be broken and the wine, his blood, which would be poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
As Jesus explained the symbolism of the wine and bread he told them that he was to be sacrificed for them. He was the lamb to be slain that Passover. Jesus told them about the meal too, “Do this in remembrance of me”. He did not say when or how often. He commanded that they remember his sacrifice. That night around that table, the disciples did not fully understand what was coming. At the end of every meal, there is a mess to be cleaned and someone has to clean it up. (Matthew 26:17–30)
Jesus was arrested after the Passover meal while he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was then taken before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, for trial. Shortly after Jesus was crucified, all the disciples were killed too.
As I think about what this means for me today in the year 2020, I am struck by how many people who claim to be Christians don’t take communion or take it once a year at Easter. Did you know that you do not have to go to church to have communion? The disciples met in an upper room of a house and in secret. We do not have to meet in secret to remember the Passover and have communion. We, Americans, have the freedom of religion, for now, that allows us the right to serve God how we choose.
Not all our friends are so lucky.