27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Yesterday we learned that rituals, as part of the old covenant, were seen as necessary to keep humanity in a right relationship with God. Ordinances, such as communion, are part of the New Testament church. Rather than keeping us in right relationship with God, they are symbolic acts of obedience to God. Nothing we do for God earns us favor before Him. Our favor has already been earned by Jesus. Believers in Christ are working from favor instead of for favor.

The context of today’s verses is the Passover meal, which Jesus shared with His disciples. It served as a reminder of God’s deliverance, love, and power. It, like the Old Testament tabernacle, was a picture of who God was, what He had done, and what He would do. Jesus used this significant time to teach about Himself and foreshadow His death on the cross. Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, celebrates believers’ spiritual and permanent deliverance from sins. Rather than dying for only one family, the Lamb of God died for the whole world (see John 1:29).

Jesus’ blood shed on the cross is an absolute necessity for the new covenant to replace the old, and communion is a picture of that exchange. The bread and wine are symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, upon which God established the new covenant. They serve as reminders for us that Jesus sacrificed His body on our behalf to pay for our sins and make it possible for us to have a relationship with God.

• As the disciples observed and listened to Jesus at the first Lord’s Supper, what do you think might have been going through their minds? How much do you think they understood when Jesus spoke about His body and blood?

• As you reflect on what Christ has done for you, what is an appropriate response to His sacrifice?

• Thank Jesus for what He did for you. Thank Him for the privilege of remembering His sacrifice through ordinances like the Lord’s Supper, and invite Him to remind you daily of the necessity of His sacrifice on your behalf.