The Lord's Supper

19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20
A deathbed promise: some of us have been unfortunate to have a loved one make to us their last request shortly before they pass from this life. Perhaps something extremely consequential like how to care for another family member, or something seemingly less consequential like what clothes to wear at the funeral. But in any case, a request like this is never to be treated trivially.

That is what we see, when we look at the above passage in context. Jesus was preparing for his own arrest, trial, and execution. As part of that, one of the last instructions that he gave to his closest friends was to "Do this in remembrance of me."

Of course it was appropriate for Jesus to use that bread as a symbol of himself as he had called himself "the bread of life" and in fact foreshadowed this last meal and its meaning in John 6:25-59. And the blood that he was about to shed was also of such great importance that Paul would write "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, " (Ephesians 1:7). This is what he asked his disciples to do for him after he was gone.

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

Acts 20:7
So as good friends would, they honored his memory in the way he had asked. We can see that they did this when they assembled together on the first day of the week (the day Jesus rose from the dead). They did it for many of the same reasons that we would keep a promise to a dying parent, spouse or dear friend: to express our love for that person and the gratitude for everything they did for us while they were here. And because we also love God and His Son with all of our heart, soul, and mind, we too honor his dying wishes.

We take this responsibility very seriously, as is hopefully understandable in this light. But we also understand the symbolism and meaning in why Jesus used these emblems and what they do for us. Similar to the way we understand our baptism to be directly connected to Jesus's promise to raise us from the dead, we understand that the physical sacrifice of his body and the shedding of his blood are directly connected to his promise of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. That when he calls himself "the bread of life," he refers to our dependence on him to sustain true life that endures.

50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

John 6:50-51