Everybody loves a celebration. We all love holidays when we get together with families and friends. Every culture across the world has it's own special celebrations and holidays they enjoy.

There are many different kinds for different reasons. The Jewish people, who Jesus was a part of, had some very significant events they celebrated every year. What was the Passover a celebration of?

It was a remembrance of when the death angel passed over the homes of the Egyptians and killed the first-born males. But for those who had the blood of the lamb painted over their doors, they were saved and no one died.

Jewish people all over the world still celebrate the Passover today. Today we're going to discuss these celebrations from our viewpoint as Christians, because they actually have a very important part to play in our Christian faith. We celebrate them, but in a completely different way.

The Last Supper
As all Jewish people did, Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Passover, which they did the night before Jesus was crucified. It included a special meal called a Seder meal. But the Seder meal Jesus ate with His disciples has become known as the "Last Supper" because it was the last meal Jesus ever ate before He died.

Jesus sat down to eat with His disciples and picked up the unleavened bread. Unleavened bread was flat because it had no yeast [or leaven] in it, which was a symbol of sin. It was more like a giant cracker than the bread we are familiar with.

Unleavened bread today is called Matzah bread. Matzah bread has thirty-nine stripes on each piece, and in the stripes there are small holes. Although our Jewish friends do not see any symbolism in this, for Christians it is obvious. The stripes were a prophetic picture of the stripes on Jesus' back, and the holes speak of His nail pierced hands and feet.

He said, "Take this and eat it. It is my body which is broken for you. Eat all of it." The disciples must have been dumbfounded at what they were hearing. My body? What did He mean?

This meal had always been about the body of the sacrifice lamb, which was to cover their sins. Though the disciples had wondered if He was their Messiah, they had never made a connection to Him and the Passover Lamb.

This was a new thought to them. But He challenged them even more deeply when He lifted the glass of wine and told them, "This is my blood which is shed for the sins of many. Drink all of it."

This had to strike at the core of their Jewish beliefs because God had strictly forbidden them to ever to drink or eat blood because life was in the blood. Blood was sacred to the Jews.

When Jesus began talking to them about His suffering and His broken body at this point they were completely clueless. They had no idea Jesus was going to suffer and die on the cross and shed His blood in the same way the Passover lamb did. They thought He was going to rise up as a victorious king over their enemies.

As born again Christians, we don't celebrate the Passover once a year like our Jewish brothers and sisters. We celebrate His death at the communion table as often as we want to. Some people take communion once a week. Some take it once a month. There is no certain amount of times we have to take it. We do it whenever our hearts stir us to remember His sacrifice for us.

Instead of a big meal with roast lamb and all the fixings, we remember His death by using just two symbols, a small glass of wine or juice and a small wafer or cracker.

When we take communion, we always review what Jesus said to the disciples.
"and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it." For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again."
(1 Cor. 11:24-26 LB)

Source: School Of The Bible For Kids, The Blood Of Jesus p. 150,153 by Becky Fischer
Excerpt permission granted by Kids In Ministry International