Many of you already know the meaning of Passover in the New Testament (i.e. Jesus Christ), the Lord’s Evening Meal (Memorial of Christ’s death), and the Memorial emblems (unleavened bread and red wine) to all humanity from the scriptures.
But what does it actually mean for a believer to partake of the Memorial emblems of the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ?
Not knowing the answer to this question leads to the wrong attitude and a disposition towards the Memorial of the death of Jesus. For example, during the 1st century, some got drunk at the Memorial and overate, leaving the rest hungry (1 Corinthians 11:21).
The reverse is the case in modern times, where at the Memorial many do not even touch the unleavened bread or the red wine. Both of these wrong dispositions happen due to a lack of understanding regarding the meaning of partaking of the Memorial emblems.
None of these people meet with Jehovah’s expectations from His children on such a sacred day instituted by Jesus Christ in remembrance of His death. This commemoration is held once a year– on Nisan 14 (1 Cor.11:23-27, one can be guided by the Judaic calendar: in Judea they are taught to calculate Nisan 14 from the time of Moses).
From the previous video, we learned that just as the Israelites celebrated Passover in ancient times, ALL of Jehovah’s people in our time, whether anointed or not, should partake of the Memorial emblems of the blood and flesh of Christ (drink red wine and eat unleavened bread in the evening of Nisan 14).
Partaking of the symbols at the Memorial is an integral part of God’s worship — a commandment for all members of the New Testament (baptized servants of Jehovah).
For example, much like the commandments that say one must pray, preach, and not sin, which we all must obey with unreserved commitment, so to must we partake of the Memorial emblems. Therefore, partaking of the symbols of Jesus’ body and blood is necessary in order to keep with all the other commandments of the New Testament.
1) What does partaking of unleavened bread mean?
Jesus, on the night of Nisan 14, in which he was betrayed, broke the unleavened bread and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is broken for you.” He also took the cup of wine and said, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (1 Cor.11:23-24; Mt. 26:26)
By breaking the unleavened bread, Jesus essentially showed that this is how his body will also be «broken» for all the present and future followers of Christ. The breaking of one whole loaf of bread and dividing it into smaller pieces clearly showed the disappearance of the body of Christ and its transformation into a multitude of figurative small pieces.
By partaking of one piece of the «body» of Christ (communion), Christians will all together become different “pieces » of ONE for all the COMMON body of Christ, as it is written:
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. (1Cor. 10: 16).
This is what all Christians must do — in memory of the «broken» body of Christ for us. But why?
In order for Christians to understand that by accepting a piece of the body of Christ into themselves, they become part of His righteous body. All of these different «pieces» are «formed» into one spiritual body of Christ. (Christian congregation). The word «communion» means to have something in common with Christ (2 Peter 1:4b).
Of course, all of this is figurative. Unleavened bread itself does not have any magical effect on Christians. It is only a testimony to the fact that we fulfill the commandment given by Christ symbolically (by partaking of unleavened bread), and in practice: we try to live and act in the same way that Jesus Christ had lived and acted.
2) Partaking of red wine.
Exactly the same testimony of the fulfillment of Christ’s commandment is in the drinking of red wine.
The cup of blessing which we bless (for which we praise God), is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? (1 Cor. 10: 16,17; 11: 25; Mt. 26: 27,28).
Christ shed his blood for all his followers, giving them the opportunity to become participants of the New Testament with God, and through this to first have a close relationship with God and then gain eternal life. It can be said that the life of the followers of Christ is «in the saving blood of Jesus Christ.»
By accepting a sip of red wine (which is a figurative representation of the blood of Christ), a follower of Christ through this sip becomes part of the whole righteous body of Christ. This follower has the opportunity to live forever through this act (the blood is a symbol of the eternal life of Christ). Whoever consciously refuses to partake of the «blood» of Christ consequently refuses eternal life.
Summary: What does it mean for a baptized servant of Jehovah to partake of the perfect body and blood of Jesus?
A.) It is the recognition that Jehovah, through the «broken» body of the Passover-Christ, releases Christians from the slavery of the god of this system of things. Through this act, too, Christians are given the opportunity to enter into the New Covenant with Him and, thereby, to attain all the promises of Jehovah in a new world (1 Cor. 5:7; Mr.10:29.30).
В.) It is the communion of the body of Jesus Christ, which makes us part of the perfect spiritual body of Christ (congregation).
C.) It also means a communion of the blood of Jesus Christ which gives us hope to live forever (1 Cor.10: 16, 17) and cleanses us from all sin. (1 Jo 1:7).
Since unleavened bread symbolizes the perfect body of Christ, by partaking of a piece of the body of Christ, we become attached to the perfection and righteousness of Christ, recognizing that without Christ we are nothing. Only in the «composition» of the body of Christ — we are of value to God, because our sinfulness is «covered» with the righteousness and perfection of Jesus Christ.
The red wine, as we know, symbolizes the blood of Christ (the eternal life of a perfect person). By partaking of the «blood» of Christ, we become attached to eternal life, recognizing that without Christ we will not gain eternal life. We have the hope to gain eternal life only under the «cover» of the saving blood of Jesus Christ.
Whoever consciously does not participate in communion (i.e. refuses to partake of the Memorial emblems) is OUT of His body. Such a person is not under the “cover” of Christ’s righteousness. God is far away from such a person. (Proverbs 15:29).
Just as a mother hen is there for her chicks, so is Christ for His believers. He covers their spiritual infancy, inadequacies, and imperfection with His pure and uncompromised perfection.
But there is something else that obliges all of God’s servants to partake of the Memorial emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ. By doing so, every Christian «proclaims the Lord’s death» (1 Corinthians 11:26). One may ask: to whom does he proclaim, if no one can see the disciples who partake of the emblems but themselves?
This scripture about the ancient Passover will help you to understand:
“But the men … who ceases to keep the Passover, — that soul shall be cut off from his people, because he did not bring the offering of the Lord at its appointed time: that man shall bear his sin” (Num. 9: 13)
By partaking of the symbols, a Christian proclaims to God about his faith in Jesus Christ. That Jesus is the one who was sent by Jehovah and that there will be no other Messiah aside from Him. That it is HIS sacrificial death — the «broken» body and the shed blood — that liberates Christians from the slavery of sin and opens the «doors» to the New Testament with God to attain all the promises.
By partaking of the symbols, Christians indicate to God their keen desire to free themselves from the slavery of sin and become children of Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The partaking of the symbols is also an expression of the expectation for the second coming of Christ. Why?
Because the Memorial of Jesus’ death must be commemorated by partaking of the symbols of the body and blood of Christ — «until he comes» (1 Cor.11:26).
But so far, he has not come yet. The new system of things has not yet come, therefore, the Memorial has not yet been cancelled. (Those who teach that Jesus Christ has already come should not partake of the symbols).
As soon as Jesus comes the second time — the essence of the Passover sacrifice will be fulfilled. Therefore, all who accepted the liberation of Christ, whom God «took into account» by this time — will have the chance to live forever in the world of God in either Heaven or on Earth — depending on whom and where Jehovah will determine in His Kingdom.
In 2019, Nisan 14 falls on Friday, April 19. All of us will come this evening to a meeting of our friends by faith to commemorate the Lord’s Supper by partaking of the symbols. Praise and honor belongs unto Jehovah the one who reveals unto many that they, too, should partake of the symbols. That is why the number of partakers has been increasing each year among Jehovah’s Witnesses.
If it is still difficult for someone to accept the importance of the partaking of the symbols, do not despair and do not hurry to do so, otherwise you may be among those who unworthily partake of the symbols (Rom. 14:23). We’ll talk about this next time, if God wills.
“Box of answers”