Having grown up in the church, I saw communion frequently but didn’t begin to understand until I was in my early teens. Even then, I didn’t get all of the meaning out of it. I doubt any of us ever will until that time we enjoy it with Christ. However, here are a few things to think about.
What is a covenant? In a way it’s like a contract. In fact, there are legal matters that are called covenants. In this case it is a contract between Christians and God via the death and resurrection of Jesus. We renew and pledge to honor our part of that contract every time we take communion.
Why is blood involved? There are very few cultures that do not equate blood with life. Before Jesus, the Jews used the blood of unblemished animals to expiate their sins. What type and how many depended on the type of offering and what the person could afford.
What did He mean? Christ’s death on the cross, the shedding of His blood, was and is the final sacrifice. He was unblemished by sin, the only Person who ever kept the laws of God completely. We remember that via the wine at communion, part of the contract between us and God.
It’s a larger than that, though. When I said “was and is” it wasn’t a typo. Christ died for all of our sins, those we’ve committed and those we will commit. He is still our final sacrifice.
A changed person; a changed world: Christ’s death and resurrection brings changes to those who believe wholeheartedly and try to follow Him. We don’t always succeed, but we try. We try not to judge others. We are called to love God and to love our neighbors. That is part of what this new covenant is about.
How many dedicated Christians would it take to change the world? It started with a few people; those who followed Christ in His ministry. It has mushroomed to millions. We are very near to the goal Jesus set for us before His ascension. The gospel has been preached to most of the world.
There is one problem. Christians are still human and we don’t always follow His ways. In order to maintain the new covenant we need to rededicate our lives towards His goals rather than our own. He’s kept His side of the contract. Now we need to keep ours.