How does Communion relate to Passover?

Many followers of Jesus, Christians, do not understand that their faith is actually deeply rooted in Judaism and that their practices and traditions are, in fact, Jewish. Take for example the Sacrament of Communion.

For Roman Catholics, it is the centerpiece of their liturgy and mass, with many practicing Catholics will take Communion every day, or at least every week. Protestant churches often have Communion on Sunday, but many do it once a month. But seldom to people really think about where it comes from.

Jesus becomes the blood of the Passover Lamb of God

Messianic Rabbi Jason Sobel writes about a traditional Passover meal called a Seder. “The third cup of wine celebrating the meal is poured and drunk after reciting a blessing. Remember, the third cup is a reminder of the blood of the Passover Lamb, which was sprinkled three times on the doorposts of the children of Israel in Egypt so that death would not take their Firstborn.

During a Seder meal there are four cups of wine which are symbolic the steps of freedom from Egypt. The Four Cups represent the four expressions of deliverance promised by God Exodus 6:6–7: “I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take.” The third cup is the cup of redemption.

During the Last Supper, it was this third cup of the Seder that Jesus raised, blessed, and declared to be a representation of Himself, the greater Passover Lamb who would take away the sin of the world.

It reminds us of the blood of the greater Passover Lamb Jesus, who took the third cup and added even greater spiritual meaning when He said: In the same way, He took the cup after His final meal, saying,

This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you (Luke 22:20).”

Jesus’ Last Supper was the first Christian Communion

Communion is understood in different ways, depending on the church. It is generally accepted that it is based on what is called “The Last Supper,” when Jesus took his disciples into a private room for what is believed to be a Passover Seder. After the meal, he took great care in illustrating what was going to happen in the hours ahead.

It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. On that first day it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb.

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” (Luke 22:14-23)

Jesus used the Seder to make his point.

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke says “he gave thanks.”

The blessing He likely used was from the Seder it translated,

Blessed are you, Lord our God, who brings forth bread from the earth.”

In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying,

This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

Again, the blessing was likely, “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.”

God brings redemption to the world through Jesus

Interestingly, what comes from the earth is wheat, which is harvested and turned into bread. This illustrates redemption, just as the third cup of the Seder during Passover also symbolizes redemption.

God gives us the raw materials. God has given man life and opportunity. God worked through Moses to bring freedom from bondage in Egypt. God worked through Jesus to bring salvation and freedom from sin to all who believe. God chose to use Jesus to bring redemption to the world.

Jesus celebrated Passover throughout His life on earth

Jesus would have celebrated the Passover every year of his life, as well as observing all of the Jewish holidays, which are many. He told people that He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. He was not putting His Jewish faith aside by any means.

Still, there are those who want to separate followers of Jesus (Christians) from the Jewish people. There are different understandings of Scripture, differences in who Jesus was. Christians regard Him as the promised Messiah, while non-Messianic Jews believe that He could not have been the Messiah, as He did not meet their expectations. So most Jews and Christians do not understand their common beliefs, worshiping the same God.

Christian view the Communion as sacred

The Sacrament of Communion is sacred, as it reminds us of the sacrifice that God made, in sending His own Son to die on the cross. It is a representation of faith, a remembrance and a way of giving thanks. It honors Jesus just as He requested during the third cup of His Seder dinner during the His final Passover when He was crucified and then resurrected by God.

For more information

For a full understanding of Passover and the richness of the Jewish/Christian faith, go to FUSIONGLOBAL.ORG and learn from Rabbi Jason Sobel, author of “Mysteries of the Messiah.”