8.2.5 The institution of Holy Communion by Jesus Christ

Already before Jesus Christ established Holy Communion in the presence of His Apostles, He said: "... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you" (John 6: 53). "Flesh and blood" are a reference to Holy Communion, which, as the Lord hereby emphasised, is indispensable for salvation. Also significant here are the additional statements of the Lord: "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life ... He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him" (John 6: 54, 56).

The Synoptic Gospels relate that Jesus Christ shared a meal together with His Apostles on the Feast of Passover. Matthew 26: 26-29 describes how the Lord instituted Holy Communion: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, '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. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom'" (Mark 14: 22-25; Luke 22: 14-20). While the account in the gospel of Mark largely coincides with the account in the gospel of Matthew, we find the following additions in Luke: "Do this in remembrance of Me" and "this cup is the new covenant in My blood" (Luke 22: 19-20).

With the words: "Do this in remembrance of Me", the Lord gave His Apostles the commission and authority to celebrate Holy Communion in the same way as He Himself had done.

See also