On the night before Jesus’ death, he had a special meal with his disciples. The disciples were Jesus’ special students; they became the first leaders of the Christian church. At that meal, Jesus shared bread and wine with them. And he told the disciples that Christians should continue to share bread and wine in a similar manner (11:26).
On that occasion, Jesus did not give a separate loaf of bread to each person. Instead, he took one loaf and he broke it. He gave one piece to each person.
Jesus explained his actions with the words, ‘This is my body.’ That is, the bread meant his body. He broke it to show that, soon, he would die on the cross. He told the disciples to eat it because they all needed to benefit from his death. God could save them only because of his death.
Paul explained that the single loaf had a special meaning, too. It showed that Christians were not separate people with their own private beliefs. By the death of Jesus, God had joined them together, as if they were one body (12:27).
That was a lesson that Jesus constantly emphasised at that special meal. He showed them how they should serve each other (John 13:12-15). He gave them a command that they must love each other (John 13:34-35). He described them as branches of a vine (a fruit bush). A branch can only produce fruit if it remains in the vine (John 15:1-8).
Then Jesus prayed for them. He asked God to join them together as if they were one (John 17:11).
The relationship that Christians have with God creates a relationship between all real Christians. The evidence of that relationship should appear in their love for each other (John 13:35).
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.
© 2014, Keith Simons.