As we approach Holy Week, your family may participate in communion at church as a part of a service. While some traditions practice communion on a regular basis, it can be a new experience for some children – or, Easter may provide a wonderful time to explain what communion is and why we take it as Christians because of the context Holy Week provides.
In Matthew 26:26-29, we read about the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples:
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Drinking the blood and eating the body? That can be pretty confusing for kids!
In this video, What’s in the Bible? creator Phil Vischer explains how teaching kids about the original Passover can provide meaningful context as you take communion during Easter. It’s important to “unpack the whole concept of Passover,” he said. “Linking it back to the Passover lamb.”
In Exodus 12, we read about the original Passover. The Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, and the Pharaoh still would not release them, even after God sent several plagues. In the final plague, all the firstborn sons would be killed. But to spare the Israelites, God told them to kill a lamb and place its blood on their door frames. The Israelites did this, and they were safe. The passover lamb provided a sacrifice to save them!
So when Jesus describes the Last Supper to his disciples, he “is basically saying, ‘I’m this lamb,’” Vischer said.
“Jesus became the Passover lamb … to take the punishment so that we might live,” he continued.
When you talk about communion with your children, “you have to link it back to Passover and see that Jesus was stepping into the role of the Passover lamb,” Vischer said. Also, note that Jesus is the forever lamb – his sacrifice protects us for all eternity!
So as you celebrate the resurrection of Christ this Easter and take communion, take the opportunity to share about Passover with your children and reflect on the amazing gift of Christ – that his body and blood secured for us an eternal home with the Father.