SUPPOSE someone gave you a wonderful gift. How would you feel about it?— Would you just say thank you and then forget all about the one who gave it to you? Or would you remember him and what he did for you?—
Jehovah God gave us a wonderful gift. He sent his Son to earth to die for us. Do you know why Jesus had to die for us?— This is something very important that we should understand.
As we learned in Chapter 23, Adam sinned when he broke God’s perfect law. And we received sin from Adam, the father of us all. So, what do you think we need?— We need, as it were, a new father, one who lived a perfect life on earth. Who do you think can be that father to us?— Jesus can.
Jehovah sent Jesus to earth so that he could become like a father to us instead of Adam. The Bible says: “‘The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” Who was the first Adam?— Yes, the one whom God created from the dust of the earth. Who is the second Adam?— Jesus. The Bible shows this when it says: “The first man [Adam] is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man [Jesus] is out of heaven.”
Since God took Jesus’ life from heaven and put it inside the woman Mary, Jesus did not get any sin from Adam. That is why Jesus was a perfect man. (Luke 1:30-35) That is also why an angel said to the shepherds when Jesus was born: “There was born to you today a Savior.” (Luke 2:11) But to be our Savior, what did the baby Jesus first need to do?— He needed to grow up and become a full-grown man, just like Adam. Then Jesus could become ‘the second Adam.’
Jesus, our Savior, will also become our “Eternal Father.” He is called that in the Bible. (Isaiah 9:6, 7) Yes, the perfect Jesus can become our father instead of Adam, who became imperfect when he sinned. That way we can choose to have ‘the second Adam’ as our father. Of course, Jesus himself is a Son of Jehovah God.
By coming to know about Jesus, we can receive him as our Savior. Do you remember what we need to be saved from?— Yes, from the sin and death that we inherited from Adam. The perfect life as a full-grown man that Jesus sacrificed, or gave up, for us is called the ransom. Jehovah provided the ransom so that we can have our sins taken away.
Surely we don’t want to forget what God and his Son have done for us, do we?— Jesus showed his followers a special way that can help us remember what he did. Let’s talk about it.
Just imagine that you are in the upstairs room of a house in Jerusalem. It is nighttime. Jesus and his apostles are at a table. On the table, there are some roast lamb, flat loaves of bread, and red wine. They are having a special meal. Do you know why?—
This meal is to remind them of what Jehovah did hundreds of years earlier when his people, the Israelites, were slaves in Egypt. At that time Jehovah told his people: ‘Kill a lamb for each family, and put its blood on the doorposts of your houses.’ Then he said: ‘Go inside your houses, and eat the lamb.’
The Israelites did that. And that same night, God’s angel passed through the land of Egypt. In most houses, the angel killed the firstborn child. But when the angel saw the lamb’s blood on the doorposts, he passed over that house. In those houses, no children died. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was frightened by what Jehovah’s angel had done. So Pharaoh told the Israelites: ‘You are free to go. Get out of Egypt!’ At that, they loaded up their camels and donkeys and left.
Jehovah did not want his people to forget how he set them free. So he said: ‘Once a year you must eat a meal like the meal you ate tonight.’ They called this special meal the Passover. Do you know why?— Because that night God’s angel “passed over” the houses marked with blood.
Jesus and his apostles are thinking about this when they eat the Passover meal. Afterward, Jesus does something very important. Before he does, however, the unfaithful apostle, Judas, is dismissed. Then Jesus picks up one of the leftover loaves of bread, prays over it, breaks it, and passes it to his disciples. “Take, eat,” he says. Then he tells them: ‘This bread stands for my body that I will give when I die for you.’
Next Jesus picks up a cup of red wine. After another prayer of thanks, he passes it around and says: “Drink out of it, all of you.” And he tells them: ‘This wine stands for my blood. Soon I am going to pour out my blood to free you from your sins. Keep doing this to remember me.’
Did you notice that Jesus said the disciples should keep doing this to remember him?— No longer would they have the Passover meal. Instead, once each year they would have this special meal to remember Jesus and his death. This meal is called the Lord’s Evening Meal. Today we often call it the Memorial. Why?— Because it brings back to our memory what Jesus and his Father, Jehovah God, did for us.
The bread should make us think of Jesus’ body. He was willing to give up that body so that we could have everlasting life. And what about the red wine?— That should remind us of the value of Jesus’ blood. It is more precious than the blood of the Passover lamb in Egypt. Do you know why?— The Bible says that Jesus’ blood can bring us forgiveness of sins. And when all our sins are taken away, we will no longer get sick, grow old, and die. We should think of that when we attend the Memorial.
Should everyone eat the bread and drink the wine at the Memorial?— Well, Jesus told those who do eat and drink: ‘You will have part in my kingdom and sit on thrones in heaven with me.’ (Luke 22:19, 20, 30) This meant that they would go to heaven to be kings with Jesus. So only those who have the hope of ruling with Jesus in heaven should take the bread and wine.
But even those who do not eat the bread or drink the wine should attend the Memorial. Do you know why?— Because Jesus gave his life for us too. By going to the Memorial, we show that we have not forgotten. We remember God’s wonderful gift.
Scriptures that show the importance of Jesus’ ransom include 1 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 2:5, 6; and 1 Peter 1:18, 19.