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How Should We Remember Jesus’ Death?

How Should We Remember Jesus’ Death?

This article considers questions you may have raised and shows where you can read the answers in your Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to discuss these answers with you.

1. How should Jesus’ death be remembered?

Jesus told his followers to remember his death by means of a symbolic meal, using bread and wine. The bread represents Jesus’ body, and the wine his blood.​—Read Luke 22:19, 20.

The bread that Jesus used was unleavened, or without yeast. In the Bible, yeast is often used to represent sin. So the bread was a fitting symbol of Jesus’ perfect body. He offered his body as a sacrifice, which did away with the animal sacrifices under the Mosaic Law. (Hebrews 10:5, 9, 10) The wine was a symbol of Jesus’ precious blood that was poured out as a sacrifice for our sins.​—Read 1 Peter 1:19; 2:24; 3:18.

2. When should we commemorate Jesus’ death?

Jesus’ death occurred on Passover, Nisan 14. A Jewish day begins at sundown. The evening before he died, Jesus ate the Passover meal with his apostles and then instituted a new memorial meal to commemorate his death.​—Read Luke 22:14, 15.

Today, God’s people commemorate what God provided through Jesus to set the whole world free from sin and death. (Exodus 12:5-7, 13, 17) Just as the Passover was observed once a year, so the Memorial of Jesus’ death is held once a year after sundown on Nisan 14 according to the Bible’s lunar calendar.​—Read John 1:29.

3. Who should partake of the bread and the wine?

When Jesus handed the wine to his followers, he said: “This cup means the new covenant.” (1 Corinthians 11:25) The new covenant replaced the Mosaic Law covenant, in which God had promised the Israelites that if they strictly obeyed him, they would become his people. (Exodus 19:5, 6) However, Israel did not obey God’s voice. So Jehovah provided a new covenant.​—Read Jeremiah 31:31.

Through the new covenant, Jehovah makes blessings available to many by means of a few. Those in the covenant are few, a mere 144,000. Through them, millions from all nations will be blessed with everlasting life in an earthly paradise. Some who are in the new covenant serve Jehovah on earth today. They alone properly partake of the bread and the wine because the cup “means the new covenant.”​—Read Luke 12:32; Revelation 14:1, 3.

4. How does the Memorial benefit us?

The annual Memorial of Jesus’ death deepens our appreciation for Jehovah’s extraordinary love. He sent his Son to die for our sins. So when we attend the Memorial, we should contemplate what Jesus’ death means for us. We should consider how we can show appreciation for what Jehovah and Jesus have done for us.​—Read John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.

For more information, see pages 206-208 of this book, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.