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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2007

Food That Helps Us Remember

Food is wonderful. It gives our bodies energy to run, jump, and play. It gives our minds the necessary vitamins and minerals to think. Some food tastes so good that people will spend hundreds of dollars on a tiny portion of it—the most expensive caviar in the world is about $650 per ounce! But besides all these things, food does something else very important. Food helps us to remember.

Many years ago, the Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt. On the night that God delivered them from Egypt, He told them to eat a special meal. They were supposed to eat a lamb, bitter herbs, and bread that did not have time to rise (unleavened). After that night in Egypt, they were supposed to eat this special meal, called the Passover, every year (read Exodus 12:1-8). The purpose of the meal was to remind them that they had been slaves in Egypt and God had delivered them from slavery. Every year the bitter herbs reminded them of the bitter slavery they endured. The lamb reminded them that God had not killed their firstborn. The unleavened bread reminded them that they had left Egypt in such a hurry their bread did not have time to rise. For hundreds of years, the Passover feast reminded the Jews of their ancestors’ exodus from Egypt.

Even Jesus ate the Passover and remembered Egypt. But near the end of His life, Jesus started a different meal to help His followers remember Him. During the Passover feast before He was crucified, Jesus took unleavened bread and gave it to His apostles. He said this bread was to help them remember His body that would hang on the cross (read Matthew 26:26-28). He also passed out grape juice to His apostles and told them that it represented the blood that He would shed on the cross.

In the New Testament, the early Christians ate this new meal, the Lord’s Supper, on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), the day that Jesus rose from the grave. It was not a yearly meal, but one eaten every week to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. Today, we still eat the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week to remember Jesus’ sacrifice (read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Isn’t it amazing that God has chosen to use simple foods—unleavened bread and grape juice—to help us remember the most wonderful sacrifice ever? 

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