We believe the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Jesus’ suffering and death.
The bread is a symbol of Jesus’ body; and the unfermented wine, a symbol of His spilled blood.
Matthew 26:26-28 – And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
1 Corinthians 10:16, 17 – The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 – For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.
“As He ate the Passover with His disciples, He instituted in its place the service that was to be the memorial of His great sacrifice.”
“The unleavened cakes used at the Passover season are before Him. The Passover wine, untouched by fermentation, is on the table. These emblems Christ employs to represent His own unblemished sacrifice. Nothing corrupted by fermentation, the symbol of sin and death, could represent the ‘Lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19.” – The Desire of Ages, pp. 652, 653.
Forgiveness of sin does not occur by partaking of the bread and wine. Being a memorial of Jesus’ suffering and death, it is to serve for the strengthening of the church.
Preparation includes self-examination, acknowledgment, confession of sin, and genuine sorrow for sin.
“The ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are two monumental pillars, one without and one within the church. Upon these ordinances Christ has inscribed the name of the true God.” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 91.
Only one who has made a covenant with God in baptism and has become a member of the church may participate in the Lord’s Supper.
“And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof.”
Exodus 12:43 – And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof.