My Jehovah’s Witnesses friends stopped by a couple of days ago. They wanted to invite me to their version of Communion. Actually, they didn’t give it a name, so I’m running with the assumption that is what they call it. Like us, they have it once a year, a “memorial”, so that’s good. It seems they were confused about the date, but since they strictly speaking don’t believe any any holy day whatsoever, that wasn’t a big surprise.
No, the big surprise was when they tried to explain that only the 144,000 of Revelation actually take Communion. Say, what? I told them they need to stop back by (I was getting ready for the real Passover) and explain that one to me!
Sure enough, I Googled it, and the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) in the article “The Lord’s Supper and the 144,000 Anointed Class of Jehovah’s Witnesses” states:
The Jehovah’s Witness organization teaches that not all members of their group can take communion. Only the 144,000 members called the "anointed class" have the right to take Communion and they are the only ones who go to heaven.1 In fact, the 144,000 "anointed class" within the Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only ones who are "born again."
"This ‘little flock’ of 144,000 Kingdom heirs, then, are those ones from among mankind who are ‘born again.’"2
Try wrapping your head around that one!
So, I had this on my mind during Passover, and we read about the foot washing ceremony that Jesus instituted. Peter said, “You shall never wash my feet” (Jn 13:8, NIV). What was Christ’s reply? "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
Basically, Jesus said, “Peter, you must partake in this ceremony or you’ll not be part of My Church.”
Jn 6:53 also states that you can only have eternal life if you partake of His blood and flesh, symbolized by the wine and the bread. We all must partake if we are baptized and want to be in the Kingdom!
The bread is a common bond between us as God’s children. We are spiritually united through being part of one family, one body and one bread.
Each year, different themes come out of the Passover service, it seems. Unity really struck me as this year’s theme, at least where I was.
Think about it: The Passover has always symbolized the unity of a people. When Israel came out of Egypt, they were united by a common bond of broken slavery. They became a nation of their own right.
The ceremony Jesus instituted illustrates unity of heart and mind through God’s Spirit. It requires a “foot washing attitude” of humility. It requires spiritual brokenness of our pride (breaking of bread). It requires the willingness to give it all (spilling of blood, symbolized by the wine). Yes, the symbols were personally pointing to Jesus’ sacrifice, but remember it is we who partake of the symbols every year!
We follow His physical example by partaking of the symbols every year, so let’s now follow His spiritual example by living the way He did!