26 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.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
During the Passover, unleavened bread was eaten for seven days. Leaven such as yeast makes bread softer but also makes it more susceptible to mold and decay. Thus, unleavened bread symbolized purity or a lack of corruption. Most importantly, though, the bread of the sacrament represents the body of Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35).
At the Last Supper, the Savior gave a blessing of thanks over the bread and wine. Since that time, the sacrament is administered as a priesthood ordinance in which the emblems of the sacrament are blessed and sanctified for those partaking of them.
“With torn and broken bread, we signify that we remember the physical body of Jesus Christ—a body that was buffeted with pains, afflictions, and temptations of every kind, a body that bore a burden of anguish sufficient to bleed at every pore, a body whose flesh was torn and whose heart was broken in crucifixion.”
Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy, “The Sacrament and the Atonement,” Oct. 2014 general conference.
This is my body
Jesus Christ said, “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25). Because of His Resurrection, we will all be resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20–22; Alma 11:42–44). His resurrected body is perfect, incorruptible, and glorious, and He showed it to many people. The power of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection will also bring us back into the presence of God to be judged (see Helaman 14:17).
At the Last Supper, wine was used to represent the blood of Jesus Christ. Today we use water, but it carries the same meaning (see D&C 27:2).
The Greek word translated as “testament” means “covenant.” In the Passover, the covenant with Israel was signified by the blood of a lamb. Jesus Christ introduced a new covenant signified by His own blood.
This is my blood
“The Savior’s spiritual suffering and the shedding of his innocent blood … paid the debt for what the scriptures call the ‘original guilt’ of Adam’s transgression (Moses 6:54). Furthermore, Christ suffered for the sins and sorrows and pains of all the rest of the human family, providing remission for all of our sins as well, upon conditions of obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel he taught (see 2 Nephi 9:21–23). As the Apostle Paul wrote, we were ‘bought with a price’ (1 Corinthians 6:20). What an expensive price and what a merciful purchase!”
Remission of sins
“If ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.”
Editors’ note: This page is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of the selected scripture verses, only a starting point for your own study.