Around the table was 3 items of food: the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs and the Passover lamb.
Though they would understand only later, Jesus takes from the table and initiates something that will be held importantly for generations to come.
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26 v 26)
To take some of the lamb meat would have been a great illustration of his own sacrifice only hours away. So why didn’t he? Why did he choose the bread?
Was it because if he had taken the lamb then we would also have had to do that? We would have had to continually sacrifice the lamb in order to commemorate His death. “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”, Hebrews 10:10
The lamb on the Passover table that night was the last sacrificial lamb. That’s what Jesus was saying. No more sacrifice. The animal sacrificial system was ending there and then. He takes the bread and breaks it and says, ‘this is my body’.
No more death, no more need for substitution for forgiveness, the work is done, it is finished. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1: 18-19)
He was the final and ultimate lamb sacrifice.