To understand the Eucharist one must first understand Passover. Passover is the Jewish feast to celebrate recalling the night God freed Israel from Egypt. The Jews were told by God to keep a memorial. (Ex 12:14) A memorial in biblical understanding is not to only remember the past, but to relive it. The events of the past were made present. This is why Jews celebrate Passover think of themselves as one with their ancestors. Through the exodus all Israelites of all generations were delivered from Egypt. Along with the past, Jews look to the future at Passover. Before the time of Christ the prophets had foretold of another exodus. A Messianic king to renew the covenant God made with his people.
What was the point in God having the Jews preform an animal sacrifice? Was animal sacrifice an ends or a means? It was both. But more of a means. The animal sacrificed symbolized the person's giving of them self to God, and by this strengthening their relationship with God.
Now a days we can eat meals with anyone and it not mean a thing. For example, lunch time at any restaurant, there will be a room of complete strangers eating together, and no one is bound to be friends. But in biblical times meals shared with others forged covenant bonds. Enemies could seal peace by having a meal together. (Gen 26:26-31, 31:54-55) Why do you think the Pharisees were so scandalized by Jesus eating with sinners?
What would a meal with God do? In a ritual sacrifice part of the animal was offered to God, and part was eaten by those that preformed the sacrifice. The communion meal was the pinnacle and completion of these type of sacrifices. In sacrificing the animal AND eating it sealed communion with God. A communion meal is required at the Passover sacrifice. If you read (Ex 12:8-12) you'll see that since the first Passover the Jews are required to eat the Passover Lamb. By eating the lamb the Jews participate in the sacrifice.
Talk at ya Later