In today's world, the idea of participating in rituals is a bit foreign. However, it's not as strange and foreign as some may assume. Rituals are a collection of actions we do to remember a special event and its significance.
In other words, one can argue that birthday parties, New Year's Eve countdown, or opening gifts on Christmas morning are rituals.
Approximately 2,000 years ago, Jesus died on a cross. The day before, he shared a meal with his close friends. This was no ordinary meal. Jesus was partaking in a ritual that predated this meal by 1,500 years, called the Seder. This ritual consisted of eating bread and wine.
The Seder was a ritual practiced by the Jews to remember God's important role in their escape from Egypt. For centuries, Jews understood this simple meal to represent their ancestors' rescue from death. They continued this ritual believing that another great rescue would take place sometime in the future.
When Jesus partook in the Seder, he made some bold statements. When he broke the bread to share with his friends, he said, "This is my body, which is for you." When he poured out the wine in a cup, he said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood."
In essence he is saying, "I am the great rescue."
Jesus was participating in a long-standing ritual of the Seder, but was also updating it to say that he is here to rescue humanity. When we partake in these elements as a part of this new ritual, we are doing it in remembrance of not only the God who rescued the slaves from Egypt, but also Jesus who rescued all of us from the failings of humanity.
Jesus' sacrifice on the cross (which means, his body broke and his blood spilt on our behalf) became the key to our freedom. By eating these elements in a reverent manner, you are symbolically making a statement.
"I want to accept (or, have accepted) God's help, Jesus. I will acknowledge this with my fellow Christians."
This is why some call this ritual the Eucharist (literally means, The Good Gift). By partaking in this ritual you are accepting God's good gift for us.