The Last Supper

Introduction

We are all familiar with the story of Easter. For us, this is not just another story. It is the testimony of God’s boundless love for the world. God sent His Son to become a servant who suffered and died, paying the price of our redemption. The good news is that He rose on the third day as our risen Saviour and King. However, at this stage in their walk with Jesus, His disciples did not fully grasp what lay ahead, although He had prepared them three times for His death and assured them of His resurrection.

Join us as we journey through the Gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as they share their accounts of this final night with Jesus.

Journey through Scripture

The Master becomes a servant

Imagine yourself in the upper room of a house in Roman-occupied Jerusalem. Imagine Jesus taking a basin of water and kneeling before you to wash your feet.

Jesus did not preach a sermon; He set the example. By washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus humbled Himself, taking on the dress and posture of a servant.

So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him. 

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord”, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.’ 
John 13:4-5,12-15 NIVUK

The New Covenant and the New Commandment

When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God.’

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’
Luke 22:14-20 NIVUK

A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:31-35 NIVUK

InBlog_SoC_1 - Communion_2

A deeper look at Scripture

In the upper room, Jesus set the example of Christian service and gave His present and future disciples a new commandment to love one another as He had loved them. We, the Church, are meant to reflect the same self-sacrificial love and unselfish service that Jesus demonstrated at the Last Supper. Jesus said the world would recognise His disciples through our Christ-like love and service.

The Last Supper coincided with the Passover meal, an annual feast of family, fellowship and remembrance of how God rescued Israel from Egypt. During the Passover meal, Jesus gave the cup of wine and the unleavened bread a new meaning. Jesus spoke things about the cup and bread that He had never said before when sharing in the Passover.

Most importantly, Jesus announced that with the cup, He was establishing the ‘New Covenant’, which God had promised through Jeremiah (31:31-34). The nation of Israel broke the Old Covenant many times through disobedience and unfaithfulness. The New Covenant provided the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation between God and humankind. God made this New Covenant through the blood of His own Son, and we enter into this New Covenant by faith.

How does this apply to me?

Consider the example and the words of Jesus at The Last Supper.

  • How can you follow Jesus’ example in serving others, such as your brothers and sisters in Christ and those you meet on your frontline?
  • Spend some time taking communion, reflecting on the significance of the words and actions of Jesus as he broke the bread and lifted the cup at The Last Supper. Thank Him for all He has done for you.
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