Summary: The true meaning of The Last Supper. This series is designed to be preached/taught leading up to Easter Sunday.
Pathway To The Passion
Part One-The Last Supper
The Last Supper
Through the centuries, the Last Supper has been of enormous significance. It has also lost it’s simplicity.
DaVinci’s painting of “The Last Supper”
While beautiful and world famous it is historically and biblically inaccurate.
-Meals were not eaten sitting at a table
-Not eaten at a long table
-Eaten lying on one’s side on the floor, usually on a rug, propped up on 1 elbow, usually in a circle around a table low to the floor
-No utensils. Flat pita-like bread served as utensils and was used to scoop up ingredients
-No elegant banquet. Meals in that time were kept small and simple especially at Passover.
-Jesus and the Disciples had gathered to celebrate Passover.
-Passover had its origins in Exodus.
Requirements for Passover Feast
Slaughtering and preparing of the lamb (Exodus 12:6)
Obligation to eat the lamb and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:8)
Proper preparation of the lamb-must be roasted (Exodus 12:9)
Must be entirely consumed (Exodus 12:10)
Unleavened bread (Exodus 12:18)
Obligated to tell story of liberation (Exodus 13:8)
3 Items Central To Passover Meal
1 The Lamb
Remind them of the sacrifice of the spotless lamb and the blood spread on the door posts of the believing Hebrews.
2 Bitter Herbs
Mixture of lettuce, endive, roots, peppermint and dandelion. The bitterness of the herbs was to remind them of the sting and bitterness of slavery in Egypt.
3 The Unleavened Bread
To remind them of the haste in which the Hebrews prepared to leave Egypt with Moses.
Today we use 2 elements when celebrating The Last Supper
The Bread “Take this bread and eat it; this is my body”
19 Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
-Jesus was breaking with tradition at this point of the meal. This probably got the attention of the disciples.
-Various denominations differ on their view of what the bread actually represents.
1 The bread actually becomes the body of Christ when it enters the mouth.
2 When the priest stands before the bread and breaks it, it becomes the body
3 Spiritual Symbol of the body.
The best answer
The bread is a picture of His body, a representation of his body that was given for us.
It should represent to us that we have left our old ways behind.
8 So let us celebrate the festival, not by eating the old bread of wickedness and evil, but by eating the new bread of purity and truth.
The Wine “Take this wine and drink it; this is my blood”
.-Every major Jewish festival in modern day is celebrated with red wine. It is a symbol of rejoicing
-Represented the blood that was about to be spilled
20 After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you—an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you”
-Everyone at the table was instructed to drink
-By drinking the wine, we should rejoice. We have all been offered the gift of salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice.
Prophetic Vision-God in essence told the Hebrews in Exodus during the night of Passover that if their house was covered by the blood of the lamb that death would “passover” their house. Jesus is the Passover Lamb.
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you.
Purpose of The Last Supper
Jesus was trying to prepare his disciples for what was about to happen even thought they did not understand. All for gospels give no indication that a word was spoken in response from the disciples to what Jesus was saying. He was trying to tell them that the time of his death was growing near. He even told them this would be his last Passover meal (Luke 22:15-16).
By his death a new covenant will be made in place of the old covenant. His blood would be poured out for the forgiveness of sins. By eating and drinking, we and his disciples share in the benefits of his sacrifice. We simply need to accept the sacrifice that was made for us so we are under the covering of the blood.