The Last Supper, wall painting by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1495-98. My grandmother had this picture in her home and I always remember seeing it. The story of the Last Supper is about an invitation from Jesus to receive his gift!
The Last Supper is told in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke in the Bible. Matthew 26:17-30 “On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus directed them and prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.” 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.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The last supper took place on the first day of Passover. Passover is the remembrance of Israel being freed from slavery to Egypt and specifically when the angel of death passed over the homes of the Israelites that had lambs blood over the doors. As the disciples ate dinner with Jesus, he explained to them that one of the twelve would soon betray him. All the disciples denied it would be them. The one who would betray him was Judas.
Jesus pray and thanked God for the meal. Then he broke the bread and shared the wine with the disciples and explained to them how the bread was a symbol of his body, broken for them, and the wine a symbol of his blood which would be poured out for their sins to be forgiven.
After the meal, Jesus became like a servant and washed the feet of the disciples. Jesus did this as an example to them. Now the disciples would be able to wash each others feet, meaning they could be servants to all.
The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of what Christ did for us and a celebration of what we receive as a result of his sacrifice.