Every year, the Jews celebrated a memorial feast called the Passover. This celebration started hundreds of years ago, when God made a covenant with his people and freed them from slavery in Egypt. They painted the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and quickly ate a meal that included bread made without yeast. When the angel of God “passed over” their homes he saw the blood and did not harm them because they were God’s people.
On this night, Jesus and his twelve apostles celebrated the Passover meal together. Jesus took the bread and the fruit of the vine and thanked God for them. He broke the bread and poured the juice to share with his friends. He told them from then on to remember his broken body and shed blood as they ate of this special meal. He would soon be killed by wicked men and would sacrifice his body and blood for the forgiveness of the sins of all people. All of his apostles were very sad, except for Judas, who had made a plan to help the wicked men. Jesus told him to move quickly and do what he planned to do. So, Judas ate and left.
Jesus gave his apostles very important instructions. They should love one another as he loved them. By doing this, people would know they were his followers. He told them to teach others to believe in him and to know that God loves them.
Sit at the table before Jesus. Pretend or imagine what it would be like to share such a special meal with Jesus. What questions would you ask him?
On the night of “The Last Supper”, Jesus gave a new special significance to the Passover meal. He established a new covenant not only with the Israelites, but with all people. This covenant frees us from sin. We are reminded of his sacrifice for us when we eat the bread and drink the juice during this ritual meal as a church.
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