Thursday, March 10, 2011

Session 1 - The Last Supper

We begin our study of Jesus' last hours with the Last Supper. The Passover Seder, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, recalls Israel's escape from Egypt, the flight from slavery to freedom. This is the meal that Jesus and the twelve disciples shared on that final evening. In the days since Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to shouts of "Hosanna," He was teaching and challenging the rulers. His actions probably made for a tense atmosphere around the table as the disciples wondered what was in store for them.

Mark 14:22-25 "He took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

How does our observance of Holy Communion mirror the Jewish celebration of Passover, with the central theme of deliverance from slavery to freedom?

How would you say the observance of Holy Communion defines or shapes who you are? Is it the central message of your faith?

Author Adam Hamilton writes, "In the hours before Jesus would be arrested, tried and held for crucifixion, he was with twelve men who were his companions and intimates, men with whom he had prayed, worshiped and shared life. When he went to pray, knowing he would die, he asked those who were closest to him to pray with him.
Remember, these close companions were not perfect. They had let him down and would do so again. One would even betray him. Still, they were the best friends he had; and they were with him as he approached his darkest hour."

If you were sitting down to your last meal, who would you want at the table with you?

Please respond to the images, Scripture and/or questions in the comments.

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(Disclosure for copyright purposes, I googled "DaVinci Last Supper" and "Seder Meal" to find these images.)

1 comment:

lyleblesskaren said...

Like most people I would want to spend my last day with family and friends. It is interesting that Jesus doesn't spend time with his family. I know he spent the day before with Mary, Martha and Lazarus has always told me he had his affairs in order and could be with friends. It seems like I remember reading that he talked with his brothers about going to the passover. Maybe his time with them was too personal to be recorded by the disciples.
When I look at the meal served for the passover I am ashammed at how much we eat for holidays. I know the tradition of Passover was supposed to be a meal that could be eaten on the run to remind them of their escape from Egypt and that the angel of death passed over. What do you think the bitter herb is? It reminds me of turnips which I rarely eat as not my favorite.
Passover and Communion remind us of the gift of salvation. I would like to say I never disappointed Jesus but that would not be true. With communion I get the chance to ask God to help me be the Christian He wants me to be. Communion has also taken on a deeper meaning for me since having children as I know the near impossibility of giving up either one of my children. God does not love us lightly.