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.)