The Last Supper is a significant event in the New Testament of the Bible, specifically described in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It takes place on the evening before Jesus’ crucifixion and is a commemoration of the Jewish festival of Passover.
Here is a detailed account of the Last Supper based on the biblical narrative:
- Preparation: Jesus instructs his disciples to prepare for the Passover meal. He sends Peter and John to make the necessary arrangements, including finding a room in Jerusalem where they can celebrate.
- Gathering: In the evening, Jesus and his twelve disciples come together in the upper room of a house in Jerusalem. They recline at the table, and Jesus begins to share important teachings with them.
- Washing of the Feet: During the meal, Jesus performs an act of humility and service by washing the feet of his disciples. This act signifies the importance of love, humility, and serving one another.
- Passover Meal: The Last Supper is also the Passover meal, which commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. Jesus takes the traditional elements of the Passover meal—the unleavened bread and the cup of wine—and gives them new meaning.
- Bread and Body: Jesus takes a piece of unleavened bread, blesses it, and breaks it, giving it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” He is symbolically referring to his imminent sacrifice on the cross.
- Cup and Blood: Jesus then takes a cup of wine, gives thanks, and shares it with his disciples, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” He establishes a new covenant with his followers, symbolizing the forgiveness of sins through his blood.
- Betrayal Announcement: During the meal, Jesus reveals that one of his disciples will betray him. This revelation causes distress among the disciples, and they each question if they might be the one.
- Institution of the Lord’s Supper: Through the sharing of bread and wine, Jesus institutes what is commonly known as the “Lord’s Supper” or “Communion.” He instructs his disciples to continue this practice in remembrance of him.
- Peter’s Denial Foretold: Jesus predicts that Peter, one of his closest disciples, will deny knowing him three times before the rooster crows the next morning.
- Final Teachings: Jesus shares additional teachings and words of comfort with his disciples, including the promise of the Holy Spirit and the unity they should maintain among themselves.
The Last Supper serves as a significant event in Christianity, as it establishes the sacrament of Communion, symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus for the redemption of humanity. It also foreshadows Jesus’ impending arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. The Last Supper is a poignant moment of fellowship, teaching, and preparation before the pivotal events of Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.