Updated: Jun 30, 2020
The Last Supper, Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion, is one of Christianity’s most significant events. During a seemingly ordinary meal of wine and bread, Jesus changed the course of human history and the way Christians would eventually worship. He foretold of his sacrifice that would cleanse mankind’s sins and offered the promise of resurrection, thus forever altering the meaning of Passover by establishing a new covenant. His use of the bread and wine set the stage for the Eucharist, one of the most meaningful rituals in Christianity.
According to the New Testament, the Last Supper occurred on the eve of Hebrew Passover, the commemoration of God allowing the Israelites to escape their Egyptian enslavement and also be spared from the plague. Jesus gathered his disciples at a simple, wooden table. He blessed the bread, divided it, and handed out pieces, instructing them to take it and eat — that it was his body. Jesus then took a cup of wine and asked that they all drink from it, saying the wine was his blood. This represented a new covenant and they all shall receive forgiveness of their sins. Finally, Jesus promised that he wouldn’t drink wine again until he would drink with them in heaven.
With these words, Jesus effectively changed the meaning of Passover from celebrating the old covenant — if the Israelites follow God’s law, God will protect and bless them — to a new covenant. Jesus said that his future sacrifice will ensure that others may enjoy forgiveness of sins, including Adam and Eve’s original sin, and be promised eternal life.
By using bread and wine as symbols of his body and blood, Jesus inspired the creation of the Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion. For over 2000 years, Christians participating in Communion have reenacted the Last Supper with bread and wine to celebrate Jesus’ sacrifice and commemorate the charge he gave to his disciples.
For Catholics, receiving Communion is the culmination of their Sunday service, while others receive Communion once each month. Particularly devout individuals may go to church and receive communion every day. The altar is draped with a cloth, a sign of respect, and a symbol of the family dining table welcoming guests to join. In Catholicism, each congregant receives unleavened bread but the wine is consumed only by the priest. Protestants, on the other hand, partake in both the wine and bread during Communion.
The Last Supper has been referenced and celebrated in art throughout the ages. Unquestionably, its most iconic representation is in Leonardo da Vinci’s late 15th-century mural entitled Last Supper. It is one of the most recognized paintings in the world and become an integral part of popular culture, celebrated and parodied time and time again.
Among other things, Jesus’ Last Supper represents fellowship and love. Your casual home meals may not be as historically momentous as the Last Supper but still can reflect the same values. DoorXDoor Delivery can help bring your family together by letting us do all the work when you order online, allowing you to keep the Sabbath holy. We’re also ready and happy to serve your family any other day of the week.