Meaning of The Last Supper
1) A Passover Meal
The first Passover was instituted on the night that Israel 🇮🇱 was to be delivered from slavery to the Egyptians (Exodus 12). God gave specific instructions to Moses concerning what was to be done, most important of which was the sacrifice of a lamb.
This was extremely important on that first Passover because an Angel of death was going to pass through the land of Egypt and kill all the firstborn sons, and the only thing that would spare the Israelites from experiencing the same fate was the blood on the doorposts, signifying that a life had already been taken (the lamb), and that he was to pass over that house.
In Exodus 12:14-20, 24-27, God instructed Moses to tell the Israelites that Passover was to be a permanent celebration every year to commemorate their supernatural deliverance from slavery 🙏🏻.
Enter Jesus Christ, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, centuries later. Passover week had begun, and of course Jesus knew that the time for His crucifixion and subsequent death was near. His disciples were oblivious to what was about to go down, even though Jesus had been teaching them, and even talked about it when Mary anointed Him with expensive oil while they were at Bethany.
"When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial."
It was the responsibility of the disciples of a rabbi to prepare the Passover meal 🍗, and they asked Him where in Jerusalem He wanted them to prepare it. He gave them unusual but specific instructions in Matthew 26:18, they obeyed Him in faith, and found everything just as He had said.
He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’”
2) The Words of Jesus
The custom at Passover had transformed over the centuries, and instead of standing fully dressed and eating the meal hurriedly, they now reclined and enjoyed a several course meal while the story of the supernatural deliverance of Israel was recounted. It was against this backdrop that 'Jesus said:
“I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”'
I can imagine the disciples thinking to themselves, “what in the world is He talking about now?”🤔 He then does and says something that’s even stranger:
'Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.” He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”'
Now try to imagine yourself in the disciples’ shoes. They didn’t have the whole picture we have now, and must have been quite confused by these statements. Then He drops a bombshell on them when He says:
'“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man” must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” '
Apostle John’s record of this event describes the consternation of the disciples at this news flash, and they eventually summon the courage to ask Him who the traitor among them is. Jesus identifies Judas Iscariot as the traitor, and as predicted, He did betray Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with a kiss.
It is important to note here that Judas’ betrayal wasn’t a result of Jesus’ prediction. The Lord simply exposed what Judas Iscariot had already planned in his heart to do, and we see proof of this in Mathew 26:14-16:
Then one of the Twelve the one called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
3) The Meaning of The Last Supper
It was no error on Jesus’ part when He didn’t pass the lamb meat 🐑 around on that table. This was because He was the perfect and spotless Lamb, and He was about to be slain for the sins of the world.
The breaking of the unleavened bread 🍞symbolized the way His sinless body would be broken by the soldiers’ whips and spear, and the sharing of the wine 🍷 symbolized that His precious blood would be poured out for all mankind as He hung on the Cross with nails in His hands and feet.
“Do this in remembrance of me”.
Jesus wasn’t merely making a suggestion here, He was instituting what we now call the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or the Lord’s Table. What had become a ritual for the people of Israel was about to become a means by which we activate our faith.
4) What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper for Believers?
- The Lord’s Table brings the manifest presence of God- Yes, God is omnipresent, but we get to know it experientially at the Communion table.
- There’s an anointing for healing at the Lord’s Table- Whenever the bread is broken and the wine is poured, we are reminded afresh of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and all that was made available to us as a result. This stirs up our faith in a whole new way, and anointing flows freely in an atmosphere of faith 🙏🏻.
- The Lord’s Supper activates the power of the Blood of Jesus over our lives.
- There’s supernatural power at the Lord’s Table.
- The Lord’s Supper is supposed to invoke memories of the power of redemption: "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
- Communion is the place of covenantal authority- The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ completely destroyed the works of sin and the devil. One of the ways we invoke that authority is through Communion.
5) Leonardo Da Vinci Famous Painting
Historical revisionists and writers have speculated on purported hidden messages or hints found in Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural painting of the Last Supper 🎨, especially since the release of Dan Brown’s novel in 2003.
While they debate and speculate about codes and hidden meanings, let’s focus on what is real and true; “when we take communion, we’re not just performing a ritual, we’re sharing the life of Jesus Christ. When we share His life, we share His victory.
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