|THE LAST SUPPER |
The last meal Jesus shared with His disciples before the crucifixion. All four Gospels link this meal with Jesus' sacrificial death. The first three Gospels picture Christ's death in the symbols of the broken bread (“This is my body which is given for you”
Luke 22:19) and the outpoured wine (“This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”
Matthew 26:28). In John, foot washing replaces the “breaking of bread” as the picture of Christ's humble acceptance of His servant role (John 13:4-20), anticipating His death on the cross which made cleansing from sin and fellowship with Him possible (John 13:8,John 13:10). See Foot washing.
The supper not only anticipated Christ's death but also His victory over death in the promise of His drinking wine anew in the Father's kingdom (Matthew 26:29;
Luke 22:18; compare
1 Corinthians 11:26). Also prominent in all four Gospels is Jesus' prediction of His betrayal by Judas (Matthew 26:21-24;
John 13:21). According to the Synoptics, the Last Supper was the Passover meal (Matthew 26:17-19;
Mark 14:12,Mark 14:16;
Luke 22:7,Luke 22:13). In John, the last meal preceded the Passover celebration (John 13:1;
John 18:28). In John, Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation at the time when lambs were slaughtered (John 19:14). The tension in the timing of Christ's death should not detract from the united New Testament witness that “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). See Lord's Supper; Ordinances.