The Symbolism of the Last Supper?
The Last Supper, which took place hours before the Lord’s crucifixion—was a Seder (Passover observance). Previously, the feast’s symbols had only pointed back to the Hebrews’ redemption from Egypt. But that Thursday night, Jesus revealed the messianic significance of two symbols: bread and wine.
In a Seder, a cloth bag with separate compartments holds three sheets of matzoh, or unleavened bread. The middle matzoh is removed and split. One half is broken and distributed; the other is wrapped in a napkin, hidden, and bought back after it is found.
Breaking the bread, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body” (Matthew 26:26). In Scripture, leaven symbolizes sin, so bread without yeast represents holy God. In the divided bag, matzohs are unified yet distinct—a picture of the Trinity. The middle bread signifies the Son, who left His Father’s side to dwell among us (Galatians 4:4) and was broken for mankind (Isaiah 53:5), wrapped in a burial cloth (Matthew 27:59), hidden in a tomb (v. 60), and resurrected (28:6). Our redemption was, indeed, costly (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Wine, the other symbol Jesus highlighted, is poured four times at a Seder. Scholars believe it is the third cup—known as the cup of redemption—that He called “My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27–28).
When speaking about Jesus, follow His example of meeting people where they are in their understanding and then leading them to deeper awareness. And as you next take Communion, look back on what Christ did for you, look forward to His return, and remember He is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Taken from “Christ’s Last Supper” by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).
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