STORY OF JESUS 15
At the Passover Supper
you read: MP3 Audio15-SOJ.mp3
The Children of Israel ate the first Passover supper at the time of their
release from bondage in Egypt.
God had promised to set them free. He had told them that the first-born
son in every family of the Egyptians was to be slain.
He had told them to mark their own door posts with the blood of the slain
lamb, that the angel of death might pass them by.
The lamb itself they were to roast and eat at night, with unleavened
bread and with bitter herbs, which represented the bitterness of their slavery.
When they ate the lamb, they must be all ready for a journey. They must
have their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hands.
They did as the Lord had said, and that very night the king of Egypt sent
them word that they might go free. In the morning they started on their way to
the land of promise.
So every year, the same night on which they left Egypt, all the
Israelites kept the feast of the Passover at Jerusalem. And this feast each
family had a roasted lamb, with bread and bitter herbs, as their forefathers had
in Egypt. And they told their children the story of God's goodness in freeing
His people from slavery.
The time had now come when Christ was to keep the feast with His
disciples, and He told Peter and John to find a place, and make ready the
A great many people came to Jerusalem at this time, and those who lived
in the city were always ready to give a room in their houses for visitors to
keep the feast.
The Saviour told Peter and John that when they had gone into the street,
they would meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Him they were to follow, and
they were to go into the house where he went. And they were to say to the good
man of that house:
"The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I
shall eat the Passover with My disciples?"
This man would then show them a large upper room furnished for their
needs; there they were to prepare the Passover supper. And it all happened just
as the Saviour had told them it would.
At the Passover supper the disciples were alone with Jesus. The time they
spent with Him at these feasts had always been a time of joy; but now He was
troubled in spirit.
At last He said to them in tones of touching sadness:
"With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I
There was sweet wine on the table, and He took a cup of it, "and
gave thanks, and said:
"Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I
will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall
come." Luke 22:11, 15, 17, 18.
This was the last time that Christ was to keep the feast with His
disciples. It was really the last Passover that was ever to be kept. For the
lamb was slain to teach the people about Christ's death; and when Christ, the
Lamb of God, should be slain for the sins of the world, there would be no need
of slaying a lamb to represent His death.
When the Jews sealed their rejection of Christ by putting Him to death,
they rejected all that gave to this feast its value and significance. Henceforth
its observance by them was a worthless form.
As Christ joined in the Paschal service, there was before His mind the
scene of His last great sacrifice. He was now in the shadow of the cross, and
the pain was torturing His heart. He knew all the anguish that awaited Him.
He knew the ingratitude and cruelty that would be shown Him by those He
had come to save. But it was not of His own suffering that He thought. He pitied
those who would reject their Saviour and lose eternal life.
And the thought of His disciples was uppermost in His mind. He knew that
after His own suffering was over, they would be left to struggle in the world.
He had much to tell them that would be a stay to their hearts when He
should walk no more with them. Of these things He had hoped to speak at this
their last meeting before His death.
But He could not tell them now. He saw that they were not ready to
There had been a contention among them. They still thought that Christ
was soon to be made king, and each of them wanted the highest place in His
kingdom. So they had jealous and angry feelings toward one another.
There was another cause of trouble. At a feast it was the custom for a
servant to wash the feet of the guests, and on this occasion preparation had
been made for the service. The pitcher of water, the basin, and the towel were
there, ready for the feet-washing. But no servant was present, and it was the
disciples' part to perform it.
But each of the disciples thought that he would not be a servant to his
brethren. He was not willing to wash their feet. So, in silence they had taken
their places at the table.
Jesus waited awhile to see what they would do. Then He Himself rose from
the table. He girded Himself with the towel, poured water into the basin, and
began to wash the disciples' feet. He had been grieved by their contention, but
He did not reprove them by sharp words. He showed His love by acting as a
servant to His own disciples. When He had finished, He said to them:
"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also
ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that ye should
do as I have done to you." John 13:14, 15.
In this way Christ taught them that they ought to help one another.
Instead of seeking the highest place for himself, each should be willing to
serve his brethren.
The Saviour came into the world to work for others. He lived to help and
save those who are needy and sinful. He wants us to do as He did.
The disciples were now ashamed of their jealousy and selfishness. Their
hearts were filled with love for their Lord and for one another. Now they could
give heed to Christ's teaching.
As they were still at the table, Jesus took bread, and gave thanks, and
broke it, and gave to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for
you: this do in remembrance of Me.
"Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new
testament in My blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:19, 20.
The Bible says, "As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,
ye do show the Lord's death till He come." 1 Corinthians 11:26.
The bread and the wine represent the body and the blood of Christ. As the
bread was broken, and the wine poured out, so on the cross Christ's body was
broken, and His blood shed to save us.
By eating the bread and drinking the wine, we show that we believe this.
We show that we repent of our sins, and that we receive Christ as our Saviour.
As the disciples sat at the table with Jesus, they saw that He still
seemed greatly troubled. A cloud settled on them all, and they ate in silence.
At last Jesus spoke and said, "Verily I say unto you, that one of
you shall betray Me."
The disciples were grieved and amazed at these words. Each began to look
into his heart to see if there was any shadow of an evil thought against their
One after another they asked, "Lord, is it I?"
Judas alone remained silent. This drew the eyes of all to him. When he
saw that he was observed, he too asked, "Master, is it I?"
And Jesus solemnly replied, "Thou hast said." Matthew 26:21,
Jesus had washed the feet of Judas, but this had not caused him to love
the Saviour more. He was angry that Christ should do a servant's work. Now he
knew that Christ would not be made king, and he was the more determined to
When he saw that his purpose was known, even this did not cause him to
fear. In anger he quickly left the room, and went away to carry out his wicked
plan. The going of Judas was a relief to all present. The Saviour's face
lighted, and at this the shadow was lifted from the disciples.
Christ now talked for some time with His disciples. He was going to His
Father's house, He said, to make a place ready for them, and He would come again
to take them to Himself.
He promised to send the Holy Spirit to be their teacher and comforter
while He was gone. He told them to pray in His name, and their prayers would
surely be answered.
He then prayed for them, asking that they might be kept from evil, and
might love one another as He had loved them.
Jesus prayed for us as well as for the first disciples. He said:
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall
believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art
in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may
believe that Thou hast sent Me, . . . and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved
Me." John 17:20-23.