15 – Jesus’ Last Meal

Jesus had a short life. He died at about the age of thirty-six. He only spent three years telling people about God’s kingdom. Jesus’ words and works were very important. But Jesus’ most important work came at the end of his life. In fact, his death was his greatest work.

That is why we are going to spend longer on the end of Jesus’ life. While he was with his followers, he told them that he would die a violent death. This was God’s plan for his life. John wrote, ‘God loved the people in the world so much that he gave his one and only Son on their behalf. So, as a result, everyone who believes in the Son will not die. Instead, they will live for ever with God’ (John 3:16).

God gave his Son Jesus so that we could live forever. Let us see how and why God gave Jesus for us.

Matthew 26:17, 26–29

Jesus eats his last meal with his 12 disciples

17 The first day of the festival when the Jews eat flat bread arrived. Jesus' disciples came to him and they asked him, ‘Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you to eat?’

26:17Flat bread is bread that has no yeast in it.

Matthew 26:17 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

26 While Jesus and his disciples were eating, he took a loaf of bread. He thanked God for it and then he broke the bread into pieces. He gave some of it to each of them. He said, ‘Take this bread and eat it. This is my body.’

27 Then Jesus took a cup. He thanked God for the wine in the cup. Then he gave it to them and he said, ‘All of you should drink some of this wine. 28 This is my blood that shows God's promise. When I die, my blood will pour out of my body. In that way God will forgive many people for the wrong things that they have done. That is the promise that God makes because of my death. 29 I tell you this. I will not drink wine again until I drink it with you in my Father's kingdom. Then it will be new wine.’

26:29Most Christians still meet for special meals to remember what Jesus did for them. They obey Jesus. They eat bread and drink wine together. And they think about when Jesus died for them.

Matthew 26:26-29 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you know?

  • Jews from all over the world went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
  • On the Passover, Jews remember how God saved Israel from slavery in Egypt.
  • God sent his angel to punish the Egyptians. This angel ‘passed over’ Israel and did not punish them.
  • ‘Thin bread’ is bread with no yeast. Israel had to leave Egypt quickly. They could not wait for the bread they had baked to rise.

Every country has their special festivals. Many countries celebrate Christmas. The Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year. The most important festival for Jewish people is ‘Passover’.

One night, Jesus was celebrating Passover with his friends. This was his last meal with them before he died. He took some bread and broke it into pieces. This was a picture of how he would die for them. Just like bread, his body would be broken. He told his friends to ‘eat’ this bread. He meant that they should believe that his death would take away their sins.

Then he poured out some wine. The wine was a picture of his blood. In a few hours, Jesus’ blood would be poured out. He told his friends to drink the wine. It meant that they were entering into an agreement with God. If they trust in his Son, Jesus, God promised to take away their sins.

Who is Jesus?

When Jesus was born, the angels told the shepherds that God had sent ‘a saviour’. What would Jesus save us from? How would Jesus save us? At the Passover, Jesus told his friends that he would save many people from their sins. Jesus told them he would save us by dying for us. God wants us to trust Jesus to take away our sins.

Thinking about the story

  1. What did Jesus mean when he called the bread his body?
  2. What did Jesus mean when he called the wine his blood?
  3. What does the Passover meal teach us about Jesus’ death?