Maundy Thursday (Jesus’ Last Supper)

Background:  Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples.  We call this meal the Last Supper. During this meal, which is recounted in all 4 gospels (Matthew 26:17-29, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-20, John 13:1-30), Jesus gave new significance to the bread and the wine.  It was common during the Passover meal for the person who blessed the bread to then break it as a sign that the meal had started.  Jesus changed that tradition a bit by telling his disciples that the bread was his body. He said that the wine was his blood.  In Luke 22:19 Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  The bread and wine serve as a reminder that Jesus’ body was killed and blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins.  (John H. Walton & Kim E. Walton, The Bible Story Handbook, 303-305)

Scripture Emphasis:  Matthew 26:26-29

Activity:  Have some flat bread and grape juice prepared.  Read the story of Jesus’ Last Supper.  Explain to your children that this meal was something special that Jesus shared with his disciples.  Just like we do things to remember people who have died, Jesus wanted us to remember that he died to pay for our sins.  When we have the Lord’s Supper (which is also called Communion or the Eucharist), we remember that Jesus died to pay for our sins.  When you are old enough to understand this special thing we do in church, and when you decide to follow Jesus forever, you can also eat the bread and drink the juice.  (If your child has made the decision to become a Christian, and you feel confident that he/she understands, bless the bread and juice and share in the Lord’s Supper together.  If not, let the bread and juice serve as a visual reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice.)

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for Jesus’ life, the things he taught, and that he was willing to pay for our sins.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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