The Last Supper
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will make some of the traditional foods associated with the Passover Seder meal.
Scripture References, Memory Verse, Theme and Objectives:
Refer to first post in this lesson set.
Preparation and Room Set Up:
- Review the Background Information, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
- Preview the Rotation Music CD. Play the music as children arrive and during journaling.
- Gather necessary ingredients and supplies.
- Write the discussion questions on the white board or flip chart.
Important Note for Cooking Workshop Leaders:
Children LOVE to cook and create various concoctions in this workshop. Please involve the children in all aspects of preparation! Direct involvement is more engaging than simple observation. Occasionally the cooking activity does not have as obvious or concrete a connection with the lesson as do some of the other workshops. Help the children make that connection by intentionally discussing the way the activity relates to the lesson of the day. Discuss during preparation, eating and clean-up times.
ALLERGY NOTE: Several of our children are severely allergic to peanuts and other nuts. Check ingredient labels to make sure nuts and nut oils are not included in any cooking activities.
|Welcome and Introductions||10 minutes|
|Bible study||15 minutes|
|Passover Seder Food||20 minutes|
Early Arrival Activity – Review the Memory Verse:
Write the memory verse on the white board. As children arrive, ask the shepherds to review the verse with them. Erase one word at a time and see if they can continue to recite the verse.
Welcome the children as they arrive. Please wear a nametag and help the shepherds distribute nametags to the children. Begin each class with introductions. Tell the children that they will be making some special foods that Jesus and his disciples ate at the Passover meal.
Please, begin each session with prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for your gifts and guidance. As we learn about some of the symbols and traditions you gave us, may we understand more completely your love for us. Amen
Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story.One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.
Remember that as the Rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.
Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.
Introduce the Story
Jesus had lived for the last few years with the disciples, his closest friends. He had taught them and had shown them how to spread the word of God. In those days, not everyone could read and write. Jesus understood that drawing pictures and having symbols allowed people to tell stories and remember things that they might otherwise forget. Jesus knew that he would not live much longer. When Jesus celebrated the Passover feast that week with his disciples, he gave them a sign by which they could always remember Him. It was a sign that showed them that if they always remembered the sacrifice of Jesus’ death for them (Jesus giving His body and shedding His blood), that that they would have everlasting life.
Bible Study: Grades K-2:
The Picture Bible
Where would we find a story about Jesus and his disciples in the Bible? (New Testament)
Help the children locate the story “Secretly in an Upper Room” and “The Lord’s Supper” page 641-645.
Read/paraphrase the story with the children as they follow along in their Bibles.
Bible Study: Grades 3-5:
NIV Adventure Bible
Where would we find stories about Jesus in the Bible? (New Testament, Gospels)
The first four books of the New Testament are called the gospels. What does “gospel” mean? (good news – these books tell us the good news about Jesus).
Before reading the passage ask the children to look for the answers to the following questions: (Write these questions down on the white board or flip chart)
- Why were the disciples and Jesus in Jerusalem? (to celebrate the Passover)
- What was the Passover (the special annual celebration of Jewish people to remember God’s mighty acts of saving them from slavery in Egypt.)
- How were the disciples supposed to know where to prepare the Passover?
Choose one of the gospel passages to read (our memory verse is found in the Luke version) Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-25, Luke 22:7-20,
Review the following Bible note:
"Did You Know? What was the Last Supper?" (page 1157)
Discuss the questions posed before reading the passage.
What foods are mentioned in the story? (bread, wine, Passover lamb)
There were other foods in this special meal. The food that was served reminded the people of their experiences long ago. Today we’re going to make and eat some of those special foods. We’ll also see that Jesus took this very special meal that was very familiar to his friends and made some changes!
Each Rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time.
Help the children locate the memory verse in their Bibles (3-5 graders).
“This is my body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Jesus told his disciples to remember him whenever they eat bread and drink the wine (juice). Each time we take Communion in church we can feel especially close to Jesus. We remember Jesus and how he lived and how he willingly died so our sins could be forgiven and we could be friends with God forever.
Preparing Passover Seder Food:
- White tablecloth to cover the tables - a flat sheet will work
- Napkins, plates, clear plastic goblets and small bathroom size cups – one for each person
- Gallon-sized ziploc baggie
- Plastic knives
- Rolling pin – to crush graham crackers
- Small bowls (Charoset, bitter herbs)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Glass pitcher
- Basket for Matzoh
- Grape Juice
- Hardboiled eggs – peeled – leave one intact in its shell – one half per child
- Matzoh – 1 whole for demonstration and small pieces for each child
- Bitter herbs - horseradish -- a dollop of “prepared” for each plate
- Applesauce – 2 cups
- Graham crackers – 8-10
Introduce the Activity:
The Passover meal was very special to Jewish people. Jesus and his disciples would have celebrated it every year. This year, Jesus knew it would be his last time to eat the Passover meal with his disciples. They ate the same foods as usual, and then Jesus added something new that would have surprised his friends. What was the surprise? (“Do this in remembrance of me,” giving new meaning to the bread and the wine) We are going to prepare some of the foods Jesus and his friends would have eaten.
- Have all children wash their hands.
- Have children take turns helping to prepare the different Seder foods. Include the children in preparing all the foods.
- “Wonder together” about the meaning of the foods as you are preparing them. You will discuss this in more detail during the meal.
- As you prepare the foods, have the shepherd add each food to the plates for the children – each plate will have: Charoset, small cup of salt water, half hardboiled egg, small broken piece of matzoh, dollop of horseradish. Set the plates aside until time for the meal.
- Once all foods are prepared, cover the table with the white cloth and have children sit around the table. Have shepherd pass out the plates. Explain that the Passover food is eaten in a particular order. Ask children not to taste anything until you say it is time.
Recipe for Charoset – without nuts (serves 12-18)
Say: Each item of the Passover meal was special and reminded the Jewish people of God’s mighty acts of saving them when they were slaves in Egypt.
The first food we will create is called Charoset (or Haroseth, Ha-RO-set). I wonder what this mixture meant to the Jewish people?
- Break 8-10 graham crackers into pieces and place in the ziploc bag and seal, removing air.
- Have children use the rolling pin to crush the crackers, making coarse crumbs.
- Have children measure out 2 cups of applesauce into a mixing bowl.
- Add the crushed graham crackers and stir until it makes a paste.
- Have the shepherd add a spoonful of Charoset to each plate – one per person + Seder Plate (for leader). Set aside.
Next we will make salt water. I wonder what salt water might have to do with the story?
- Have children measure out 1 cup of warm water into a glass measuring cup.
- Have children measure and add 1 tsp. salt to the water and stir until dissolved.
- Have the shepherd add salt water to the small bathroom cups – one per person + the Seder Plate (for leader). Set aside.
Bitter Herbs (Horseradish)
The next item is called bitter herbs. What does “bitter” taste like? I wonder why “bitter herbs” are part of the Passover meal?
- Spoon the horseradish into a small bowl.
- Allow children to smell the horseradish.
- Have shepherd add a dollop of horseradish to each plate – one per person + the Seder Plate (for leader). Set aside.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hold up the hardboiled egg that is not peeled.
Say: What happens when you boil an egg? (it gets hard)
Hmmmm… I wonder what the egg might help the Jewish people remember?
- Have children use a plastic knife to cut the peeled hard boiled eggs in half.
- Have shepherd place half of a peeled hard-boiled egg on each plate – one per person + one egg in its shell for the Seder Plate (for leader). Set aside.
Grape Juice (wine)
Jewish people drank wine with their meals. The wine came from grapes. We will use grape juice in our meal.
- Pour the juice into one pitcher.
- Have the shepherd fill the plastic goblets about ¾ full – one per person, plus the leader. Set aside.
Matzoh is special bread (ours is almost like a cracker) that is made without leaven or yeast. Yeast makes bread rise and get fluffy. It doesn’t taste as good as fluffy bread with yeast. I wonder why the Jewish people used unleavened bread?
- Wrap one whole piece of Matzoh in a white napkin and set aside.
- Have children break pieces of the Matzoh into smaller pieces.
- Have shepherd place 1-2 small pieces of Matzoh on each child’s plate + the Seder Plate (for the leader). Place the remaining broken Matzoh in the basket.
- Have children clear the table and place the white tablecloth over the tables.
- Have them pass out a plate, napkin, small cup and clear goblet at each place.
- Have children sit at the table.
- Place the Seder Plate in front of you. (Should contain: egg, dollop of horseradish, cup of salt water, piece of matzoh, dollop of Charoset) and the goblet of grape juice.
- Place the basket of Matzoh and the napkin with the whole Matzoh next to you.
Jesus’s friends prepared the special Passover meal, just as we have done. Then it was time to eat.
First Jesus filled his friend’s cups with the wine and said a blessing over it.
This is the blessing Jesus would have said:
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.”
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who gives us life and allows us to enjoy this festive holiday.”
(Lift your glass and have the children lift theirs and drink about half of the juice.)
(Show the cup of salt water.)
The salt water reminds us of the tears that the Jewish people shed when they were slaves in Egypt.
(Dip your finger into the salt water, tasting the saltiness and have the children do the same.)
Next comes the unleavened bread. The Matzoh did not contain leaven or yeast. This reminded the people that they left Egypt in a hurry – with no time to let their bread to rise.
(Take a piece of broken matzoh from your plate and hold it up.)
Jesus would have blessed the unleavened bread, saying,
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has sanctified us by his commandments and has commanded us to eat unleavened bread.”
Then Jesus and his friends would have dipped their matzoh into a small amount of the bitter herbs to remind them of the bitterness of life as slaves in Egypt and Jesus would have said another blessing,
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who has sanctified us by his commandments and commanded us to eat bitter herbs.”
Now we will take the Charoset and put it on the Matzoh, too. The Charoset reminds the Jewish people of the clay they used when making bricks as slaves to Pharaoh.
Place a small amount of the Charoset onto the Matzoh with the horseradish. Encourage everyone to taste the Matzoh dipped in bitter herbs and Charoset.
The hard cooked egg is a symbol of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart. But it also reminds us that God promises to give us new life.
(Encourage children to eat the egg.)
Now to this point everything would have been very familiar to Jesus’ disciples. Remember they celebrated the Passover every year.
But then Jesus did something different. There was a hidden piece of Matzoh.
(Bring out the unbroken piece of Matzoh wrapped in the napkin and show it to the children.)
This piece of Matzoh, made without leaven, is a symbol of the promised Messiah, Jesus. It was hidden and now it is back. Jesus was buried and rose from the dead. If you look closely at the Matzoh you can see other signs that remind us of Jesus. See the stripes on the Matzoh. This reminds us of the whipping Jesus received that left terrible stripes on his back. See the holes. These remind us of the piercing of Jesus by the crown of thorns on his head and the nails in his hands and feet.
This special Matzoh is the last food eaten at Passover so that its taste stays with us.
But this time Jesus took the bread, blessed it saying, “Blessed are you, O God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth” and then he said something new… Jesus added these words:
“This is my Body given for you, do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
(Break the Matzoh into pieces for each child in the room and pass out to them)
Jesus changed the meaning of Matzoh forever, and gives us His body every time we take communion. The Matzoh, just like at Communion, is broken into small pieces and everyone must eat their own piece, just as each of us must accept Jesus’ grace for ourselves. No other person can do it for us. Jesus was also telling his disciples as he recited the prayer of thanks that He, just like the bread would be brought forth from the earth. Jesus was telling his disciples that he would rise from the dead.
Think about Jesus, the Lamb of God, whose body was given for us in the once and forever Passover sacrifice.
Eat this little piece of Matzoh now, and let its taste stay with you.
Now came the last and final cup. This was the cup that reminded Jesus’ friends of God’s promise to send a Savior. Jesus took this final cup and gave thanks to God saying,
“Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine!”
And then Jesus did something new again… Jesus said that the wine was like his blood. In those days, blood was used when making agreements or covenants with God. Jesus was making a new covenant, a new agreement. When Jesus died, he provided the necessary blood. He was the “Lamb of God” who took away the sin of the whole world.
Invite children them to drink the rest of their juice together. Add more juice if needed.
Discussion and Questions
- What did you think about this meal?
- What seemed most special to you?
- How do you think Jesus felt knowing it was his last meal with his friends?
- What do the Bread and Cup symbolize in the Passover Seder meal? In the Last Supper? How are they the same? Different?
- Ask the children if they have any questions about what they have experienced.
The last ten minutes should be reserved for journal time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned.
Grades K-2: Draw some of the foods that were eaten at Passover.
Grades 3-5: What is something new you learned today?
Give children about 5 minutes to work in their journals. Then have them share their journal entry with their neighbor.
Gather all supplies and encourage each child to clean his/her own work area. Return items to storage cabinet.
Gather all the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session – suggestions include Passover, Seder, Communion, Matzoh, lamb of God. Encourage them to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together, closing with the Lord’s Prayer.
- Peterson, Galen. Handbook of Bible Festivals: A Complete Guide for Celebrating the Holidays. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Pub., 1997. Print. (For Passover Seder Instructions, ISBN#: 0-7847-0595-X)
A lesson set written by Jaymie Derden for State Street UMC – G.R.E.A.T. Adventure program, 2013
State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA
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