Jesus' Last Supper Family Page
Summary of this Resource
Use this information as a newsletter article or as take-home pages to help families dig deeper into your Jesus' Last Supper Rotation. Our role as Christian educators is to work with families so that discussion that starts in Sunday school continues in the home.
Edit these materials as needed to fit your situation. If you are using this information as a type of newsletter, you may wish to add the Rotation schedule and general announcements.
"Name of Your Church" Rotation Sunday School News - The Last Supper
This Rotation the Sunday School students will be studying the story of Jesus' Last Supper.
To Jesus’ disciples it appeared to be another Passover feast. After all, Passover was celebrated every year - a sharing of special food elements in a meal that helped them to remember when death passed over the Israelites and they started their lives as a liberated people.
Jesus took two of these foods from this feast and gave them a new meaning, one that helps us to remember a different story of freedom.
In this institution of the Lord's Supper, we remember what God has done for us in Christ, we believe in God’s deliverance, and we receive Christ’s sacrificial act of love.
What advice for your life you will take away from this story?
Our Bible Story
Additional Scripture: Exodus 12:1-42, Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26
Our Key/Memory Verse
“Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19d (NRSV)
Our Rotation Objectives
After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:
- Retell the story in their own words: how Jesus celebrated a special last meal, a Passover Seder, with his disciples before his crucifixion.
- Discover that during this meal, now known as the “Last Supper,” Jesus gave new meaning to bread and wine and instituted what we today know as “Holy Communion.”
- Recognize that we celebrate Communion as a means to remember what Jesus did for us.
- Explore their denomination’s understanding of the Sacrament of Communion.
- Discuss the connection between the Old Testament Passover celebration and the New Testament Sacrament of Communion.
- Name that the story is found in the New Testament.
- Locate the story in the Gospel of Luke.
Activities for Home
Below are several activity suggestions you could do as a family at home. Choose what works for your family.
1) Read the story together (or act it out) and then discuss it
Have fun with it!
(The following excerpt is from The Voice Bible, which is a translation designed to help the reader experience the drama of the Bible.)
[The meal that Jesus and His disciples shared is still celebrated today among followers of Jesus. We surround it with varied rituals and music, but the original meal took place in the midst of great drama and tension. The disciples were arguing, and Jesus was teaching them yet another lesson about life in the kingdom of God. Jesus even spoke of His own suffering and their betrayal and denial. Yet through it all, Jesus’ focus remained on the central theme of His life and mission: the coming of the kingdom of God.]
Narrator: They came to the Day of Unleavened Bread, a holy day when a special lamb (called the Passover lamb) had to be sacrificed. Jesus chose Peter and John and gave them instructions.
Jesus: Go and make all the necessary preparations for the Passover meal so we can eat together.
Peter and John: Where do You want us to make preparations?
Jesus: When you enter the city, you’ll encounter a man carrying a jar of water. Just follow him wherever he goes, and when he enters a house, tell the homeowner, “The Teacher has this question for you: ‘Where is the guest room where I can share the Passover meal with My disciples?’” He’ll show you a spacious second-story room that has all the necessary furniture. That’s where you should prepare our meal.
Narrator: They did as He said and found everything just as He said it would be, and they prepared the Passover meal. When the meal was prepared, Jesus sat at the table, joined by His emissaries (apostles).
Jesus: It has been My deep desire to eat this Passover meal with you before My suffering begins. Know this: I will not eat another Passover meal until its meaning is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
Narrator: He took a cup of wine and gave thanks for it.
Jesus: Take this; share it among yourselves. Know this: I will not drink another sip of wine until the kingdom of God has arrived in fullness.
Narrator: Then He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and shared it with them.
Jesus: This is My body, My body given for you. Do this to remember Me.
Narrator: And similarly, after the meal had been eaten, He took the cup.
Jesus: This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant, made in My blood
(The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society. All rights reserved.)
When we think about this story from the Bible:
What do we remember?
What do we believe?
What do we receive?
2) Worship together
If your child does not normally attend worship with you (or stay for the entire service), have him or her attend worship with you on a Sunday when communion/Eucharist is shared. Talk in advance about what he can expect to happen (and whether or not he can take communion).
Afterwards, discuss what he or she saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt. Answer any questions he may have.
3) Bake bread together
Find a recipe for unleavened bread similar to what was eaten by Jesus and his friends at their Passover meal (the Last Supper). Here is one
While you are working together to make the bread, remember the story of the Israelites, who did not have time to wait for the bread to rise when they left Egypt. If necessary, look up the story in Exodus 12:33-39.
4) Do puzzles together
Read the story of the Last Supper in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark; compare those tellings to Luke’s retelling that we have been focusing on during the workshops.
Then do puzzles and other activities to review the story.
To find puzzles do an internet search on "Last Supper puzzles for children."
This suggested source for puzzles includes two levels of word search, crossword, fill-in the blanks, and a coloring page (scroll down the page to find "The Last Supper").
5) Gather with other families for a Seder Meal
Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples during the event we call “The Last Supper.” Jesus and his disciples were devout Jews who celebrated all of the Jewish customs and feasts. Passover was one of the most important, as well as one of the oldest, Jewish festivals. Passover commemorated an event that happened more than a thousand years earlier.
The story of the first Passover involves a dramatic incident described in the Old Testament book of Exodus. God had heard the cries of his people who were suffering as slaves under the Pharaoh of Egypt. “Let my people go” are the familiar words of Moses, who was called by God to lead the people to freedom. As to be expected, Pharaoh said no! What happened next was a series of plagues sent by God. The tenth plague, the one that finally freed the Israelites, was that all first-born sons in Egypt would die.
Gather with other families in your church for a Christian Passover (Seder) meal. You can find instructions online for meals that tie in the Old Testament tradition to the New Testament celebration that became the Communion/Eucharist/Mass that we celebrate in our church today.
A few online resources for family Seder meals:
Or, just gather with friends from church or your neighborhood and enjoy a meal together.
6) talk about remembering; make a memorial
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
What did you have for breakfast last Tuesday?
What is your best friend's name?
What is your mailman's name?
Which questions were easiest to answer? Why?
The breakfast question about today was easiest to answer because it was more recent. With the name question, it's easiest to remember the person you spend the most time with.
When people want to remember something, they keep it close by, look at it often, put it somewhere where they will see it. That's the idea of a memorial. We don't want to forget something, so we remind ourselves of it often.
Jesus knew that if we did not make a point of remembering his death, it would be easy for us to forget, and to get caught up in our lives and forget his. He told us to be sure to remember his death, and he told us how to remember using the elements of the Passover feast, which itself was a memorial of what God had done for His people.
Think about memorials in your home – photos of family, seashells from a beach vacation, t-shirts from a National Park.
Talk about a family memorial that you can create that
helps you remember what God has done for you in Christ,
shows that you believe in God’s deliverance,
and demonstrates how you receive Christ’s sacrificial act of love.
Work together to build a memorial, using whatever materials you have on hand, such as paint, photos, boxes, scraps of fabric, cans, stones, sticks, and pictures from magazines.
[Adapted from The Last Supper lesson at Sunday School Sources]
7) Have a family art night
As a family look at famous paintings of the Last Supper. In addition to the familiar daVinci Last Supper, do an internet search and look for others. For instance, Dali’s Last Supper is interesting and filled with symbolism.
Bible Paintings: The Last Supper has a number of different artists’ interpretations, as well as some suggestions of things to consider when looking at the paintings.
Do an internet search for "Last Supper Paintings" to find others.
Compare the different artists’ interpretations.
Consider the mood of the paintings (suggested by colors used, posture of participants, and facial expressions).
Talk about why the artist may have decided to include certain details.
If you want to dig deeper, articles at wikipedia.com and other sites will help you look at details and symbolism.
Michael Anthony Novak, a Catholic theologian, presented a paper on the subject of this piece in 2005. He proposes that DalÍ’s intention was not to simply paint the event of the last supper. He states: “DalÍ's true intention, which he has masterfully accomplished on this canvas, is to remind us of what is occurring in every celebration of this mystery of bread and wine: that the worship here on Earth makes present the realities of worship in Heaven.”
—Novak, Misunderstood Masterpiece
- Memorial activity from The Last Supper Lesson plan, Copyright SundaySchoolSources.com ©2000-2014. Papyrus
- Document & Design, LLC. Used with permission.
- Memory jar photo idea.
- Salvador DalÍ (artist) The Sacrament of the Last Supper, sourced via Flickr, under a Creative Commons license.
A family resource written by Amy Crane from: River Community Church
Copyright 2014 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.