Easter Study – The Last Supper

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The Last Supper, by Carl Bloch. (Click Image for Source)

The Last Supper – there are so many amazing lessons to learn from it. You could study it for weeks. There is the symbolism of the Passover. Christ fits into it as He is the lamb that was slain for all of us. Then, there is the actual Last Supper that Christ eats – as He institutes a new ordinance: the sacrament. The Lord is the sacrifice to end all blood sacrifice, so He teaches the apostles to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of the sacrifice that Christ will make. There is Judas, who will lift his heel against the Lord. Christ washed the apostles feet and taught them to love and serve one another. Christ prayed for them…The Last Supper – can you imagine having been there? Watch this video…It will help you to imagine it.

There is too much to say, of course…so I want to bring up one thing that I’ve been thinking about concerning the Last Supper. John records several chapters worth of teachings that the Lord gave to the apostles that evening. He is trying to prepare them for the coming events – when He will be crucified. Even though He will be resurrected, He will not spend much more time with them. The apostles will soon be given the work to do, while Christ reigns in Heaven with His Father. The apostles seem a little anxious at the prospect of Christ leaving them.

I think that I would be anxious, too. I don’t know what it is like, to spend time, physically, in the presence of the Savior. I can only imagine that it was nice! It would have been hard to be an apostle in this situation: The Last Supper was so intimate. He had lovingly washed their feet. They were worshipping together, and He is now teaching them that He will be leaving them. I can’t imagine it, but I think that I would have been a little worried, too.

The Lord senses their concern, and He reassures them: even though He won’t be with them anymore, they won’t be alone.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:16-18

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:26-27

The Lord will be giving the apostles the gift of the Holy Ghost. He teaches them about the power of the Comforter. Even though the Savior is not with them, they are not alone. The Lord perceives that they are a little troubled and afraid, and He comforts them with His words. Soon, His Spirit will also comfort them – which is the true source of peace and comfort. The Holy Ghost is such a powerful gift and blessing in our lives.

We cannot have this gift without a little qualifying work. In John 15:1-11, Jesus teaches the allegory of the vine. If we want to have His spirit with us, then we need to abide in Him. We need to love Him and keep His commandments. Then, we qualify for the Spirit; then, we can feel the peace and comfort that we seek.

In John 17, the Lord gives the intercessory prayer. As I think about it, I find this to be so incredibly humbling. Christ put so much energy into us – into you and me. It is because of His love for us that we could have the gift of the Spirit. We aren’t even qualified to receive it from God without Christ. It is when we take on His name through baptism that we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Then, the comforter can be our constant companion. We need the Lord. I love that we have a record of His prayer for us. We have a record of how humbly He approaches Heavenly Father. I’m amazed and humbled by Christ’s gentle kindness, humility, and complete selflessness. It is through these chapters that I feel His love for me.

Even though the Last Supper would have been a pretty sad time – the suffering and death of Christ was at the door, there is so much beauty: in Christ’s service, His teachings, and His prayers.

As Easter approaches, I hope to do more to abide in Christ, serve and love others, and qualify for the Spirit of the Lord. I hope to be more reverent at Church each week when I partake of the Sacrament – commemorating the Lord’s Last Supper and the covenant I’ve made with Him.

I’m grateful that I have been blessed to covenant with the Lord and receive blessings that help me through my life. I hope to remember and truly internalize Christ’s comforting words:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

What is something you find especially striking about the Lord’s Last Supper? What do you do to keep the lessons taught from this event fresh in your heart and life?

***

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