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Using St. Marks Gospel, explain why Jesus' last meal in the upper room was so important for both him and his disciples. Explain how Christians might interpret and celebrate this meal in the Church today.

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Introduction

Mara Wanot 10m AO1 - Using St. Marks Gospel, explain why Jesus' last meal in the upper room was so important for both him and his disciples. Explain how Christians might interpret and celebrate this meal in the Church today. Christians call the last meal Jesus had with his disciples 'the Last Supper'. It also happened to be a Passover meal. This was the most important evening in the Jewish year and is called the Exodus. This meal is a symbol that celebrates the time when god, through Moses, saved the Jewish nation from slavery in Egypt. The Passover became a symbol of the 'passing over' from slavery to freedom and is celebrated each year as the family gets together. 'Passover' recalls the time when an angel of death passed over the houses of the Israelites on their way to slay the first born of each Egyptian family. That night Moses commanded the Jews to sacrifice a lamb and smear the blood on the doorposts of their house as a sign that they were to be passed over. ...read more.

Middle

Jesus' disciples did everything he had told them and left. When evening came Jesus came with all his disciples to have the meal. Before they ate he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me - one who is eating with me". "The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him", means that the death of Jesus was part of God's plan. While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it. He gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it, this is my body". Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them and they all drank from it. "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out of many", he said to them. "I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God. In the Roman Catholic Church Holy Communion is celebrated every day. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Lamb of God, you tale away the sins of the word, have mercy on us..." the people say before receiving the bread and wine to ask for God's forgiveness. In most Methodist Churches they celebrate Holy Communion once a month on 'Sacrament Sunday'. It usually takes place after the main service. The minister says the prayer of thanksgiving over the bread and wine. He tells the story of the Last supper which is taken from one of the Gospels, "This is my body. This is my blood". The people are each given a piece from ordinary bread. Standing around the Communion table the minister says, "Receive the body of Christ which was given for you and the blood of Christ which was shed for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith and thanksgiving". They all eat it at the same time as a sign of unity. Similarly they each drink grape juice instead of wine from individual plastic cups. After the communion there is a prayer of thanksgiving. The people are sent out into the community with the words, "Go in peace in the power of the Spirit to live and work to God's praise and glory". ...read more.

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