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Christianity / Jesus | Cult and Festivals / Holy Week
Last Supper
Also called: Lord's Supper


In Christianity, the last meal shared by Jesus Christ and the disciples in Jerusalem. It is the meal that is commemorated with the Eucharist.
The location of the meal has been in The Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion, just outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Some have set the location to quarters inhabited by many Essenes.
It is recorded in Matt. 26:1729; Mark 14:1225; Luke 22:738; John 13; 1 Cor. 11:2325. The accounts tell about the same story: that Jesus sent two of his disciples to prepare for the meal, then met with all disciples in the upper room. He first told them that one of the disciples would betray him. The he blessing bread and wine and gave it to them to eat and drink, telling them that it was his body and his blood of the Covenant.
Both the accounts from the Synoptic gospels and church traditions tell that the Last Supper occurred on the Passover, but there are some important differences from the regulations of a Passover meal, like wine being consumed after eating the bread, not while eating the bread. The day of the meal has been set to Thursday, which is celebrated on Maudy Thursday as part of the Holy Week.
The Gospel According to John states that the meal happened before Passover. Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter according to the chronology of John.
It is only in the gospels of Matthew and John that the disciple betraying Jesus is identified. The two other state that it was one of the disciples.
Moreover, all 4 canonical gospels tell that Jesus knew of betrayal among other disciples as well. Jesus tells that Simon will deny him three times before the next morning. He, and all the other disciples declared that they would remain true to Jesus even if it meant death.
According to John, Jesus gave a long sermon after the meal, a sermon which contains material that has been central to Christian teaching, particularly on the subject of Christology.
One symbol relating to the Last Supper has changed over time. Until the 15th century, artistic representations show a fish on the table, symbolizing the institution of the Eucharist. This would be substituted with a chalice and wafer.




By Tore Kjeilen