Tagged: Sacrament

Was the Last Supper a Jewish Passover?

I wonder why it is important that the Last Supper be a Jewish Passover or that a passover lamb be present in the meal?

Here is my reasoning.

First, to me, St. John explicitly states that it is not a Jewish Passover.   He says:

John 13

1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.  2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

This is a reference to the Last Supper, is it not? Therefore, the Last Supper is not a Jewish Passover. And for us to cling to this idea seems illogical since it is not necessary in order to confirm Catholic Doctrine and in order to prove that it is so, we must force our interpretation on the text of Scripture.  Besides, it is easier to harmonize the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper without this idea since the Synoptics are not explicit about the matter, either way.

I don’t mean to say that the Last Supper is not a Passover. Because Scripture also says:

Luke 22:15

15And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

But Jesus frequently said things which had double meaning. And I believe that Jesus was here referring to the first Christian Passover. The first Mass.  That is the Passover which He desired to eat with the Apostles.

Nor am I saying that a lamb or some other meat dish was not there being eaten. But it need not be a lamb killed to celebrate the Jewish Passover. The bottom line is that Jesus established the first Christian Passover, what we call the Mass, during the Last Supper when He said:

Matthew 26:

26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

And thus fulfilled the words of St. John 6:

John 6:51

King James Version (KJV)

51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

What does the Bible say about the Eucharist?

First of all, what is the Eucharist?
The Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Bread and Wine which are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The word, “eucharist” comes from the Greek word, “eucharistia” which means “thanksgiving”.
The reason that this word has come to represent the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is because in Luke 22:17, it is recorded that in the Last Supper, when Jesus established this Sacrament,  “…He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves”.
And likewise in Luke 22:19, “He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
The underlying word for “gave thanks” is “eucharistia.
It is used in the same way by St. Paul in 1 Cor 11:24.

1 Corinthians 11:24

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.