For Passover, a major feast celebrating the release of the Jews from Egyptian slavery, Jesus and his 12 disciples gathered in the house of one of his followers to have supper together.
During this Passover meal Jesus spoke the words that are the foundation for the Catholic and Orthodox sacrament of the
According to the account in Matthew's Gospel, Moses had received the Old Law from God but Jesus proclaims the New Law as God. In Matthew's Gospel Jesus speaks as a lawgiver, not as a receiver of the law—that is, he speaks with divine authority.
You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, "You shall not murder"; and "Whoever murders shall be liable to judgment." But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, "You fool,"you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Eucharist. "While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28) It was also during the Passover meal that Jesus revealed that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples.
Wall painting of the Last Supper. It was during this meal that Jesus taught his disciples an important lesson. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, saying to them, "Now I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done. Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master; nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them." —John 13:15-16
During the Passover meal Jesus revealed that he would be betrayed by one of his disciples: "Truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." (Matthew 26:21) Judas left the room. Jesus' departing words as they left the supper were:
Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, "Where I am going, you cannot come." I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know thatyou are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
A Russian icon of Jesus being taken down from the cross by his followers. The Gospels report the main witnesses at the Crucifixion: "Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee."—Matthew 27:55-56, Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49
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