THE LAST SUPPER
 ON Thursday the Feast of the Passover began.
It celebrated the birth of the Jewish nation.
The Jews had been slaves in Egypt, and on
that day, ages before, they had escaped. They
had been in a great hurry, for they knew not
at what moment the Egyptians might pursue
them, and there had been no time for them
to make bread. They had eaten supper, each
family in its own house, having a lamb for
meat. The blood of the lamb they had
sprinkled on the side-posts of the door, as a
sign to the avenging angel that Jews and not
Egyptians lived there, and the angel, seeing
the blood, had passed over their houses, but
in every house of the Egyptians there was
mourning that night. For bread, they mixed
together flour and water, and baked it without
yeast. This is what is called unleavened bread.
And when the anniversary of that escape came
round, centuries and centuries after, they kept
 it by sitting down to the same kind of
supper,—a lamb, and bread
unleavened,—remembering how God
had delivered their ancestors
out of Egyptian bondage. This they do even
to this day.
Jerusalem, then, was full of people; for the
lamb must first be offered in the temple, and
the supper must be eaten in the city. Every
house was filled with guests. In all the
markets men were buying lambs, in every
kitchen women were making ready to roast
them. Accordingly, that morning, the disciples
said to the Master, "Where do we go
to-day to eat the Passover? In whose house
shall we find a room and a table for our
feast?" But in the group stood Judas, listening.
To-day, for the first time, the Master
would stay in the city after dark; where would
he stay? There might the rulers send to take
him. There, in the night, when all the people
were sitting at their suppers, and nobody was
in the streets, he might be arrested without
noise or tumult. Where would he go?
But our Lord saw the face of Judas. A man
 who has such thoughts in his heart as Judas
had, can hardly help showing them in his eyes,
even if he does not reveal them with his lips.
As the weeks had passed since the day when
Jesus told the disciples that he would be put
to death, he had seen a change in Judas. Judas
had continued with the Twelve, but he had been
ill at ease. He had hoped once, as did they all,
that the King would appear in power. Indeed,
as we have seen, they still had that hope, even
as they drew near to Jerusalem on the last journey.
But the hope of Judas had grown less
and less. He had seen how our Lord's enemies
increased in number and in hatred. For a
moment, on the day of palms and psalms, he had
held up his head, thinking that the city would
receive its King. But the procession had been
a failure, and after that Judas expected nothing.
Then on Monday our Lord had driven
out the traders; and the Sadducees, as he knew
well, would not forgive that. It was plain to
Judas that all would soon be over. It was plain
also to Jesus that Judas had lost hope, and with
it had lost faith.
 And therefore the false apostle listened
eagerly to learn where the supper would be
eaten. But our Lord had arranged it so that
he should not know. Jesus turned to the two
disciples in whom he felt he could put perfect
trust and gave them his directions. "Go into
Jerusalem," he said, "and in the street as you
pass the gate you will see a man carrying a
pitcher of water. Follow that man, and when
he goes into a house, go in after him. Ask for
the master of the house, and say to him, 'The
Lord sends you this message: "Where is the
guest chamber where I shall eat the Passover
with my disciples?" ' And he shall show you a
large upper room furnished: then make ready."
Thus Judas was no wiser than before.
The two went, and there was the man with
the water pitcher; and as he turned about, they
followed: so they came to the house, and all
happened as the Master had arranged. There
was a large upper room, reached by an outside
stairway, and in it was a table, with couches
placed about it. Then Peter and John carried
a lamb to the Temple, that a priest might kill
 it, and brought it back to have it cooked, and
all things were made ready for the supper. The
sun set, and the evening came, and under cover
of the darkness our Lord and the others made
their way down the Mount of Olives, into the
city, to the upper room.
Now, as they took their places there was a
strife among them which of them should be
accounted the greatest; that is, they desired,
each of them, to sit beside the Master in the
place of honor. Peter said, "The place is
mine: I am the oldest." John said, "No, it
is mine: he likes me best." Our Lord seems
not to have settled the matter, putting one
above and one below. That was not his way.
He showed them how it was all wrong,—all
that contention as to which should fare better
than another. He rose from the table and laid
aside his cloak, and took a towel and tied it
about his waist. After that, he poured water
into a basin, and began to wash the disciples'
feet and to wipe them with the towel. For in
that country, where men wore sandals, it was
the custom for a servant to wash the feet of
guests who came in from the heat and dust.
Our Lord, then, looking into the faces of
the Twelve who had been disputing which
was the greatest, took the part of a servant.
Peter, indeed, protested, as no doubt they all
did. Peter said, "Lord, dost thou wash my
feet? Thou shalt never wash my feet!" But
our Lord insisted. He washed their feet, even
the feet of Judas. Then he said, as he put
his cloak about him, and took his place again,
"Do you know what I have done? I whom
you all call greatest have washed your feet,
like a servant. That is what the greatest
ought to do. He only is truly great who is
Then they went on with the Passover supper.
There was a roasted lamb upon the table,
and a dish of bitter herbs, like lettuce,
with vinegar in which to dip them, and cakes
of unleavened bread, round and flat. After
they had eaten, came a solemn conclusion of
the feast. A cup of wine was blessed and
passed about, and then the herbs were eaten,
each person dipping the leaves in the vinegar.
Here our Lord paused, and looking about on
the disciples said, "Verily, verily, I say unto
you, that one of you shall betray me." You
know, he meant, how I sit here in peril of my
life, how the rulers have passed a sentence
against me that I must die, and are watching
daily to take me. One of you, my friends,
shall deliver me into their hands. This he
said, with sorrow in his face. "The Scripture
must he fulfilled," he said, "where it is
written, 'He that eateth bread with me hath
lifted up his heel against me.' " And they
were exceeding sorrowful, and began every
one of them to say unto him, "Lord, is it I?
is it I?" To which our Lord replied, "He
that dippeth his hand with me in the dish,
the same shall betray me. One of you, my
friends, who at this moment is eating this
supper with me shall do this deed. The Son
of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe
unto that man by whom the Son of man is
betrayed! it had been good for that man if
he had not been born." Then Judas said in a
faint voice, "Is it I?" and John whispered,
 lying next to Jesus, "Lord, who is it?" and
the Lord dipped leaves in the vinegar and
gave them to Judas, saying, "What thou
doest, do quickly." But this he said in such a
way that no man at the table knew the meaning
of it. Some thought that Jesus was sending the
treasurer on some necessary errand. Judas,
however, knew. Up he started from the presence
of his Master, from the company of the
friends among whom he had lived so long and
intimately, and turned his back upon them
all, and went out into the night.
THE LAST SUPPER
Then, in the order of the feast, came the
blessing of a second cup, which was followed by
the recitation of the story of the escape from
Egypt, and by the singing of certain psalms,
from the one hundred and thirteenth to the
one hundred and fifteenth. And as he blessed
the cup, and gave thanks, and told them to
take it and divide it amongst themselves, he
said, "I say unto you that I will drink no
more of the fruit of the vine until that day
that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
And they began to understand that the end
 was near at hand and that this was the last
Then he took bread, and when he had given
thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples,
saying, "Take, eat: this is my body, which is
given for you: do this in remembrance of me."
And then the cup, with which the Passover
supper ended: and when he had given thanks,
he gave it to them, saying, "This is my blood
of the new testament, which is shed for you,
and for many, for the remission of sins: do
this, as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance
of me." He had told them that he was to die,
but now he added that he was to die for them
and for many. And he asked them to remember.
When you sit at the table together after
I am gone, break the bread as I am doing, and
pour the wine, and think of me; how my body
was broken and my blood was shed.
After that, he talked with them long and
tenderly, trying to show them how it was best
for them that he should go away, and telling
them that they must show their love for him
by doing the things which he had taught them.
"I see that you are very sorry," he said.
"Sorrow hath filled your heart. Indeed, the
hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall
be scattered every man to his own, and shall
leave me alone. Yet I will give you peace. Be
of good cheer. I have overcome the world."
Then he prayed with them, and when they had
sung another hymn—the psalms, from the
one hundred and fifteenth to the one hundred
and eighteenth—they went out into the
Mount of Olives.
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