Story for home. Use this story as part of a God-time at home, or as a bedtime story. It can also be used alongside this month’s Together sessions. If you have some bread and some red-coloured juice, why not act out what Jesus does and share the food out with your family?
It’s the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, when everyone leaves yeast out of their food and takes it out of their houses. And it’s the day when a lamb is killed as a sacrifice for the Passover – that special day when God’s people celebrate the way he delivered them from slavery.
And it’s on that day that Jesus’ disciples ask him where he would like to celebrate the Passover.
And his answer? It’s more than a little mysterious.
“Go into Jerusalem,” Jesus tells them, “and you will be met by a man with a water jar. Go where he goes. And when he goes into a house, follow him and say to the man who runs that house, ‘Our Teacher wants you to show us the guest room where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’”
“He will take you to a big, furnished upstairs room. A room ready for a feast. Prepare the meal there.”
So Jesus’ disciples follow his instructions. And, sure enough, they find the man with the water jar and the man who runs the house and the big upstairs room. And that’s where they prepare the Passover meal.
When evening arrives, they all go into the room – Jesus and his twelve disciples. They lay down at the table, propped up on one elbow, because that’s how people ate in those days. And as they are eating, Jesus sighs and says: “One of you, eating with me at this table, will betray me. It’s sad, but it’s true.”
The disciples are sad, too. And, one by one, they ask Jesus: “Is it me? Is it me?”
“I have already been betrayed,” Jesus tells them. And that’s answer enough. For if they haven’t done it, they know!
And then he adds: “It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
The meal carries on. Everyone is quiet now. Chewing slowly. Chewing sadly.
And that’s when Jesus picks up some bread. He asks God’s blessing on it. He breaks it into pieces. And as he passes it round, he says: “Take this. It’s my body.”
Then he takes a cup of wine. He asks God’s blessing on that too. Everyone drinks from that cup. Then Jesus says:
“This is my blood. It’s the promise of that special relationship that God is establishing, and it’s poured out for many!
“Again, I’m telling you the truth. I will not drink wine again until I drink it new in God’s kingdom.”
Then they sing a hymn together, and walk out to the Mount of Olives.