As people began to turn against Jesus, He journeyed toward Jerusalem where He knew He would be arrested and crucified. Jesus continued to tell people that they needed to repent, and He prepared His true followers for His death. In Unit 25, kids will study the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
Session 3 presents the story “The Last Supper” from John 13:1-15; Matthew 26:26-30. Jesus knew it was time for Him to die. He sat down with His disciples for the Passover meal and did something very unusual. Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. This humble act was usually reserved for a servant. The footwashing symbolized a spiritual cleansing. The disciples were already positionally “clean” before God (see John 13:10) but even redeemed people still sin and need daily cleansing. (See 1 John 1:9.) In this, Jesus also set forth an example of love and humility for His disciples to mirror in their own actions toward one another. (John 13:15)
As they ate the Passover meal, Jesus broke bread and gave it to His disciples. He shared the cup with them too, explaining that the bread and cup represented His body and blood. Jesus established a new covenant.
In the Old Testament, God made a covenant, or promise, with His people. He gave them commandments to follow so they could live in right relationship with Him. But God’s people broke the covenant. They didn’t obey God, and they didn’t love Him. By dying on the cross, Jesus brought forgiveness and made the way for people to know and love God again.
Jesus and the disciples ate the first Lord’s Supper at Passover, a time when God’s people remembered how God had rescued His people from the Egyptians—passing over the houses marked with the blood of a lamb. Jesus instituted a new memorial, to Himself—the Lamb of God whose blood would bring salvation to the world.
Believers take the Lord’s Supper to remember what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection. We remember God’s faithfulness, and we look forward to the day He will return.
Not all the kids you teach will be ready to take the Lord’s Supper at church. Gently explain that the Lord’s Supper, like baptism, is an ordinance of the church and is a celebration for those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus for salvation.
What does this story teach us about ourselves? Why do you think we need to be reminded of what Jesus has done? Leave a comment below.
Here is more help for leaders preparing for the September 17, 2017 session (Unit 25, Session 3) of The Gospel Project for Kids.
Alyssa Jones has been a content editor for The Gospel Project for Kids since 2011. She lives with her husband, Nate, and their two kids in Nashville, TN. Alyssa volunteers with the kids’ ministry at Refuge Church, a church plant in Franklin, TN.