Easter season is upon us and it’s a time when we Christians celebrate the time Jesus rose from the dead. Throughout the year we also have communion to remember the last supper Jesus had with his twelve disciples before he was betrayed and died on the cross. Before he died he wanted to have a last meal with his closest friends, the twelve disciples.
The scripture tells us that on the night Jesus was betrayed he took bread “broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”
(1 Corinthians 11:24-5 NKJV) Today in my church for communion we use cracker bread and tiny cups of grape juice.
Leonardo da Vinci captured in his magnificent painting called, “The Last Supper,” the moment Jesus told the men, “one of you will betray me.” The shock, the grief…the different expressions on the faces of the disciples told the story of each man as they reacted to horrific words from their friend and Savior.
On a trip ten years ago my husband and I visited the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, northern Italy where da’Vinci painted in the 1490s, The Last Supper. Painted on a wall in the refectory, somehow the huge mural survived the bombings during the wars and men who deliberately damaged Leonardo’s work when the room in 1796 was used by the French for an armory. Over time the painting succumbed to mold and flaking. In later years, careful work has restored much of its original beauty.
When we were ushered into the climate controlled room, awe overwhelmed me. Here was I, a little homemaker from Arizona, looking up at one of the most famous paintings of the world and I could see, thanks to a designer’s touch, the love on the face of Jesus and the shock on the face of each disciple. Tears filled my eyes as we were ushered out of the room. Many visitors awaited their chance to see da Vinci’s ancient masterpiece.
I remember, even as a child, my pastor Dad serving communion and quoting from scripture Jesus’ words. And I think about the “last supper” I had with my dad before he passed away in 1994. We had been to his surgeon’s office where plans were made to remove an abdominal tumor. All seemed well and we were assured that it was a simple surgery and things looked good. When he drove the car to the nearest Dairy Queen in Cottonwood, Arizona, my dad laughed and said, “Let’s have a root beer float.” All my childhood this was my dad’s favorite activity, surprise his kids with an ice cream goodie.
Yes, it was our last ice cream together since dad suffered a heart attack after his surgery and was gone in a week. Right now in my heart there’s no grief only a warm memory of all the years of a faith-filled dad and his love for my mother, my brothers and me…and root beer floats. (My dad’s photo is below.)
I pray that you also have sweet memories that shine through your tears of grief in the loss of a loved one or beloved friend. Treasure those family dinners, the crazy office parties, and church potlucks. In spite of all the “not so good times,” the people you know are giving you memories to share long after they, or you, are gone. Easter is a good time to remember.