Most people know the story of Christ’s Last Supper and the meal that He shared with His disciples, for the last time while on Earth, and most people know about certain details pertaining to what happened during that meal. However, there are different lessons of this event that many people never give any thought to including the story of the Last Supper and how it pertains to forgiveness and humility.
The story of the Last Supper is more than just a picnic or gathering of individuals that eat together but is a story about an invitation from Christ to receive a special gift. As we should do today, Christ gave thanks for the food that they were about to devour and then broke bread with His disciples. This was a pleasant moment but as the meal continued, Christ would reveal some important details about events that were to come including the betrayal: Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot” (John 13:26).
Think about the way humans react when we know someone has wronged us or is planning or scheming to do us wrong. Christ knew that Judas had bad intentions in his heart and scripture even tells us that Satan entered into the heart of Judas: “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2). Although Christ made the revelation that one of His disciples would betray Him, Christ still ate with them and even washed the feet of His disciples. These two examples show how humbled Christ was despite being a man in the flesh.
While this may seem a bit confusing, Christ was doing exactly what He preached while He was on this Earth: forgiveness. Christ says in John 13:16, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” We see here that Christ is saying that nobody is greater and that His disciples should not hold themselves above performing for each other. Although Christ was on Earth in the flesh and ate and spoke like any of us, He was not only teaching but He was practicing the word of God.
Christ was, by any comparison, humble although He was God and King of Kings (Revelation 17:14) and washing the feet of His disciples was just one example of Christ practicing humility and service to His disciples. Christ continues exemplifying humility and service to His disciples as He explains to them that He will soon be used as a sacrificial lamb for sin. John refers to Christ as the Lamb of God who has come to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29) which is ultimately why Christ came to Earth.
Therefore, the story of Christ at the Last Supper is not only a humbling experience for believers but it is also a reminder of Christ’s ultimate mission on Earth, salvation: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Christ did this not for glory but because He loved His creation and wanted to eternally save it and what a better way for Christ to save those below, though they continue to betray and deny Him, than to give His very blood for the new covenant between man and God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”–John 13:16