We are going to find Jesus and his disciples who are gathered for the feast of Passover. Everything is ready and it smells like roast lamb. But do you know why the Jews have a Passover feast? We are far from the chickens and chocolate bunnies you know. You might not know, so I’ll tell you. In Moses’ days, the Hebrew were slaves in Egypt. God got them out of this land of misfortune. He led them to a land of freedom. He saved them from death but before leaving, they had to kill a lamb and put its blood on the frame of the door of their house. This blood was a sign of protection. Since then, each year Jews celebrate their exit from Egypt and their departure to the Promised Land, to a new life. Passover is a feast in honor of God. A lamb is put to death. They cook it and they eat it with the family. This is a chance to remember how God saved them. And now, let’s see how Jesus and his disciples are going to celebrate this Passover.

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Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. He goes back to the table with them and they eat roast lamb. He says to them: – This is the last time we’re together. In a few moments my enemies will come. They are going to grab me and kill me. One of you is going to betray me. He is going to deliver me into their hands. The disciples look at each other in amazement. – But that is not possible? They say to themselves. Who could do such a thing? Who would dare to betray the Lord? They are in deep sadness. John is seated very close to Jesus. Peter signals him to ask who is the one Jesus is speaking about. John leans towards Jesus. He asks Him gently: – Lord, who is it? Jesus answers him in a low voice: – I’m going to dip this piece of bread into the sauce. The one I will give it to, that’s him. He soaks the piece of bread and hands it to Judas, who takes it and eats it. At this moment, Judas’s face hardens, he is nervous, he gives a frown, his teeth are clenched. He could still abandon his project and ask forgiveness from Jesus, but no! he thinks about the thirty coins of silver he will receive in return for his betrayal. – Am I the one who will betray you? He asks insolently. – Yes! It’s you! Jesus answers him. He jumps up and disappears into the night. The others wonder. – Where can Judas go? Is he going to buy something that we need for the celebration? Or did Jesus ask him to go and give money to the poor? The dinner continues. They are no longer twelve but eleven; the traitor is gone. Jesus takes bread. He gives thanks to thank God, then he gives it to them. – Take some! He says to them, this bread represents my body which is going to be broken, broken for you. He takes a cup of wine. He gives thanks and gives it to them. – Drink it all! He tells them. This wine represents my blood that will be shed for you, for the forgiveness of your sins, of your disobediences, to save you. This is the last time that I have eaten bread and drunken wine with you, but you will do it in remembrance of me, and one day we will all be reunited again in the kingdom of God. It will bea big feast. We will all rejoice together. The disciples eat their piece of bread and drink the wine, but the words of Jesus keep spinning in their heads. – Since Moses, it has always been an animal, a lamb that is put to death and Jesus has just said he is the lamb is. It is He who will give his life for the salvation of men. They are in great sadness. Jesus says to them again: – Tonight, my enemies will come and take me and you will all abandon me. – Certainly not! They cry. We will never forsake you. – Even if everyone abandons you, exclaims Peter, me! I will never leave you! I am ready to die for you! – Peter! Jesus says to him. This very night, on three occasions, you will say that you do not know me. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will have denied knowing me three times. The disciples are distraught. Jesus encourages them. – My children! Believe in God and believe in me. Take heart, don’t despair. I’m leaving you my peace. I will prepare a place for you in heaven. Do like each other. You will be troubled and in sadness but soon your sadness will be changed to joy. He prays for them. They sing hymns and they go to the Garden of Gethsemane. It is in this garden that we will find them in our next talk

1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! I believe the disciples remembered this meal all their lives. Jesus announced things they couldn’t imagine. Of course, they didn’t get it all but they were warned of what was to come, and later they understood. He told them there will never again be a need to kill lambs because He is the Lamb of God. He is the one who will give his life. Why does He do it? Do you know? So that men can be forgiven, saved; so that you and I can go to heaven and not be punished and go to hell. He requested that his disciples share the bread and wine when they come together so as never to forget what He did. This is what Christians still do today everywhere in the world. You may have attended a service and you have seen Christians take the Holy Last Supper. They eat a piece of bread and drink a little wine. They remember that Jesus gave his life to save them. They thank him with all their heart for having loved them so much.

4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! I suggest that you reread with your children chapter 13 of the Gospel of John and answer their questions. Depending on their age, you can also re-read chapter 12 of the book of Exodus, you will find the Hebrews, Moses and the institution of the first Passover. In the Old Testament, God announced the coming of Jesus and his sacrifice. If you listen again to our programs n ° 7, 8, 13 and 18, you will find passages where reference is made to the Lamb of God