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The Last Supper and the Lord's Supper

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


The Last Supper and the Lord's Supper are two different events. The only things the two have in common are the elements of bread and wine.

In order to understand the differences between the Last Supper and the Lord's Supper is to remember what happened on the night Jesus was betrayed and arrested.

It was during the Passover that Jesus shared a meal with His disciples for the last time before He was arrested. Since this was the last in a series of meals He shared with them during His ministry before His crucifixion, it is known as the Last Supper.

The last meal that Jesus shared with His disciples before His death is described in all four of the Gospels in the New Testament.

  1. Matthew 26:17–30
  2. Mark 14:12–26
  3. Luke 22:7–39
  4. John 13:1–17:26
Leonardo da Vinci's Painting of the Last Supper before Jesus' death

Leonardo da Vinci's Painting of the Last Supper before Jesus' death

The Last Supper

The Last Supper is the final meal that Jesus shared with His disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem before His crucifixion. When teaching this concept, we should always say, "before His crucifixion" or "before His death" because it was not His last meal with His disciples. After Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, He did eat other meals with His disciples.

Jesus' Meals After the Last Supper

Jesus ate and drank several meals after His resurrection.

Meal with two disciples in Emmaus

After Jesus' resurrection, he walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus who did not recognize Him (Luke 24:13–32). After the disciples reached home, they invited Jesus to stay and eat with them. They recognized Him when He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them (Luke 24:30–31).

Broiled fish and honeycomb in the upper room with disciples

After Jesus left the two disciples in Emmaus, He went to His other disciples in the upper room in Jesus and stood in the middle of them. They were terrified because they thought He was a spirit. Jesus said, "Peace be to you." He showed them His hands and His feet and asked for something to eat to prove it was Him and not a ghost. They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and a piece of a honeycomb. Jesus took it and ate before them.

Fish and bread on the beach with fishermen

After Jesus left His disciples to return to His Father, the disciples went back to their jobs. Most of them were fishermen. When they had fished all night and caught nothing, they cleaned their nets.

Then they saw a man standing on the shore. The disciples thought the man was a ghost. Then the man told them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The man's advice worked because they caught 153 fish. That was more than they had ever caught at one time. The man who gave them that advice was the risen Lord. Then Jesus prepared a fish meal for them, and they ate fish and bread together on the beach (John 21:1-14).

These examples prove that the Last Supper was not His last meal. It was His last meal before His death on the cross.

The Lord's Supper

On the same night in which Jesus was betrayed, Jesus not only shared the Last Supper with His disciples before His death, but He also instituted it as a sacred meal to be continued after His death. That meal is known as the Lord’s Supper. That is the meal we take part in during our corporate worship.

It is a sacrament through which Jesus continues to have table fellowship and communion with the saints by his Spirit. Christians have been taking part in that church ordinance since Jesus said to do it often in remembrance of Him.

Jesus commanded the community of saints to eat the bread and drink the cup as a regular part of public worship until He returns, according to 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.

Other Names for the Lord's Supper

  • Holy Communion
  • Eucharist (Catholic)
  • The Lord's Table
  • Breaking Bread Together
The Last SupperThe Lord's Supper

Shared on the night of Jesus' arrest

Institiuted on the night of Jesus' arrest

Before Jesus' crucifixion

Sacrament to be continued after Jesus' death

Only Jesus and His 12 disciples took part in this event

Community of all saints everywhere without being physically present

in upper room in Jerusalem

all over the world

last (only once)

continues until Jesus returns

Bread and wine

Bread and wine (or grape juice)

Jesus was physically presence with His 12 disciples.

Jesus is not present in human form. He is present through His Spirit

Only 12 disciples were present with Jesus.

All believers connect through the eating of bread and drinking of wine together.

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