Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Some may think those fake Lords Supper pictures are funny, but here is the great work of art that is famous for many different reasons. I want to observe and appreciate it for how Leonardo da Vinci imagined this Last Supper to have looked like.

What are some things you notice about the picture?

First I notice da Vinci drew a table with people sitting around on chairs.  From what historians tell us, it is more likely that they sat around on cushions. If there was a table, it would have been much lower. So da Vinci's drawing may not be completely accurate.  But what else can we note from this drawing?

I notice the people look like they are enjoying their time together.

I notice a number of conversations going on around the table. I think 3 people are talking at the same time at the moment this picture captures.   Sort of like what happens naturally when a group that size gets together for a meal.

My eyes are drawn to the food. I like food. I wonder what these disciples are eating while they enjoy this meal together. It could be bread, fish and wine.  I don't know.  The portion sizes are smaller than what my family is used to for celebration dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But they are much larger than what is served when people pass the communion plate around on Sunday mornings.  It may be that in the days of da Vinci people were not as gluttonous as my family, and this is what a feast would look like for the average person.

I also notice they all look like men, except possibly the one to the left of Jesus.  I understand there is some controversy with this one. Is that a feminine looking John, or is that Mary Magdalene?

The records of Matt 26:17 - 30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-38, John 13:1-17  give us some information about this meal.

  • We know all 12 disciples were present.
  • The disciples argued here about which of them was greatest. They were likely jostling for positions to try to sit at the best seats during the meal, trying to sit close to Jesus.
  • In contrast it is also here that we see Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Teaching them again that the greatest in His kingdom are those who serve others.
  • We know they ate the Passover seder meal together, which likely included wine, unleavened bread, some specific herbs, fruits, nuts, vegitables, lamb and eggs. 
  • They sung a song together after eating, and then went to the Mount of Olives.

When we celebrate Jesus, and remember his words  "This is my body" and "this is my blood of the covenant" do you think it would be fitting to also:

  • enjoy a full meal together
  • enjoy having conversations around the table with many people
  • find ways to serve each other
  • possibly even sing together
Do you find anything missing from da Vinci's image of the Last Supper?

Do you find anything missing from tradition Sunday church's image of the Lord's Supper?

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1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

I think it's a great work of religious art, even though as you rightly say, it may be less accurate that actual scene may have looked.

This is pretty good, too:


It (the scene described in the sermon) also took place on the day before our Lord was crucified.

I think it is my all time favorite sermon.

Thanks, Jon.