Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 11:23-34
Suggested Emphasis: We take the Lord’s Supper each week as a memorial celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Memory Verse: Do this in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:24b, NIV
During the Passover meal Jesus gave new meaning to the unleavened bread and grape juice. He told the disciples that in the future they were to eat and drink it to remember the fact that he died for them.
Children are often curious about the Lord’s Supper. Many times children who do not usually attend church ask what it means. Isn’t it wonderful that God has left us with this wonderful teaching tool? This is a perfect time to help the children understand why we eat the supper and what it means.
(Luke 22:15) Jesus said that he “eagerly desired to eat this Passover” with his disciples before he ”suffered”. The Passover had been celebrated for generations but this one was the last one to remember the death passing over the houses whose doorframes were covered over with the blood of a slain lamb. Within hours Jesus, the true Passover Lamb, was to be slain (1 Corinthians 5:7). Because of Jesus’ death on the cross Death passes over those of us who have been covered by the Lamb’s blood.
Through Jesus, God eternally saves his people. Jesus wanted us to always remember this through a special meal. It is often referred to as the “Lord’s Supper”. “Do this in remembrance of me” 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.
Jesus used the special meal of remembrance to institute the Lord’s Supper. There was now new meaning to a lot of things. This supper represented the new covenant that had been prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The Jews had been living under the old covenant for hundreds of years. This old covenant would now pass and a new one would be in its place (Hebrews 8:8-13). Old animal sacrifices would pass away because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 10:1-10; 9:11-15).
There are several things to notice about the Lord’s Supper from 1 Corinthians 11:
It is a remembrance (verses 23-25). We remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We consider what this body and blood represent to us. We remember what it cost God to send his son for us.
It is a proclamation (verse 26). By taking the bread and cup we are saying that we are making Christ part of us. We take all of him. We say, “This body and blood was given for me.” The verse says that you proclaim his death “Whenever you eat this bread”. We want to proclaim it often. It was a practice of the early church to eat the Lord’s Supper together on the first day of the week, Sunday (Acts 20:7).
We take it in a manner that reflects its significance (verse 27). The supper should not be taken flippantly or selfishly. The Christians in Corinth were only thinking of themselves and getting their own way when they took the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:17-22).
We examine ourselves (verse 28). As we reflect on the blood of Jesus and the price that was paid for us we cannot help but look into our hearts and consider the way we lead our life.
We recognise our relationship to the rest of the body (verse 29). We not only reflect on our own salvation but also consider the brothers and sisters around us. The Lord’s Supper is more than just a moment between you and God. The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). We are members of that body and we have responsibilities to one another (Colossians 3:12-17).
- What happened before this story?
- What happens after this story?
- List of all Bible stories and themes on this website.
Way to Introduce the Story:
Before class collect a number of unrelated items (pencil, book, cup, CD, earring, etc.) and place them on a tray. Cover the tray and all of the items. Explain to the children that you are going to uncover the items and let them look for one minute. After one minute you will cover the items again. Tell them how many items there were on the tray. The children will then see how many of the items they can remember. “You have very good memories! How many of you remember what the story was about last week (the Last Supper). Today we are going to learn about something Jesus wants Christians to do every Sunday to remember him.”
Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover Meal together so they could remember a time many many years before when God saved his people from being slaves in Egypt. It helped them remember how that many Egyptians died on the Passover night. The only houses where no one died were the houses with lamb’s blood painted over their doors.
God helped his people. He told them about the lamb’s blood so that Death would “pass over” them. That is why it was called the “Passover Meal”. Because Death “passed over.”
This last Passover Meal was a very special one. It was the very last time they would eat the Passover Meal in the old way. Jesus wanted to tell the disciples about a new way. He knew that there was going to be a new kind of “Passover.” There was going to be a new “Lamb” and a new kind of “Lamb’s blood.”
Jesus was God’s son. But Jesus is also called the “Lamb of God”. Jesus knew that he was going to die on the cross in a few hours. He would shed his blood for the whole world. Because of Jesus’ blood, Death would pass over all Christians so that they will live forever. Instead of remembering the Passover lamb’s blood long ago in Egypt, Jesus wanted his disciples to always remember his blood. The blood of the “Lamb of God.”
During the Passover Meal Jesus picked up some of the flat, unleavened bread. He broke it and then said, “See this bread? This is my body. When you eat it I want you to remember my body and how the death of my body will save God’s people.”
A little later he took one of the cups of drink made from grapes. “See this cup and what is in it? This is my blood. Whenever you drink this I want you to remember my blood and how my blood will save God’s people.”
This was the new meaning of the bread and the wine. Every Sunday, when Christians eat the bread and drink the drink made from grapes, they remember the death of Jesus. They remember how his body died on the cross. They remember how his blood can save everyone.
The Lord’s Supper is a special way that Christians remember Jesus. Christians in the Bible ate it on Sundays when they gathered together.
People should not eat the Lord’s Supper in a silly way. When people are eating the Lord’s Supper they should think about Jesus and not other things. They should think about how he died on the cross and then came alive again.
When Christians eat the Lord’s Supper they should think about how Jesus wants them to be good. They should think about how they can be good to other people like Jesus was.
Next time you see Christians eating the Lord’s Supper you can think about Jesus too. It is good to grow and learn more and more about Jesus. Someday you will become a Christian and you will have this special way to remember Jesus too.
- In the Lord’s Supper, what do we remember when we eat the bread? The body of Christ
- In the Lord’s Supper, what do we remember when we drink the drink made from grapes? The blood of Christ
- What day of the week did Christians in the bible eat the Lord’s Supper? Sunday
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Show the children how the communion is prepared each week. You might even arrange for them to prepare it.
- Find out in advance who is leading at the Lord’s Table this week. Request that they speak from 1 Corinthians 11 this Sunday so that the children can understand. Ask them early in the week if they will come to your class and share some thoughts with the class about what they will be saying at the table. The children will really listen today during the Lord’s Supper.
- Allow the children a taste of grape juice from the communion cups and of the bread. Be sure to explain that we will taste of these things in class but we will not be taking the Lord’s Supper during worship. It is good for the children to know that this will be a very special thing they will do someday when they have been baptised. Then they will really understand what the blood of Jesus means in their life.
- Make communion bread by mixing dough from flour, olive oil and water. It might be messy but it would be fun to mash grapes and make grape juice.
- Look up songs in the church songbook that pertain to the Lord’s Supper.
- Make a scroll. Click here for instructions. Write this verse on it: ”Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24b, NIV. Decorate with pictures of communion bread and cups.
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring page of Jesus at the Last Supper by Standard Publishing (sermons4kids.com)
- Craft: Video (2 minutes and 30 seconds) How to draw grapes (simplekidscrafts.com)