bread photo by melystu, text by me
Tonight after dinner, the kids and I snuggled on the couch to read the next section of Jesus’ life. We picked up right after Mary’s story and read about Jesus and his disciples celebrating the Passover together (Matthew 26, Mark 14 and Luke 22). We read Matthew and Mark directly from the Bible–that’s very important to me. I want my kids to be familiar with a real Bible even when they are too young to read it.
As we read, they picked up on lots of different senses–Judas’ money (touch) and dirty feet (smell) and the dinner with bread and wine (taste). I wish we had enough time (and energy) to do every bit of the story, but tonight we focused on the bread. Jesus is eating the Passover meal with his disciples and takes the bread breaks it and says,
“This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
We talked about how Jesus’ body would be broken and given for us when he was crucified. We also talked about when Jesus said he was the Bread of Life.
Then, I went even further and pulled out a Passover Seder book. It’s something I picked up at a bookstore for like $2. It’s about a modern day Jewish family who celebrate Passover–it honestly doesn’t even say anything about God. But it introduces all the food and the traditions of the day. So, we looked through that book and remembered the Israelite’s deliverance from slavery. This led us to the unleavened bread God commanded them to make which led us to Matzo bread.
It was quite the journey of a conversation!
What I really wanted to do was make matzo bread and have the kids eat it, knowing that Jesus probably ate something similar at the Last Supper and that it was a symbol of His sacrifice for us.
We make our own bread anyway, so I thought I could do it. I followed a recipe. Alas, it did not come out well.
So, we chucked the matzo dough and pulled out some bread Lydia made the day before. I softened some butter while the kids poked holes in the bread (they really wanted it to look like matzo bread!). Then we sat down on the rug and ate the bread together. We talked about the Last Supper, about breaking the bread and drinking the wine.
Then, because I felt like the “experience” I wanted to have hadn’t happened, we stopped and prayed thanking Jesus for giving his body up for us.
To wrap it all up, we read the story of the Last Supper in the The Jesus Storybook Bible (seriously, if you don’t have this book yet–BUY IT NOW!) and I just love it. She cleans up all the crazy stuff I tried to tell the kids into a nice neat package,
“‘My body is like this bread. It will break,’ Jesus told them. “This cup of wine is like my blood. It will pour out.”
“But this is how God will rescue the whole world. My life will break and God’s broken world will mend. My heart will tear apart–and your hearts will heal. Just as the passover lamb died, so now I will die instead of you. My blood will wash away all of your sins. And you’ll be clean on the inside–in your hearts.”
Emphasis mine. Because wow, that’s so good!
:: :: ::
My suggestion for a better Bread activity…
I’d buy a fancy loaf of bread from a bakery. (Or bake some if you do that!) You can heat it up in the oven, cut it up (or let the kids tear off big pieces–you know, break it!) and sit around the table eating the bread and tasting what Jesus and his disciples tasted that night.
If your kids are younger, you can simply mention the Scripture above and eat the bread. You don’t have to go through the long trail I went through with the Passover and Bread of Life and all of that. However, I do think it’s important. The symbolism God set up in the Old Testament times is just amazing. I want to communicate that to my kids. But don’t get overwhelmed with details!
If your kids are older and your church-tradition is ok with it–you could even do a family communion time. If my husband had been home and Asa was a few years older, I think we would have done that. Lydia really got the symbolism and would have been serious had we done it together at home.
Want more Sense of the Resurrection? Download the ebook now!
bread photo by melystu text by me