Tomorrow, April 1, we will be commemorating the Last Supper— the last time Jesus Christ sat at a table with His Apostles and ate and drank before He was crucified. It is where He recited the lines we hear at every Holy Mass, “Do this in memory of me.”
In homilies, all we would often hear is that Jesus had offered wine and bread during the Last Supper. But did you know that some archaeologists have actually discovered that the Apostles and Jesus Christ ate more than just bread during this iconic event in Christian history? (Read: The 500-Year History of Catholicism in the Philippines)
According to archaeologist Generoso Urciuoli, Jesus Christ and the 12 Apostles served actual food for the Last Supper and ‘feasted’ on it before His Crucifixion. Nonetheless, they were most likely limited by the traditions and food bans written in the Torah— a religious text on the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
“The starting point is the assumption that Jesus was a Jew. He and his disciples observed the traditions transmitted by the Torah and its food-related bans,” Urciuoli said.
So if they followed the scriptures, what did they eat for the Last Supper? Urciuoli based their findings on their knowledge about early Palestinian dining traditions!
Jesus’s Last Supper: Lamb
Lamb was one of the most common meats used during Jesus’s time which is why it’s no surprise that they would serve it for His last meal. (Read: 3 Ways to Observe Holy Week While on Lockdown)
Jesus’s Last Supper: Unleavened Bread
This is most likely what Jesus offered as a symbol of His body. This bread is what we now use to commemorate Him during Mass. And until now, churches use only unleavened bread as the host. (Read: How Exactly Is the Holy Eucharist Made?)
Jesus’s Last Supper: Aromatized Wine
As for Jesus’s blood, the aromatized wine served as the tangible representation. The wine was a huge thing back in the day, as it only had to use fruit that was already available in the land. (Read: 3 Alcoholic Beverages With Catholic Origins)
Jesus’s Last Supper: Dates
Selling grains, produce, and crops were the main sources of income for people in Jerusalem. According to the Bible, you would see vendors on the streets almost everywhere you go. Maybe that’s why there were dates on the table during the Last Supper— it was a common thing to buy and serve.
Jesus’s Last Supper: Bean Stew
A bean stew is a soup dish that has beans as its main ingredient. Other grains and crops may be added, depending on the available ingredients.