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Lessons from the Last Supper

by Connor McDaniel

There are many things that we can learn and that can be brought to our attention through art. For example,, I’d like to point out a few things from a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper. This was done by da Vinci as a fresco in a monastery, on the wall of the dining room, and while traveling to Milan, Italy, I had the opportunity to see it.

There are several interesting things about the painting in the people it depicts. Each of the Apostles have varying expressions. Some look angry, others forlorn, confusion and concern could also be in some of the faces. And for some reason, Peter is depicted holding a knife.

But the two most interesting figures to me are Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot, because of their stark contrast to the remaining 11 figures, most notably in their posture and expressions. Jesus is the only one sitting straight up, maybe to emphasize His uprightness, and His expression is one of sadness. It is almost as though He is sad that He has just delivered the news of His death to the apostles, and He is sad that instead of focusing on spending time with Him and understanding what it meant, in their shortsightedness they had chosen to bicker and whisper about who it was betraying Him. Judas is also distinct in that he is the only one actively leaning away from Jesus. What does this tell us about how it looks when we lean away from Jesus? How must that make Him feel? Every week we take the Lord’s Supper and we travel back to this night and the events that followed. Next time, try reading through one of the accounts in the Gospels, and imagine how Jesus felt- anxiety, fear, anticipation- and know that no matter how difficult it was for Jesus, looking at His betrayer at the table and being surrounded by people who didn’t understand, He still chose to suffer for me and you, and we should thank God for that sacrifice every day.