Jesus knew death was coming soon. He wanted to spend his last moments with his disciples. The best way according to Jesus would be to share a last meal with them.
Most of us are familiar with the picture of the last supper. We see Jesus seated at a table with 12 of his disciples sharing a meal.
Today the legacy of the Last Supper continues during the celebration of daily Mass.
The room of the last supper is located at Mount Zion in Jerusalem and is known as the Upper Room or ‘Cenacle’ in Latin. The building containing this room is built on the site where the last supper took place.
The first floor houses the Upper Room which is sacred to the Christians and the lower level is the traditional burial site of King David which is sacred to the Jews.
Seen in the picture below is the entry to King David’s tomb, followed by his statue which stands in the courtyard. Also seen are the Jewish faithful praying before the tomb.
The building has been occupied by Jews, Christians and Muslims over the centuries. Historians have found it difficult to establish a chronology of the occupations.
The building was last occupied by Muslims and the room was converted into a mosque.
The Room is bare and has no furnishings, but has Gothic style pillars. The ceiling arches into a dome. Remnants of the mosque are clearly visible when we enter the room.
Stained glass windows with Arabic inscriptions are found on the walls. An ornate alcove known as the mirab faces the direction of Mecca. Plaques adorn the walls with Islamic inscriptions.
A bronze replica of an olive tree is also seen in the room. This tree was gifted by Pope John Paul II.
The tree symbolizes peace between the three religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There is also a grape vine and wheat shaft representing wine and bread eaten by Jesus and his disciples during the Last Supper.
One of the columns has pelicans sculpted on it. There is mother Pelican bleeding and two baby pelicans feeding on the flesh and blood. This is a symbolic representation of the ultimate sacrifice.
This sculpture represents Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of humanity, and so saving the human race.
Sweeping views of the old city of Jerusalem can be seen just outside of the Upper Room area.
The Room of the Last Supper continues to be one of the most visited sites by pilgrims during their visit to the Holy-land.
The Last Supper room is a gateway to other sites associated with the death of Jesus.
The events after the Last Supper will follow in my next post.
For some more stories about my visit to the Holy Land read – HOLYLAND