Lent, Day 36 (Last Supper)

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

—Matthew 26:26–28 (cf. Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:17–20)

The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

—1 Corinthians 11:23b–26

LOOK: The Last Supper III by Bruce Onobrakpeya

Onobrakpeya, Bruce_Last Supper III
Bruce Onobrakpeya (Nigerian, 1932–), The Last Supper III. Lino engraving on rice paper, 58 × 62 3/4 in. (147 × 195 cm). Edition 1/15.

A pioneer of modern African art, Bruce Onobrakpeya is an internationally renowned Nigerian printmaker, painter, and sculptor of Urhobo heritage. He was raised Christian and has fulfilled several commissions on Christian themes, especially from 1967 to 1981. (I wrote about his Stations of the Cross series of colored linocut prints on my old blog.) His work also explores Urhobo traditional religion, culture, and history and the modern world of Nigeria.

In Onobrakpeya’s Last Supper III, Jesus sits at the head of an oblong table with his twelve disciples, making eye contact with the viewer. The food and drink are highly stylized, but the men appear to be breaking bread. The background features the Ibiebe alphabet, a script of ideographic geometric and curvilinear glyphs that Onobrakpeya developed.

LISTEN: “Take, Eat” by Josh Garrels, on Chrysaline (2019)

Take, eat
This is my body
Broken for your healing
This is my blood
Shed for remission
And forgiveness of your sin

Do this to remember what I’ve done for you
Do this to remember me

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