Yesterday at all three Vintage Faith Church worship gatherings, we started our new series called "Awaken". This is a series which is going to teach through some of the last days of Jesus before He was crucified and resurrected. We will be primarily walking through Matthew's account and Luke - and will be teaching through the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter's denial of Jesus, the cross, and the resurrection appearance of Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
Our church has a mix of people who have heard this story multiple times if they have grown up in a church as well as those who are hearing about it for the first time. But whatever it is, we want to try and catch people up into this incredible story of Jesus' last days. I was recently speaking at a conference with Ralph Winter who is the producer of all the X-Men movies and the Star Trek films and I had the great opportunity to learn from him about films and stories. He said something that stuck in my head (amongst many things) is that for the blockbuster movie The Titanic, people didn't go see that film wondering what was going to happen to the ship. We all knew the ship sinks before we go. But the film was powerful because it drew people into the story.
With "Easter" (and I explained the origin of that word and why the name of mythological goddess is used generally for Resurrection Sunday) – there is tremendous story of Jesus as He "awakened" His disciples (thus the name of the series) to what His story, purpose, who He really was and what their mission would be. So we intentionally are trying to teach this in a way of drawing them into the story – even though, the ending – the resurrection, is generally known.
So as I prepped and our teaching team met, it was thought what better way then to teach about the Last Supper, then to recreate it as we teach it. So we had the entire passage from Matthew read outloud by two people and then I asked for 13 people to come up on the stage and "recline" at the recreation of what a table and seating would have been for a Passover meal at that time. We went back to Exodus and taught about the original passover and Israel's rescue from Egypt and where the Passover meal originated.