Section B – Foundations of Religion – Christianity: Sample Answer

Hello third years

I hope you have been looking at Chapters 5 – 9 in great detail. The Foundations of Religion –  Christianity (B) is a huge area on the Junior Cert Exam. Keep revising all notes and chapters in this section of the course. Know it inside out. Keep looking at the past exam questions – attempt one or two of them if you have time – (try to make time, please).

Here is a sample answer from an essay type question from 2008. Please re-write this answer into your past papers book. Look at how the answer is divided into logical paragraphs and how the specific question is directly answered.

Best of luck everyone!! See you back at school on Monday – bright and early.

2008 Section 5 Question 2

Examine the way in which Jesus celebrated the Last Supper as both a Passover Meal and Eucharist.

The Last Supper was the last meal that Jesus shared with his apostles before he died. Jesus and his apostles were in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Therefore, the meal they had was in fact a Passover meal. The word Eucharist means ‘thanksgiving’. I will show that this was an important aspect of the Last Supper.

The Passover meal is a celebration of freedom from slavery in Egypt. The Angel of Death ‘passed over’ the houses of the Israelites and spared them. At the Passover a lamb is sacrificed to symbolise the Israelites’ freedom. At the Last Supper, Jesus is the new lamb that is sacrificed. Jesus sacrifices his life for us to be freed from our sins. Jesus is often called the Lamb of God.

Furthermore, the Passover meal is a memorial. The Jews remember the events of their slavery. In the Last Supper, Jesus asks his disciples to carry out the same actions as a memorial of him.

Also, the words and actions used by Jesus at the Last Supper are similar to the words and actions of the Passover meal. At the Passover meal, Jews eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Jesus shared bread with his disciples too – but he gave this bread a new meaning. At the Passover meal, Jews bless the bread and a cup of wine. Jesus took the bread and wine and blessed them, making a new covenant with his blood.

Both meals have sacrifice, memory and the blessing of bread and wine.

This Last Supper/Passover meal celebrated by Jesus later became known as Eucharist to Christians. Eucharist means ‘thanksgiving’ and Jesus gave thanks for what he had received and asked for God’s blessing. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that the first Christians gathered in one another’s houses for the ‘Breaking of the Bread’ or Eucharist. The first Christians repeated the words and actions of Jesus by blessing, sharing and giving thanks for the bread and wine. Every Eucharist is a memorial of the Last Supper because every Eucharist makes the life, death and resurrection of Jesus real for us again.