May 27, 2012 – The Upper Room

“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it’” (Lk. 22:7-8). The location of that Passover meal was in a guest room that was further identified as a large upper room (Lk. 22:11-12). Jesus had knowledge of two facts when he entered the upper room. First, he knew that his death was near. He said, “My time is at hand” (Mt. 26:18). His hour to depart from the world was near (Jn. 13:1). During the supper, as he spoke to his disciples, he used phrases such as “my body” and “my blood” (Mt. 26:26, 28). Second, Jesus knew that he loved his disciples. John wrote about Jesus’ knowledge of these two facts. He wrote, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1).
“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it’” (Lk. 22:7-8). The location of that Passover meal was in a guest room that was further identified as a large upper room (Lk. 22:11-12). Jesus had knowledge of two facts when he entered the upper room. First, he knew that his death was near. He said, “My time is at hand” (Mt. 26:18). His hour to depart from the world was near (Jn. 13:1). During the supper, as he spoke to his disciples, he used phrases such as “my body” and “my blood” (Mt. 26:26, 28). Second, Jesus knew that he loved his disciples. John wrote about Jesus’ knowledge of these two facts. He wrote, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn. 13:1).
Jesus continued to teach his disciples in the upper room even though the cross was just a few hours away. Love dominated his final words to them. He taught them to love one another. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:34, 35). Jesus’ love for his disciples went further than simply expressing touching words to them. He demonstrated his love by serving them. John wrote, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (Jn. 13:3-5). Can you picture that? The cross was just a few hours away and the Son of God was on the floor of an upper room serving others.
Does Jesus love me? The cross answers that question. Does Jesus want me to love and serve others? His instructions and example from the upper room provide the answer. Do I love Jesus? Let him answer from the upper room. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15). Jay Taylor