The Upper Room
Some aspects of our trip to Israel impacted me greatly and this is one of them – the Upper Room. Obviously when Jesus and His disciples met in the Upper Room it was not a Gothic church building, but the top of a house. As with all sites in Israel, they can only guess about where the the Upper Room was really located. But so much worship has gone on in this particular site there is a holiness about the Upper Room.
Again, God showed His hand for our group. We did not have another group in the room with us and we had plenty of time to worship. Pastor Don brought communion for us to share and God touched each of us profoundly.
We first hear about upper room when Jesus held his final Passover Meal with His disciples. He had his disciples prepare the room and the meal. We can read about this in Mark 14:12-26, Matthew 26:17-29 and Luke 22:7-23; and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 talks about the Lord’s Supper. It is here Jesus will tell the disciples that one of the 12 will betray Him. Where Jesus showed His disciples true servanthood by washing the disciples’ feet, including Judas’ who would betray Him. He drinks the three cups of wine but leaves the last cup to share with His disciples when we drink it in the kingdom of God. Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn and then went out to the Mt. of Olives to pray, and all the while Jesus knew what would occur shortly – his betrayal, trial, beatings, death on the cross, and then the joyous resurrection.
Here we are walking towards the Upper Room.
Around us were doorways for various synagogues, for teaching of children and adults. We could hear the sounds of Hebrew prayers and teaching going on. I imagine that, when the disciples found their way to the Upper Room, many of the same sounds of worship were going on because the people would have been preparing themselves for Passover.
We gathered and looked around the room that the church built over the spot, and there was a holiness about the site that was refreshing. Pastor Don spent a few moments talking about the Upper Room and what occurred there. I want to share one passage with you that touches my heart whenever I read it.
Luke 22:7-13 is the disciples preparing the room according to Jesus’ instructions. Meeting a person and following them to the right spot.
Luke 22:14-15When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
(Heather’s note: Can you imagine???? He knows He is going to suffer and die, going to the cross for our sins, and yet He fervently wanted to eat the Passover (symbol of what He is about to do) with his disciples who are all too human. I cry when I think of the love He showed them during this meal. I imagine Jesus was papa in the meal and John would have asked the questions.)
Luke 22:16 “For I say to you, I will no loner eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
(Heather’s note: Oh my, the wedding feast of the Lamb, we will share a meal with Jesus, only this time it will be celebration.)
Luke 22:17-18 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
(Heather’s comment: We need to remember the sacrifice Jesus did for us, by His stripes we are healed. Communion, when taken completely – the bread and wine (juice) – body and blood offers healing-mind, body and Spirit. He gave fully of Himself for us, and we remember all He did through the act of communion. Pastor Don brought the elements of communion for the Upper Room. We did not have cups so used our hand to drink from. Judas did not share communion with Jesus and the disciples for Jesus sent him to do what he had to do-betray Jesus.)
Pastor Don pouring out the juice into our hands. We also had unleavened bread to share.
(Heather’s comment: What always touches my heart is, while Jesus knew what was going to be happening, his disciples – all too humanly – started debating about who among them should be the greatest. We still do that with our legalistic beliefs, our traditions, debating who has the one and only true doctrine, etc. Jesus tells his disciples, Luke 22:25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
I pray to be one who serves and in these last days, to stay true to God, even in the face of what seems to be challenges for believers.)
Then Pastor Don told us to spend some time praying and thinking about Jesus and His sacrifice. Julie went around snapping worship pictures. I thought I would share the few that she shared with me.
This time was so blessed for us – we left the room quietly and I know that God touched the hearts of us all.
Hoping your day is blessed.
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