“Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.'”
Then He said, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there” (Luke 22:7-12).
This beautiful building was built over the original Upper Room where Jesus enjoyed His last meal with His friends, where He washed their feet and prophesied about who would betray Him and who would deny Him. It was built hundreds of years after Jesus during the time of the Crusaders. It’s hard to imagine the original guest room where Jesus lounged at a low table with the disciples, but that room is actually several layers of earth below this room.
Sometimes when I read this story in the Bible my eyes quickly go over the familiar words, but today I wonder why a man was carrying a water jar. That was women’s work. Was the man’s wife ill? For sure, the man was easily identified, maybe for such a time as Jesus needed His friends to prepare a place for the Passover meal.
Here in this place, however many layers of earth below, Jesus initiated Holy Communion–His body broken for them and His blood shed for them–elements of the New Covenant Jesus had with His followers, even us. As we participate in this meal in our churches, we self-examine ourselves, ask God for forgiveness and commit to living in light of our salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross and our eternal life through His resurrection.
Prayer: Thank you, Holy Lord, for sacred places that remind us of events you instituted for remembering and reflecting the reality of our salvation. Thank you for the hope of an eternal life spent with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.