Maundy Thursday: The Upper Room

via TJC

And He said to them, “ I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” ~Luke 22: 15

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” ~Luke 22:31

This week we have been sharing the Story of Stories and the Passion of Passions. Christ’s passion for us and the Father’s sacrifice is the Greatest story of love ever told or demonstrated (Romans 5:8). Today we observe Maundy Thursday. Maundy derives its name from the Latin word “mandatum” meaning commandment, as it reflects the new commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples (John 13:34).

The scene in the Upper Room is one of the most recognizable visual images in Christianity.  Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural, The Last Supper, has served as a visual illustration for centuries. As moving as that piece is, like all things created by man, it can’t fully capture what God was doing that night as Jesus sat down for dinner with those 12 disciples.

Luke tells us that Jesus “eagerly desired” to eat this Passover meal with them. This wasn’t just any meal, and it wasn’t just any Passover meal. Jesus had walked with these men, and taught them for three years at this point.  He had certainly celebrated the Passover feast with them before.  But this one was special. He eagerly desired it. He wanted to share this specific Passover with them. This celebration of the shedding of innocent blood to save us from death, was going to move once again from an observation to be remembered to an actual physical action (Exodus 12:1-30) that would once again save His people and set us free.

As He led them through the Seder elements, He gave them new meaning.  He gives them a new reason to remember and commemorate. Moses commanded the people to remember the event, Jesus commanded us to “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19-20). His reason is greater than the one Moses gave, because Jesus is fulfilling the promise, He will literally take the place of the lamb. 

Jesus’ desire to have this meal with His disciples doesn’t end with them. It continues to you, Kingdom Man. This is one of the amazing events that is often overlooked. In Luke 22:18, Jesus says, “For I tell you that from now on, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine again until the Kingdom of God comes.” Since He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, overcome death and the grave (Ephesians 1:20) the Kingdom of God has been delivered to us.  It has come! So each time we eat of this bread and drink of this cup, we are not just doing it in remembrance of Christ, but we are doing it WITH Christ! He eagerly desired to eat this meal with you, Kingdom Man. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, that joy was you!

As if that wasn’t enough Jesus shared one more course for this dinner. Before they left the Upper Room and right before Jesus told Simon Peter that he would deny Him, Jesus told the disciples that He protects and prays for us. He says Satan has asked to harass, to sift us and break us (Luke 22:31).  But Jesus has rebuffed Satan’s request with His prayer to the Father, that “our faith may not fail.” We will be tested and tried, like Peter we may even falter, but we will not fail. He has invited us into His story. So that again, like Peter our story may strengthen our brothers.  Kingdom Men be encouraged!

Daily Battle Order:

Kingdom Men, Jesus “eagerly desires” to be in the Upper Room with you. He desires to take communion with you. He is praying for you so that your faith will not fail! Your story will be used to strengthen your brothers. Pray and reflect on this today and for the rest of Passion Week as you spend time in the Upper Room with Jesus and the Father.

Join us tomorrow as the story takes us into the arrest in Garden of Gethsemane and our Lord’s death on the cross.

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