The Other Side of the Last Supper
by Andrew Hofstetter
In Mark 14 (and elsewhere in Scripture), we read about how Jesus told a couple disciples to go on ahead and find a man carrying water. This man had an upper room prepared for the Passover meal. The circumstances unfolded just as Christ had said (as they always did…and still do).
We don’t know anything about this man with the upper room.
We don’t know if this upper room was prepared in advance because of something prearranged with Christ or if this was a demonstration of the Teacher’s knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps this man responded to a prompting in his heart from God. Perhaps this man didn't think much of it, and was happy to share his space with another rabbi and group of students. Perhaps this was miraculous. Perhaps it was just another day.
What we do know is that the meal that took place in that upper room is a central part of our faith experience. It was in that upper room, belonging to this man who was carrying water, that we hear Christ talk of his body and his blood. It’s there that we are told of the New Covenant between man and God.
This Easter, things are different.
Things have never been like this for us, for our Easter holiday, for our traditions, for our families. But that doesn’t mean that any of the beauty is gone. Perhaps it’s a time where we identify more than ever with this man who owned the home that had the room that Jesus used to share the meal that told the story of restored love between us and God.
We don't have answers. We don't know how long this will go on. We aren't able to know what's going to happen or where we'll be left at the end of this pandemic. We don't know the details of what God is doing or where He’s going.
So what do we know this Easter?
We know that Jesus wants a place to sit, to visit, to dine.
We all have spaces in our homes — and our lives — that we can set apart for Jesus and what He wants to do. We can prepare a place, knowing that Jesus is looking for one. We can give Him permission to use us — our comforts, our stockpiles, our money, our relationships, our space, our lives — in whatever way He decides.
Let this quarantine be the time that you decide to set up your own upper room, your own place where Jesus can sit. Things will be quieter this Easter. There will be less hustle and more sitting. There will be more conversation. Perhaps there will be more stillness. We may never receive accolades and people may never learn our names.
But in this pause in which we find ourselves, we can create a space for Jesus to come in, to visit, to dine with us, and to tell us the story of a restored love between us and God.