He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there. Luke 22:12 NIV
Jesus was not a victim of circumstance. He was not swept up by the events around Him. Every moment of His entire life was part of a divine plan laid down before time began. Each stop on the journey to Easter was purposeful and planned. The first stop is the Upper Room.
I live in a small town where the major industry is an oil refinery. Periodically, the company does major maintenance projects, bringing in scores of outside labor to help. One is going on right now, and an estimated 1700 workers are in town, a town of under 7000. Because this happens regularly, plenty of people have small homes, garage apartments, or even extra rooms to rent out to accommodate the short-term workforce.
This is not unlike Jerusalem at Passover.
Every year, Jews made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover. The population of the city swelled to a million or more. All of these pilgrims needed places to share the meal and remember their deliverance. Jesus and His followers were from Galilee so they needed a place to celebrate the Passover.
But this Passover was like no other. In fact, Jesus said, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,” Luke 22:15. These would be the last quiet moments Jesus had with those closest to Him. He had to prepare them, to comfort and to encourage them. He also had cautions and instructions. All of it needed to be delivered away from the crowds and without the religious authorities bursting in to arrest Him.
Jesus made sure they had that opportunity. This stop in the Upper Room afforded them the necessary seclusion and security. Only Peter, John and the owner of the house knew where He would eat the Passover, so Judas couldn’t tip off the high priest. In fact, Judas couldn’t even leave until Jesus dismissed him.
As we journey to Easter, do we need moments of seclusion, away from the press of the crowd and the hassles that we face? Do we need to hear the cautions and instructions? Do we need the encouragement and the comfort? Do we need to prepare ourselves for what comes next? Do we need to remember and celebrate the deliverance we’ve experienced?
Yes? Then we need to stop in the Upper Room.
Next stop, the Garden