“The Teacher asks: ‘Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there… When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.'”
Luke 22: 11, 12, 14-16
They ate together. They drank together. They experienced Jesus’ last supper together.
All 4 Gospels give an account of this Last Supper. Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 13-17.
But I like studying this event as recorded by John the most since he was most thorough.
There was so much we could focus on in studying what happened in the upper room. I treasure reading about these last moments of Jesus with His friends. But at the same time, my heart aches as I read them. He knew all that was about to happen to Him. He knew.
John records so much that happened on their last night together. There was the washing of the disciples’ feet. Jesus tells them about His plans to prepare a place for them. He promises the Holy Spirit.
Then He prays. For Himself. For the disciples.
And then for you and me.
As I reread the account of what happened on this night, the fact that He prayed for us… you and me… in these final moments, astounds me.
I need to read what He prayed. Even more importantly, I need to live what He prayed.
“… May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me,” (John 17:23)
May those of us who He brought to complete unity let the world know about Jesus and His love.
That’s what He prayed. But is this what we live?
Do I see unity and love in the way Christians speak about one another online?
Do I see unity and love in the way I handle frustrations?
Do I see unity and love in the way I process people who think differently than me?
Do I see unity and love between pastors and churches and denominations?
Sometimes I do. But heartbreakingly, many times I don’t.
If I don’t see what should be the defining marks for us Christians, what must the onlooking world think?
The last words John records of Jesus praying to the Father in the upper room were these, “I have made you known to them, and I will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them,” (John 17:26).
This Easter, might we each choose to redefine what unity and love looks like in our lives. We honor Him when we live His prayer.
As a special Easter giveaway, I will pick 3 winners to each receive a rock that I brought back from the Holy Land. I’ll write a note explaining why I chose this rock and include it in your package if you are one of the winners.
To enter, leave me a comment below telling me how you will seek to live Jesus’ prayer for unity and love more authentically this week.