12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrifice the Passover lamb, his disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover so that you may eat it?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, tell the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples went out, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
Historical and cultural background: Our Jewish, believing brothers and sisters have a springtime festival corresponding to the barley harvest, called the Passover. This feast commemorates the day that the Living God rescued Israel from slavery to Egypt, having chosen them to be his People. The feast begins on the 15th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar, at sundown. For believers in our region, Passover will begin with a meal at sunset, which will occur at 7:54 PM EDT on Saturday, March 27, 2021. This is a time of celebration for all that God has done in establishing his People.
This is a time of celebration, for all that God has done in establishing his People.
In verse 14 of our reading today, Jesus instructed two of his students to ask, “Where is our Teacher’s guest room?” Jesus’ life began and ended with a guest room. At Christmastime, we say that there was no room for him in the inn. This conjures images of a commercial hotel, but there were no La Quintas in the first century! Travelers, relying on the hospitality of others, would stay in the guest room of a family home. On the night of Jesus’ birth, no guest room was available. That night, a family of lesser means graciously made the ‘stable-place’ in their own home suitable for one very pregnant Mary. Jesus’ people are common people—friends.
Jesus’ people are common people—friends.
By the end of his life, Jesus finally had a guest room in which to stay, but there was no rest to be had. The last Passover meal our Lord ever ate became the first Lord’s Supper in church history. With the cup of the new covenant of his blood, Jesus offered us a chance to be God’s People. According to John, this was the night that Jesus chose us not to be servants or slaves in his Kingdom, but rather, to be his friends (John 15:12-16). To commemorate this day, have a great dinner with your ‘people’—your closest friends and family. Talk about how far God has brought you, what God has done for you, and what it means to be a friend of God, to be God’s People.