LENTEN DEVOTION: Where Is The Room? by Johann Ernst von Holst

Morning and Evening Devotions for the Holy Season of Lent

Where Is The Room? by Johann Ernst von Holst

From The Crucified Is My Love

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.  So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”  They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?”  He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you.  Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ and he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.”  And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. (Luke 22:7-13)

The story of the Lord’s suffering leads us into the depths of unfathomable pain, but it also offers us much comfort.  One such comforting event is the story of the preparation of the Passover.  Even as we feel the painful poverty of the Son of Man who had no home of his own in which to celebrate with his disciples, we are touched by the courageous obedience and faith of the disciples whom the Lord sent out.  They sensed the danger threatening the Master and them too in Jerusalem.  They had no idea where and how they were to meet the unknown man with the jar of water in the city crowded with pilgrims to the festival.  Nevertheless they went without protest, trusting the Lord’s instructions.

Here Jesus once more lets rays of his wondrous far-seeing vision shine out into the darkness of his way of suffering in order to strengthen the faith of his disciples.  The disciples soon find the man whom he indicated, a secret follower of the Lord.  He is carrying home a jar that he has just filled with water – but now his heart’s longing is to be filled with the water of life.

At the words, “The Teacher says to you,” his soul thrills with joy.  For the one Master whom he honored, as the other disciples did, has recognized his longing and wants to come to his house.  “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”  The unknown man immediately understands this question.  He does not give the apostles information as to where they might find a suitable room elsewhere, but with joyful readiness he opens his own house to them, giving them the use of his large room, carpeted and furnished with cushions.

As dismaying as the fact is that “he came to his own, and his own people did not receive him,” the words that follow are encouraging: “But to all who did receive him, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:11-12).  There were some among his own people who received him in faith, and one of them was this householder.

At this time of Lent the Lord turns to us too and asks our hearts the question, “Where is the room?”  And he says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me,” (Revelation 3:20).  What a guest!  What grace to be allowed to keep the Passover with him, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with him!  It is a wonderful task to prepare a guest room for him; still more wonderful is the joy of welcoming him.  But the glory of being with him in eternity is a joy beyond our conceiving.

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