The Upper Room

Since the first century, believers have venerated this upstairs room as the location where Jesus ate the Last Supper with His disciples. Crusaders rebuilt the second-story room much as it appears today. However, during an intervening time, Muslims installed a prayer niche and Arabic inscriptions in stained glass windows to claim the place as their own. Today, of course, the room looks nothing like it did when Jesus and His men reclined to eat the Passover. But knowing that this room occupies the same air space as the original room still helps us imagine Jesus speaking to the disciples here that night.

Jesus knew that the disciples with Him in the Upper Room would all fall away. So He instituted for them—and for us—a memorial that would repeatedly bring His followers back to the greatest source of motivation in the Christian life.

The “Last Supper” has become the Lord’s Supper—a memorial of Jesus and His amazing love, which He displayed in His death. The Lord’s Supper points us backward to Jesus’s death for our sins, inward to our present walk with Jesus, and forward to Jesus’s coming again (see 1 Corinthians 11:26).

So what’s our motivation not to fall away when life challenges our devotion? “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:15). The Lord had no obligation to forgive our sins, only to judge them. Our response comes as one of gratitude.

We respond in obedience in light of God’s grace and mercy.¹

  1. Adapted from Wayne Stiles, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus: A Journey through the Lands and Lessons of Christ (Ventura, Calif.: Regal, 2008). Used by permission.
  2. Photo courtesy of bibleplaces.com