Gospel News · January - April 2019

of rams, rivers of oil, even one’s firstborn?”
He seeks, desires to see, actions revealing
higher motives - so asks for faithful men and
women now “To do justly, love mercy and to
walk humbly with (Me) THY God.”This expres-
sion, “THY God” provides a lovely conclusion.
“But he that does the will of my Father...” continued
The Upper Room
| Bro Roy Soffe (Portsmouth, U.K.)
assages of Scripture can be read many
times without realizing that hidden be-
neath the surface is a wealth of interest.
Such is the case with the record of our Lord
when He instituted the first breaking of bread
service. It is probably read each time we par-
take of the feast of remembrance.
That Jesus himself had already started making
preparation for the Passover can be seen in his
reply to Peter and to John when they asked
him, “where shall we prepare the Passover?
And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are
entered into the city, there shall a man meet
you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him
into the house where he entereth in. And ye
shall say unto the goodman of the house, The
Master saith unto thee, Where is the
guestchamber, where I shall eat the Passover
with my disciples?” (Luke 22:10-12). Jesus
must have started making arrangements in ad-
vance and then handed the final details over
to the disciples who prepared the Passover
under the guidance of the Lord.
When all was ready for Jesus and the twelve
to partake, and when they were all seated
Jesus said, “With desire I have desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer.”
Jesus knew that his end was near, but having
spent three years with his disciples, why does
he appear to treat this occasion with such ur-
gency? The language our Lord uses is strong.
One translator puts it this way: “How I have
longed to eat this Passover with you”. Another
translator says this: “With fervent desire I
have desired to eat this Passover with you”.
The Son of God desires, longs for, is passionate
for this; not only to eat the Passover, but to
do so with his disciples, regardless of the fact
that He knew one of them would betray him
and another deny him and we know that later
He would be abandoned.
I believe that by engaging in this feast our
Lord wanted to impress upon the disciples the
main part of His teaching over the past three
years and if we look at the records we shall
see how He demonstrated this. Jesus tell them
that one of them will betray him and Matthew
tells us that they were exceeding sorrowful
and began every one of them to say unto Him,
“Lord, is it I?”
In John 13 Peter asks Jesus who it is. Verse 26
gives the answer: “Jesus answered, He it is,
to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped
it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave
it to Judas Iscariot, the Son of Simon”.
Several commentators suggest that usually the
giving of the sop first as is suggested here, was
to give it by the host to someone of impor-
tance who would be sitting next to the host.
If Judas was sitting next to our Lord and par-
took of the sop first, could it be a sign that
Jesus would forgive Judas of this forthcoming
betrayal thereby practising what He had
preached to the disciples and followers that
we have to forgive?
Going on a little further to when our Lord was
crucified, scripture records that He cried to
his Father, “Forgive them for they know not
what they do.” If our Lord did not forgive
Judas in the upper room, his forgiveness might
have been included in the “Forgive them” spo-
ken on the cross. This is a debateable point
God wants us to take full ownership, a part-
nership with Himself. A personal, jealous as-
sociation with, “the God of all the earth”. It’s
this ‘bond of perfection’ that held Jesus so
tightly to His Father, despite the awful things
requested of Him. It will work well for us too.