He Set His Face to Jerusalem–Day 2 of Passion Week

[Each day of Holy Week, I am going to publish a communion meditation that I wrote and delivered, while serving as an Elder, over the past seven years where I worship at Northwood Christian Church, in Springfield, Oregon.]

He Set His Face to Jerusalem

Jesus knew his time on earth was coming to an end.  The Feast of the Passover was approaching, and he knew it would be his last.  Jerusalem was calling to him and the shadow of the cross loomed large in his heart.  Yet Jesus did not hesitate.  The gospel writer Luke states Jesus’ determination: “And it came about, when the days were approaching for his ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51, NAS).

Jerusalem still calls to us as 21st Century Christians.  But that call is not to a place such as the Wailing Wall of the ancient Jewish temple, or the Muslims’ Dome of the Rock mosque.  Our call is to an event in an upper room of a house whose true location is lost in the dust of history.  Our call is to remember what Jesus did for us, an act of grace not bound to a place or time.  Today, here, this is our Upper Room, this is our Jerusalem.  For the Risen Christ is with us at this place and moment just as surely as he was with his apostles in Jerusalem on that night two thousand years ago.

Listen to Luke’s account:

And when the hour had come, He reclined at table and the apostles with him.  And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  [And having taken a cup, when He had given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”] And having taken some bread, when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” (Lk 22:14-20, NAS)

March 6, 2005

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