As we reflect on the events of Holy Week – the last week of Christ’s earthly ministry – our thoughts often turn to the Last Supper. In 1951 Fritz Eischenberg presented his visual representation of that event. I just saw it for the first time. Immediately it caused me to consider who those first disciples were – who it was that was gathered for that sacred meal. In turn my thoughts turned to who would be present if that meal were to take place today. Who would Jesus choose today to be His closest followers. They would no doubt be from every group you can imagine – rich and poor, outcasts and average folks, young and old.
At my next mental turn I saw myself at the table. I could have been one of those who shared in that intimate moment. As my mind rapidly flashed through the possible sights and sounds I came all too quickly to the image of Jesus standing to leave. And leaving that table was only the beginning of His leaving. We are singing now as we all prepare to walk out that door into a new world – a frightening world without the physical presence of our Lord. And yet He said, “Lo, I am with you always – even to the end of the age.”
The time has come for us to rise up from the table and go out into the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ. For too long we have kept the holy word of hope, peace and salvation locked up in the inner chambers of our hearts – that sacred upper room. For too long we have been sitting at the table. Reflect on the intimacy of Maundy Thursday, grieve the death of our Lord on Good Friday, rest on the Sabbath of the tomb, and then Rise Again on Resurrection Sunday to go forth in celebration that Christ is risen, death has died, and hope is offered to all people. Hallelujah! He is risen – He is risen indeed!