What happened in the upper room the night before Jesus betrayed? What application does it have for believers?
Upper chambers in the Old Testament
The Bible only mentions the words “upper room” nine times, but there are semblances in the use of the word in that it is the better-off who usually have upper rooms. Upper rooms are not found among the poor or the common people as we read in 1 Chronicles 28:11 where it is written “So David gave Solomon his son a plan of the hall of the temple, and of its houses, and its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner rooms, and of the hall for the mercy seat.. “Here is David giving his son Solomon the plans he had for the construction of the temple and the interesting fact is that the upper chambers contained the” inner chambers “and” the hall for the mercy seat “which is of supreme importance to the temple as it represents the presence of the Lord so in the Old Testament the presence of God is in the upper room, specifically in the interior rooms and where the mercy seat is located.
Judgment of the rich and their upper chambers
Jeremiah warned Judah for many years, but his warnings fell on deaf ears and they were then taken captive by Babylon. One of the problems with Judah was that of modern society today. Many of the rich have acquired wealth at the expense of the poor or the simple worker. This is not always the case but listen to Jeremiah’s loud rebuke for the rich who exploited the laborers to build vast mansions and large upper rooms in Jeremiah 22: 12-14 “Woe to him who builds his house by injustice, and his upper rooms by injustice, who causes his neighbor to serve him for nothing and not give him his wages, who says: “I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms. who cut out the windows, the cedar paneling and the vermilion painting. “The painting of these upper chambers with vermilion speaks of the exquisite nature of the dwellings since vermilion is a brilliant scarlet-red pigment, insoluble in water and extremely expensive. Jeremiah chastises the rich who have built houses’ through injustice “And” big upper houses by injustices “where the rich make their” neighbor serve him for nothing and not give him his salary “, which means that they take advantage of the poor workers and using them to build large houses “with spacious superior rooms.” Thus, upper rooms seem to indicate great wealth, but they are very expensive, usually at the expense of the poor.
Upper chambers in the New Testament
We have read the “upper rooms” of the New Testament church a few times, but these rooms were often used for prayers and church fellowship. In the event that they chose an apostle to replace Judas Iscariot as we read in Acts 1: 11-12 where “they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they lived, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alpheus and Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James. All these by common accord dedicated themselves to prayer, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. “In another case, Paul was preaching”On the first day of the week, when we were gathered to break bread, Paul spoke with them, intending to leave the next day, and he continued his talk until midnight. There were a lot of lamps in the upper room where we were gathered”(Acts 20: 7-8) so sometimes the church needed larger rooms, which were often the upper rooms, so that all the saints could all fit together in one place to hear the Word of God taught as in the case of Paul. in Acts 20.
Jesus and the apostles in the Upper Room
Perhaps the biggest and most important reference to the upper room occurred when the Lord’s Supper took place on the night of Jesus’ betrayal. When Jesus was preparing for this very special night, he told the disciples to “say to the master of the house: “The Master said: Where is my guest room, where I can eat the Passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there, get ready for us. And the disciples departed and came to the city and found it as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”(Mark 14: 14-16). In this upper room Jesus “at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them: “I have longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you that I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God(Luke 22: 14-16).
I find it interesting that in the temple the upper chambers were where the mercy seat was located which represented the very presence of God and in the New Testament during the Passover which also stood in an upper chamber there was more that just the presence of God but the very real physical presence of God in Jesus Christ who initiated the New Covenant which depicts his broken body (in bread) and his shed blood (in wine) which was to be done in remembrance of Jesus supreme sacrifice (Luke 22:19). Where Jesus sat that night was the real “Seat of Mercy” where he spoke of his death for the sins of those who would repent and believe on him (John 3:16) so that those who would believe in him be taken to the highest level. room that there is; that is, in the kingdom of heaven, where there would also be the very presence of God.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the senior editor of What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon.