Matthew 28:17-19 NLT
“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” “As you go into the city,” he told them, ” you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.” So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
I never noticed him before but there he is just hanging out in the middle of the most important story for Christ followers. We don’t know his name or what he did for a living. We don’t know if he was married or had children. We don’t know if his home was humble or extravagant. We don’t know if he was young or old. We just know one thing…
He was certain.
CERTAIN. adjective 1. known for sure, established beyond doubt, beyond question, not in question.
I’ve been in the sales industry for 17 years. I love CERTAIN. It is a delight when someone contacts me that loves my
product, wants to become a loyal customer and places a significant order. Their certainty is a gift.
I’ve been a sports fan most of my life. I love CERTAIN. I love when you’re watching your favorite team and the win is CERTAIN. You know there is no possible way for the other team to come back. Thoughts can move to deciding which ice cream you’ll order from your favorite DQ to celebrate. It’s peace and calm and celebration – Certain.
I’ve been a mom for 23 years. I love CERTAIN. I love when my adult children are all gathered under one roof and I’m CERTAIN – because I can see them – that all is well.
Maybe it is my own hunger for certainty in an increasingly uncertain world that caused my eyes to notice for the first time this unassuming character in the account of Jesus last days on earth. Jesus and his disciples were preparing to celebrate Passover, an important custom in the Jewish tradition. It was a meal commemorating the protection of the Israelites hundreds of years earlier. They were enslaved by Pharaoh and God was about to set them free. He would use His ultimate power, taking the lives of all first born children not protected by the blood of an innocent lamb painted on their door post. Passover is a beautiful celebration – one that many Jews and Christians still celebrate. Finding the right spot was important. Jesus knew it. I believe he also wanted to make some things easier for his disciples. His followers and friends were in for a rude awakening as they faced the reality that their mentor, Lord and Savior was about to be crucified. Jesus gave them the gift of certainty – in the person of an unnamed, unknown yet very willing man.
“Master – where do you want to celebrate the Passover?”
“Go to the city – you will see a certain man…”
Certain – meaning specific – you’ll know him when you see him.
Certain – meaning the heart of the man. We see no record of this servant questioning the request. I think we can assume he immediately opened his home, showed them the room that was certainly ready and allowed them full access to use for the feast. This is the ultimate display of hospitality. He opens up his home to the most famous dinner party every held. It is captured in the painting by Leonardo Da Vinci and prints hang in homes and churches all over the world. Did the Holy Spirit give him a vision of this taking place? Had he been prepping for this moment because somehow he knew he would be the one? Or had he put his trust so clearly on the love of Jesus that when this unexpected opportunity arose he knew the only thing he could say was,
I can imagine the disciples relief when they found the man and then he quickly lets them in. I wonder if this awed them, “How does he do that – Jesus just always knows!” or I wonder if they were used to this kind of discernment they had witnessed so many times. I wonder if they realized that what Jesus says and does is always the truth and it has nothing to do with circumstances.
This blog will post Saturday of Holy week. In my opinion the most Un- certain day of the week. Nothing happened on Saturday. The disciples huddled together in fear. We don’t get any insight into the way they spent that day. Maybe its because they were in such shock they just sat in silence. Maybe it is because there is no way to put into words the loss they felt. No words. It did not make sense. Maybe if we shake our head this horror will all go away.
Some of you are in Saturday seasons – the most uncertain of times. The one where you wish the bad dream you are walking in was just that, a dream. I imagine it feels long. I imagine it may feel far from hope. I imagine the wait feels unbearable.
Today – I ask you to hold on. Your uncertain days are held by a most certain Savior. The Savior that knew a few things about that Saturday… and now we do as well.
What we know about Saturday is that it ended.
What we know about Saturday is that it was creating certainty that the man that said he would give his life for our sins – would and was actually dead.
What we know about Saturday is that the slow, painful wait created a more glorious and welcome celebration.
What we know about Saturday is that it didn’t win. All the doubt and fear and discouragement it attempted to plant in the minds and hearts of Christs followers would not take root.
Because their Sunday came.
And yours my friend, will come too.
That I am certain.