The atmosphere would be like a Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas meal, or Easter lunch for us.

Surrounded by close friends and people we love, partaking of a meal. Yet, the meaning of the time and meal was foundational and transformational.

Jesus, his family, and those closest to him gathered in the upper room of someone’s home to celebrate the Passover.

Passover was their holiday celebrating their freedom and their ability to experience rebirth outside oppression and slavery. It was their holy days of the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery in Egypt under the horrific rule of Pharoah. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to put a mark over their door of blood from a lamb.

All the homes with the mark would be spared from the death of their firstborn son. After that plague, the Hebrew people were set free and began their journey to the promised land.

But this Passover meal was different.

It wasn’t only about remembering.

Instead, it was a time of recasting vision, meaning, and purpose.

Jesus was entirely Jewish. He did not set out to start a new religion, nor did he want to diss Judaism. Instead, he wanted to share an understanding of God that was not contained within rules, law, and ritual. He wanted all to understand that God was not finite, not able to be measured or contained, and abided within all.

He not only “told” that message, he lived it. As he loved, healed, and welcomed, he did something that no one had previously understood.

He created relationships.

It was not for him about “believing” something, but rather about living something. And living within something (and that something was God/Love.)

Those relationships he created sparked in his followers a change towards openness, grace, forgiveness, and love. That also can be sparked within each of us.

It’s what he offered. It’s what he lived. It was so revolutionary AND contagious it also caused him to die.

Can you imagine the energy and love in that room that evening, celebrating your people’s freedom with one who’d shown you what it could be like to live free?

They loved him. So much so that they were willing to completely give their lives to him for the cause he represented.

Today, may we pause to think of how we love him.

Especially as he makes his way toward showing us the power of Love and what Love does.

What actions do we take to show that love?

What risks do we embrace so that the message actually “gets out” instead of “stays within?”