Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
April 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM
In the Upper Room with Jesus
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday April 6, 2014
In the Upper Room with Jesus
“ And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished there make ready...and when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.” Luke 22:12, 14.
The 2014 month of April will encompass a series of
four sermons in observation of Easter. All of the sermons
will be focused on an imaginary encounter with Jesus
in within a specific context. They will move progressively
through experiences that Jesus had during his closing
earthly sojourn. The selected events are: the Upper Room,
the crucifixion, the Emmaus Road, and The Post
Resurrection Appearance. Each of these episodes will be
the textual anchor for the progressively sermon sequence
during the four Sundays in April 2014. The intent of these
sermons is to induce you to vicariously experience being in
the presence of Jesus in each of the four setting earlier
specified. The sermon for today, focusing on the first
topic of this series is entitled, In the Upper Room with
Jesus. It will be undergirded by the following three
parameters, namely: locating and designating the Upper
Room, event in the Upper Room, and our vicarious Upper
Room experience with Jesus.
Since this Easter 2014 Sermon series will highlight
selective experiences in the life of Jesus during the closing
phase of his earthly sojourn, it is deemed appropriate to
present a brief synopsis of him as God’s gift to the world.
St. John, the Divine, writing of Jesus noted, “And the Word
was made flesh and dwelt among us...” ( Jo. 1:14 ). John
would continue his account of the Word by noting “For God
so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son...”
( Jo. 3:16 ). Numerous were the activities that this gift
to the world would perform for humanity. He healed the
sick, raised the dead, fed the hungry, changed water to
wind, taught compassion, trained disciples, calmed the
sea, and encountered hostility - knowing all the time that
he was as “...the lamb slain from the foundation of the
world.”( Rev. 13:8 ).
In the textual setting for today, Jesus is nearing the
end of his three years plus earthly ministry so He makes
preparation to observe the Passover. This intention leads to
the first component of the sermon entitled In the Upper
Room with Jesus, namely locating and designing a place
to be called the Upper Room. Before reading the Scripture
that embodies this process, each of you is urged to clear
your mind, as much as possible, of the follies, problems, and
worries that so often overwhelm you and mentally let it
drift back to the time described leading to the Upper Room.
Hopefully, having mastered this mental endeavor, let us now
hear what the Scripture contains concerning the Upper
Room. The narrative is found in the 22nd Chapter of Luke.
Let us now refer to that Chapter. As noted therein, the feast
of the unleavened bread had drawn nigh, a ceremony which
is called the Passover. Jesus, in the meantime, knew that
the time of his great sacrifice was drawing nigh - i.e, to be
the human sacrifice thereby replacing the animal sacrifice
of blood to observe the Passover. He, also, knew that Satan
had already infuse Judas, with prospect of finance to betray
Jesus. The Savior was aware of the plot and would later
speak of it at the feast of the Passover ( Lk. 22: 21-22 ). He
nonetheless, continued with plans to celebrate the feast
of the unleavened bread. He, therefore, sent Peter and
John on a mission to, “...prepare us the Passover, that we
may eat.” They inquired, “where wilt thou that we prepare?”.
Jesus told them where to go, whom they would meet, and
what they should say to the man ( Lk. 22:10-11 ).
Consistent with the assertion of Jesus, the man showed
them a large upper room furnished and, there, they should
make ready for the Passover ( Lk. 22:13 ). In the meantime,
it must never be forgotten that Jesus was fully award of
his divine obligation to be the sacrificial lamb necessary
to replace the blood if bulls and of goats and ashes of an
heifer for the purifying of the flesh. Paul referenced this fact
to the Hebrews when he inquired,” How much more shall the
blood if Christ who...offered himself with spot to God, purge
your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
( Heb. 9:13-14 ). Sensing the scope of his divine destiny,
Jesus proceeded with the New Passover that would be
consecrated by his blood shed on the cross at Calvary.
Thus, Luke stated, “When the hour was come, he ( Jesus )
sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.” ( Luke 22:14 ).
Beloved! can you imagine the solemnity of that gathering;
can you feel the anxiety at the table; do you envision the
trepidation of Judas; and imagine the dilemma of Jesus?
Yes, there many of thoughts and ideas that doubtlessly
permeated the Upper Room where the Apostles were with

Before going through the ceremony instituted in the
Upper Room, permit me to share my experiences in the
Upper Room in Nashville, TN. I was faculty advisor to the
Baptist Student Union at Florida A and M University and
I carried four cars of BSU students to the National Retreat
in Nashville. Several of my students joined with others
students from other states for a visit to the Upper Room
in Nashville. The experience there left an indelible mental
picture in my mind. I vividly recall entering the facility with
its plush red carpet, stained glass windows, glittering
chandeliers, a massive wooden carving of the Last Supper,
and a kneeling rail underneath the wall mounted carving.
As I joined the march toward the kneeling rail, the eyes
of Jesus seemed to be closed, but upon kneeling and
looking up at the carving of Jesus, I saw that Jesus seemed
to not only be looking down but had a smile on his face.
Beloved, that experience clearly showed that as we look
up to Jesus he is looking down and even smiling on us.
Against this reminiscence of being in the Upper Room,
attention will now be called to what happened in the Upper
Room with Jesus. Again, let us view the Scriptural
account. Sensing the destiny that awaited him, Jesus
expressed his desire to eat the Passover before he
would undergo suffering ( the crucifixion ). He, then, “...
took bread, and gave thanks, and break it, and gave it
unto them, saying ‘This is my body which is given for you:
this do in remembrance of me’.” ( Luke 22: 19 ). Jesus, then,
took the cup after supper, “...saying ‘ this cup is the new
testament in my blood, which is shed for you’ .” (Lk. 22:20).
The completion of that process was liken unto
purchasing on credit because the Passover feast required a
blood sacrifice. Hence, Jesus - while being keenly aware of
the price - knew that he would fulfill the demand through his
crucifixion at Calvary. Hence, said, “And truly the Son of
man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man
by whom he is betrayed.” ( Luke 22: 22 ). That eventuality
will anchor the sermon next Sunday entitled, At the
crucifixion with Jesus. In the meantime, attention will be
directed to the last phase of this sermon - In the Upper
Room with Jesus; it is that of our opportunity and obligation
to - symbolically - experience the Upper Room episode with
Jesus. It is offered here at Institutional First Baptist the
First Sunday in each month. Remember, the instruction that
Jesus gave to the disciples, “...This do in remembrance of
me.” ( Luke 22: 19 ). The Apostle, Saint Paul, later
referenced this act, often called The Lord’s Supper, with
the warning, “...whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink
this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body
and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and
so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
( 1st Cor. 11: 28-28 ). In closing, this sermon has sought to
provide an opportunity for you to vicariously be in the
Upper Room with Jesus. Amen!.
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