Holy Week Devotional Contest: Lamarie Austin-Stripling
And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. – Mark 14:12-16
As we are approaching the Holy Week, many hearts and minds are turned toward a fresh remembrance of the sacrifice of our Lord. Leaders, ministers, and writers like each of you are seeking the right words to say to inspire others to stay strong in the face of many of the world’s challenges. But the encouragers aren’t immune to pressures of this life; and so today, I want to encourage the encouragers. And with that, I want to call attention to the Cenacle, more commonly called the Upper Room. Here, Jesus washed the feet of his beloved disciples. Here, Jesus sat at the table and dined across from his enemy, his betrayer. Our Lord didn’t just eat the Passover – He himself was the Passover. The Passover lamb must be killed for death to pass over those Israelites in Egypt, just as the Passover Lamb must be killed for death to pass over us who put our trust in Christ. Often times, in honor of Christ, his faithful laborers humble themselves, following his example to wash others with the water of the word. They sacrifice and serve, sometimes to the point of being dined upon or becoming casualties of blatant betrayal. Might I remind you, the Cenacle wasn’t just the place of humility, it wasn’t just the place of betrayal and sacrifice, it was the place where the ascending Lord appeared; His new life rose. It was the place of Pentecost, where fire ignited the Church and where she’s been alive ever since.
So as we turn our hearts freshly to the Lord, may the Cenacle be a reminder that whatever stage we are in our faith, whatever tests may lie just before us, across from us, or even within, that you have been prepared, you have been made ready. After our wounding, our cutting, our sacrifice – a resurrection will come; a fire and a new life will spring forth; and that fresh wind, that fresh fire, will burn everlasting.
As a Lover of Jesus Christ, Lamarie Stripling resides in the Charlotte Metro Area. A graduate of Rowan Cabarrus and UNC Charlotte, Lamarie has a heart to stop for the one and to serve the people of God, the and the local community. A wife, a mentor, an artist, and a writer, Lamarie strives to live a life poured out to the Glory of God and the betterment of mankind.