“As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal. Luke 22:10-12
The feast of unleavened bread had arrived, and Jesus and His disciples were preparing to gather. They asked Jesus where they should go? Jesus tells them to go meet the man carrying a pitcher of water, and he will lead them. It almost seems as though this was divinely set up for them. The significance of this man with the water jug is that in those times, men were not known to carry pitchers of water; only women. Men would carry water in large animal skins; rather, so it would be quite humiliating for a man to do this. Jesus likely did it this way so the man would be easily identified in all the chaos of the city. This man is a divine connection, sent to lead the disciples to the upper room where the Passover/last supper would be held. In my mind that man carrying the pitcher of water is Jesus in disguise. We just got through Easter weekend, where we know Jesus was humiliated on the cross, and died pouring out his blood for us, so that He could lead us to eternity. 50 days from his resurrection the disciples would be led to an upper room, where they would receive an infilling of the holy ghost (Acts 2). He has now gone to prepare a place for us.
There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:2-4
During a Passover meal in Jewish tradition, there are four cups used: a cup of sanctification, deliverance, redemption, and restoration. People use different names to describe each of these cups, but they are all used in celebration of how God mightily rescued Israel (Exodus 6:6-7). He saved and delivered them from the bondage of the Egyptians (Exodus 13). He used great acts of judgement (plagues – also known as a cup of plagues or judgement)to redeem them and reveal himself to blinded eyes. Pharoah’s heart remained hardened, like many people who deep inside know they see God at work but refuse to acknowledge His power and reverence Him (Psalm 53:1, Psalm 14:1). He parted waters for them and destroyed their enemies (Exodus 14, Psalm 136:12). He gave them a way to escape the sin of death by painting the blood of a lamb on their door posts (Exodus 12:13). Then He restored them and made them a nation unto himself at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:5-6). God is still in the business of restoration today. He is pouring His spirit out in the last days (Acts 2:17).
“Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. Exodus 6:6-7
We have communion today just as they did at the last supper. Cups in the bible can take on very distinct meanings. They are described as cups of wrath, redemption, judgement, and blessing. In Jewish tradition these four cups are very distinct in meaning but today they all together represent one great picture of the promises of God; one great cup called salvation (Psalm 116:13). It parallels the old covenant and the new covenant. The old cup (covenant) was broken. But we know our God can take what is broken and make it like new (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Jesus didn’t drink of the third cup during the last supper, because He was about to change things up! His time had not yet come. That cup is the cup of redemption/blessing, we can partake of it as often as we need to and be refilled continuously. Jesus says whoever drinks of the water He gives will never again go thirsty, it is an eternal quenching (Matthew 26:29, John 4:14).
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14
Passover is a celebration of hope, but it doesn’t have to be an isolated event. We can celebrate every day; worshipping God for the hope we have in Him. It can be hard to do that when we see the things going on in the world right now. You are asking the question, where is God in all this chaos? Well, there is a man carrying a water jug in the middle of the chaos, ready to fill your cup to overflowing; to refresh your hope and quench that longing in your soul. That man is Jesus! If you look for Him, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Could it be said that we can now become like that man carrying the pitcher of water. In it, we possess the ability to pour that same cup of hope for others. To stand out as a source of hope in all the chaos. We are now in the last days, preparing for that great day “the marriage supper of the lamb” (Revelation 19:7-9) We have an invitation, and we know He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:2, Luke 14:15-17). Let us raise our cups of praise for what the Lord has done for us, and the hope we have of a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord’s name for saving me. Psalm 116:12-13