This week is the most significant week of the Christian faith, so I want us to examine the Biblical account of what happened each day and consider what it means to us personally. I hope you will walk with me through this week and explore the profound impact of Christ’s death and resurrection on your own life.
Sunday – Palm Sunday – Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy from hundreds of years earlier by Zechariah. The crowds shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” Each of the gospels records this significant event. Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 19:28 – 44, John 12:12-19
Personal Reflection: Who is Jesus to me? Will I join in praising Jesus as the Son of God, Ruler of all? Am I only willing to praise Him when things are good and my expectations are met? Do I still praise Him for who He is and trust Him for what He can do when things don’t go the way I want or expect? Pray to for eyes to see who Jesus is and the salvation and peace that He brings.
Monday – Jesus returns to Jerusalem and cleanses the temple of the money changers saying, “My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers.” Read about it in Mathew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19.
Personal Reflection: What areas of my life need a little cleaning out? Am I willing to invite the Lord to reveal those areas of sin? Am I willing to repent and turn back to Him? Pray for God to gently convict you of areas of sin in your life.
Tuesday – Jesus returns to Jerusalem and is confronted by the leaders in the Temple who question Jesus’ authority. Jesus responds and then goes on to teach the people using parables. He also teaches about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and final judgement. Read about Jesus interactions, his parables and teachings in Matthew 21:23 – 25 Luke 20 – 21, Mark 11:27 – 13, John 12:20-49
Personal Reflection: Am I a student of God’s word, or do I simply listen to what others say? Am I willing to pay attention to His teachings? Pray for a heart of understanding and ears to hear what He is teaching you through His Word.
Wednesday – The religious leaders assemble in order to plot how they can arrest Jesus. Some call this “Spy Wednesday” because it is the day that Judas conspired with the religious authorities to turn Jesus over to them for 30 pieces of silver. Also, while Jesus was in Bethany, Mary anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume from her alabaster jar. Interesting to think that one takes money for turning Jesus into the authorities, while another spends her precious possession on Jesus to prepare Him for His burial. Matthew 26:1-15, Mark 14:1-11 Luke 22:1-6 John 12:1-11
Personal Reflection: How valuable is Jesus in my life? Is He someone I use, hoping to get what I want? Or is He someone I adore, willing to give my very best for Him? Pray for a deeper and more sincere love for Jesus.
Thursday – Considered “Holy Thursday,” this day marks the beginning of the sacred Triduum (three days). On this day Jesus instructs his disciples to prepare the Passover. This is night of the Last Supper in which Jesus breaks the bread and passes the cup symbolizing the new covenant, His body and blood sacrificed for our sins. This evening He takes a short walk with His disciples across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prays in agony that this cup may be taken from Him. Yet he prays, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” The disciples are not able to stay awake in Jesus darkest hour. Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Matthew 26:17 -56, Mark 14:12 – 52, Luke 22:7 – 53, John13:21 – 18:11
Personal Reflection: Do I recognize the love Jesus has for me to face terrible suffering on my behalf? Am I filled with gratitude and love as I take the Lord’s Supper or has it just become ritual? Take the Lord’s Supper tonight and humbly pray with a grateful heart, thanking Him for all He has done for you.
Friday – This is Good Friday. On this day Jesus faced trials before both the high priest and Pilate. In less than a week, the people changed from an adoring crowd to an angry mob shouting “Crucify Him!” He was beaten and ridiculed as the guards placed a crown of thorns on His head. He was nailed to a cross on the hillside of Galgotha, and hung in agony for 3 hours. Here He cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, and guards are posted at the tomb. This is often a day when Christians join together for prayer and worship and fasting, recognizing the significance of what Jesus did on the cross. It is called Good Friday because on this day Jesus fulfilled His purpose – to offer His life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Matthew 26:57 – 27:66, Mark 14:53 – 15:47, Luke 22:66 – 23:56, John 18:28 – 19:42.
Personal Reflection: Do I understand why Jesus went to the cross? Do I fully grasp the fact that He died and shed His blood as a full and complete payment for my sin? Have I put my trust in the work He did on the cross, or am I trusting my own works to save me? If you have never placed your faith in Jesus and what He did for you on the cross, I encourage you to trust Him today. Here’s an example of a prayer you may pray:
Father, thank you for your love for me. I know that I am a sinner and cannot make it to heaven based on my own works. Thank you for the work Jesus did on the cross to give me forgiveness and a new life in Him. I place my faith in Jesus, and surrender my heart to You. Thank you that I no longer bear the burden of my own sin. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me the strength to live each day.
Saturday – Jesus was in the tomb, and the disciples were distraught, confused and heartbroken. Although Jesus told them He would be raised from the dead in three days, they forgot His promises.
Personal Reflection: What are the heartbreaks and disappointments in my life? What promises of God do I need to go back to and hold on to? When I experience dark times, am I willing to trust with hope that God can bring something good through it? Pray for His hope to permeate your mind and heart.
Sunday – Resurrection Day! Jesus rose from the dead! The tomb is empty! This is a day of celebration, a day that we rejoice in Jesus’ victory over death. We also rejoice in the fact that as believers in Christ, He has given us His Spirit to live in us (Romans 8). The resurrection not only means that as believers in Christ we will experience eternal life, but also that we live in victory because we have the Spirit of Christ living in us, giving us strength and hope and direction. Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20.
Personal Reflection: Am I walking in victory, recognizing that the very same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, lives in me? Am I looking to Him for direction and strength and triumph over sin? Am I living with a joy and peace that only His Spirit can give, as I keep my eyes on eternity? Pray for victory and joy as you reflect on all that the resurrection means in your life. Rejoice!!
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