We begin Holy Week with the triumphal procession of Palm Sunday when Christ entered Jerusalem and the people laid palms on the road before Him. Five days later, on Good Friday, some of those same people were likely among those who cried, "Crucify Him!"
Lord God, I give you thanks, for you are good, and your mercy is endless. Here I stand, at the start of this holy week, this week in which your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death. And I am distracted by many things. Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in your name. The One who opens the gates of righteousness. The One who answers when we call. I bless you for sending your Son to us, in human frailty. To walk the road, we walk. Open my eyes that I may see him coming and may praise him with a pure heart. Amen
Monday –Matthew 21:12-17, Jesus at the Temple
How had the Temple (God’s House) become a den of robbers? Merchants were selling sacrificial animals and exchanging currency at exorbitant prices. By turning the court of the Gentiles into a shopping mall, they prevented Gentiles from using this part of the temple as God had intended for prayer? Is there anything in your life that needed removed so you can re-focus on prayer?
Tuesday –John 12:9-19, Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
Why did Jesus participate in this procession? Jesus at the climax of his ministry, was making a very public statement about who he is: the Son of David, the King of kings, the conqueror of sin and sickness. Conquering generals at that time were given a “triumphal entry” on their return to their home city. How else should we celebrate Jesus? Did He allow us an opportunity to worship and celebrate “with” Him?
Wednesday –John 12:20-26, Jesus Predicts His Death
Must followers of Jesus die like he did? Yes and no. The death of Jesus was a substitution, atoning death; the death of his follower isn’t. Jesus died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So also, the believer must die to sin and self and live to God, that is, for God’s glory. Does this make his death less or more significant to you? Should we wrestle with this and allow the weight to have significance in our life? …or accept and live a glad life?
Thursday –John 12:27-36, Walk while you have the light
Who is the “Prince of This World”? 12:31 This is a title for Satan. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. Though Satan is still active, his tim is short. In the age to come, Satan will be powerless and confined to forever under judgment. Sometimes we forget that Satan is still waging a war. We don’t want to give him too much emphasis, yet we still need to be aware that we are in a spiritual warfare.
Friday – John 17, Jesus Prays for his Disciples & All Believers
Was the doom of Judas preordained? Even though God in his divine wisdom knew exactly what Judas would do, God was not to blame for Judas’s actions. Judas made his own choice and was responsible for his act of betrayal. Like all who reject Jesus, Judas was doomed. Still God used Judas to accomplish his purpose according to his plan. How does this make you feel? Can God use anyone? …even if they stand against Him?
Saturday –John 19:38-42, Burial of Jesus
Why did these two secret disciples risk discovery after Jesus was dead? These two apparently kept quiet about their convictions while Jesus was alive. They probably feared being thrown out of the synagogue. Now, with Jesus dead, the threat of reprisal was perhaps less likely. Still to openly ask for Jesus’ body required tremendous courage. If you were there, how do you think you’d react?