Holy Week – a time to recall and give thanks

This week I’m dedicating my blog to Holy Week, which began yesterday, Palm Sunday, and ends on Easter Sunday.  My hope is that this would provide you and your family with a resource each day of this week to recall and give honor and praise for our Lord’s supreme sacrifice of love for each of us individually and corporately.

Palm Sunday began a very important week of celebration in the Christian church.  It’s the first day of Holy Week.  Holy Week is a time in the Christian church when we celebrate the last days of Christ’s ministry on earth – the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem, his suffering, death, burial and resurrection.  With these events, Jesus brought to a climax the prophesies concerning the coming of His kingdom, and the institution of the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

Holy Week is a marvelous opportunity for Christian growth.  Our walk with Christ can really mature during Holy Week – we grow as the Holy Spirit works through the Gospel that we hear and receive during these days.  Each of the days of the week celebrates an important event in the last days of our Lord on earth.

The trip to Jerusalem:  Jesus’ first stop on His final trip to Jerusalem was the town of Bethany, the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus – where He is anointed.

  Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.   There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.  Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.  But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denariiand given to the poor?”   This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.  But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.  For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”   John 12:1-8

The Mark 14 account of this same event adds these words that Jesus said about what Mary had done:  “She has done what she could.  She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.  Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”
Following Mary’s anointing of Jesus, one of His own disciples became so jealous that he decided to betray Him to the Jewish leaders who wanted Jesus dead.
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them.   And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money.   So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.  Mark 14:10-11
The Jewish leaders not only wanted to kill Jesus, but also His friend Lazarus.

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there [at Martha’s and Mary’s home]; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,   because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.  John 12:9-11

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday commemorates our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem five days before His crucifixion.  This day takes its name from the fact that, as Jesus approached Jerusalem on a donkey, the huge crowd that followed carried olive and palm branches as they praised Him.   The people hailed Him as the long awaited “Son of David,” the Messiah.  When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here.   And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them.   But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”  Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.  And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”  But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”  Luke 19:28-40  It’s also recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1- 11, and John 12:12-19.

This event was prophesied by Zechariah 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Prayer:  Loving God, I am just beginning to realize how much you love me. Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient.  He fulfilled your will for him by becoming human and suffering with us.  I ask you for the desire to become more humble   so that my own life might also bear witness to you.  I want to use the small sufferings I have in this world to give you glory.  Please, Lord, guide my mind with your truth.  Strengthen my life by the example of Jesus. Help me to be with Jesus in this week as he demonstrates again his total love for me.  He died so that I would no longer be separated from you. Help me to feel how close you are and to live in union with you.

Holy Monday

Holy Monday remembers the day in which Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem.  Jesus was staying outside of the city of Jerusalem, in the town of Bethany, probably with His friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. So after the crowd’s exhortations and praise, He left the city for the night.

Two important event happened as Jesus drew near to Jerusalem the next morning.  First He wept over the “blindness” of the people of the city. The Bible warns us not to depend on the honor of men – for they will praise you one day, and the next day they’ll want to destroy you.  Jesus knew this and so, the day after He was praised in the streets of Jerusalem, He cried for that same city and its inhabitants; because He knew they were about to turn on Him.   Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”  Luke 19:41-44

Second, He cursed the fig treeNow the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”  And His disciples heard it.  Mark 11:12-14  He did this to teach His disciples a lesson on prayer and faith; which He taught them the next morning.  And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”  So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.  And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”  Matthew 21:20-22

Then Jesus entered the city and cleansed the TempleSo they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple.  Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”   And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.  When evening had come, He went out of the city.  Mark 11:15-19

Jesus was referring to the words of Isaiah and Jeremiah.  Both spoke of God’s grace extended outside Judaism and also served as warnings to all to keep the Temple of God pure and undefiled.  Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants— everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant— even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.  The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him.”  (Isaiah 56:6-8)  Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable things?   Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.  Jeremiah 7:9-11

Prayer: God of love, My prayer is simple: Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me. I know only that I cannot have real strength unless I rely on you. I cannot feel protected from my many weaknesses until I turn to you for forgiveness and your unalterable love. Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others.

Holy Tuesday
Holy Tuesday remembers the time when the churchmen tried to trap Jesus into making a blasphemous remark.  The raising of Lazarus from the dead a few weeks earlier was probably the last straw for the Jewish leaders, who began to fear that the people would favor Jesus over them and they would lose their positions of authority.  Caiaphas:  [high priest that year] said: “… it is expedient for usthat one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” [The high priest, without realizing what he was saying, was actually prophesying that Jesus would die for the salvation of all the children of God.]

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death…. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.  John 11:53-57

En route to Jerusalem, Matt 16, 17 and 20 describe three times that Jesus predicted His death and resurrection.

First:  21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Second22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.”

Third17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify.  And the third day He will rise again.”

So when the religious leaders tried to entrap Jesus, He was ready for them.  His passion and death was only going to happen on His timetable – not theirs.  Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to Him.   And they said to Him, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority to do these things?”  But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer Me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men? Answer Me.”   And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’  But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.  So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”  Mark 11:27-33

Prayer: God of such unwavering love, how do I celebrate the passion and death of Jesus? I often want to look the other way  and not watch, not stay with Jesus in his suffering.  Give me the strength to see his love with honesty and compassion and to feel deeply your own forgiveness and mercy for me. Help me to understand how to “celebrate” this week.  I want be able to bring my weaknesses and imperfections with me as I journey with Jesus this week, so aware of his love.

Other scriptures for contemplation: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; 1Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36

Holy Wednesday

Holy Wednesday is often called “spy” Wednesday, because it commemorates the day when Judas Iscariot became a spy or a traitor – agreeing to show the chief priests where they could easily capture Jesus.  Mark 14 indicates that Judas was upset when Jesus rebuked him for criticizing the woman who anointed Him with the expensive oil, and thereafter went directly to the chief priests to betray Him.  Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.  So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.  Matthew 26:14-16

Prayer: My savior, You invite me to share in the glory of the resurrection? Please stay with me as I struggle to see how accepting the crosses of my life will free me from the power of the one who wants only to destroy my love and trust in you. Help me to be humble and accepting like your Son, Jesus. I want to turn to You with the same trust He had in Your love. Save me, Lord. Only You can save me.

Other scriptures for contemplation: Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday remembers the events in the upper room the night before Jesus died.  These events are described in all four Gospels.   Matthew, Mark, and Luke focus on the institution of the Lord’s Supper and the eating of the Passover meal, while John focuses on the words of Jesus and His washing of the disciples’ feet.

Knowing that it was time, Jesus called His disciples together to celebrate one last time together, and to teach them that what they needed to know to carry on His work.   

 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 

And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.   Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’   Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”   So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.  In the evening He came with the twelve.   Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”  And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, “Is it I?” And another said, “Is it I?”  He answered and said to them, “It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.  The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.”  Mark 14:12-21   

And Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”  Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.   And He said to them, “This is My blood of the newcovenant, which is shed for many.   Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”  Mark 14:22-25

Then Jesus taught His disciples the importance of serving and loving one another.  

And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.   Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”  Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”  Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”  Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”  Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”   Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”   For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?   You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.    If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.   For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.  Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.    If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
John 13:2-17

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Mark 14:26

Jesus knew that His disciples would temporarily abandon Him – so He even warned them about this.

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘ I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’  “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”  Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”  But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”  And they all said likewise.  
Mark 14:27-31

The Prayer in the Garden

Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”   And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.   Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.  Stay here and watch.”  He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.   And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You.  Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?   Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words.   And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.   Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Mark 14:32-42

Prayer: Loving Provider, you gather me in this upper room with your son, to be fed by your love. At that supper, Jesus told us to “love one another,” and I know that is the heart of his gift, his sacrifice for me. I ask that I might find the source of my own heart, the meaning for my own life, in that Eucharist. Guide me to the fullness of Your love and life.

Other scriptures for contemplation: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Good Friday

Good Friday of course remembers Christ’s crucifixion.  Jesus was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem, at the top of the Calvary hill.  Philippians 2:8 tells us that Christ became, for our sake, obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.   Isaiah 53 and other Old Testament prophets told of His coming sufferings and death.

Then Judas arrived, with the temple guard to arrest Him.

And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.  Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”  As soon as he had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, “Rabbi, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.   And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me?   I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Then they all forsook Him and fled.    Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
Mark 14:43-52

Jesus was first taken to faces His accusers in the Sanhedrin.

And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.   But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.   For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.  Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’”   But not even then did their testimony agree.  And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”  But He kept silent and answered nothing.  Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?   You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”  And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.  Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.
Mark 14:53-65

We know the rest of the story – that Jesus was then taken to Pontius Pilate, where He was further tortured, then finally sentenced to die on a cross – in spite of His complete innocence.  He allowed this to happen – He could have ended it at any time – but He didn’t – until “His work was finished.”  He did this all for the remission of our sins.

Prayer: My Lord, Your Son has suffered so much, shed so much blood. I was born with so many faults and my nature is so full of weakness, and yet Your Son Jesus has died on the cross. For me.  I know Your grace has the power to cleanse me of my many sins and to make me more like Your Son. Thank You for Your goodness and love for me. I ask You, Father, to watch over me – always.

Other scriptures for contemplation: Isaiah 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; 31:9-16; Hebrews 10:16-25;4:14-16; 5:7-9; Philippians 2:5-11

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is very special, because it represents the time that Jesus spent in the bowels of the earth – preaching to the Old Testament saints, then releasing them and taking them to His Father in Heaven.  Jesus also faced down Satan, and destroyed the power over sin and death that Adam had given him in the Garden of Eden.  Jesus gave power and authority over the devil to the Church – you and I.  Now we have that authority over all the power of the enemy.  Holy Saturday is observed in many Christian churches with the blessing and lighting of a tall Paschal candle.  Incense is burned, representing the wounds of Jesus and the burial spices with which his body was anointed.  The candle is lit and remains in the church until Ascension Day.

Jesus was rejected, not just by Peter and by the traitor Judas, but by every one of the twelve apostles – men that He had personally selected to carry on His work and that He had lived and ministered with for three years.  And Jesus has also been rejected by each one of us – at many times in our lives.  But the Bible says that He loved us, while we were still sinners – in spite of the fact that we were sinners.  That’s the real miracle of the cross!

It’s not the fact that we rebelled against God in our past – that’s important.  God forgives us for the sins of our past that we repent of.  What’s important most is the relationship we form with Jesus – when we finally realize that we messed up – and that He’s the only way to fix our relationship with His Father – Almighty God.

We can see that in the different reactions of the two most prominent men who rejected Jesus: Peter and Judas Iscariot.

Acts 1:15-20 tells us that Judas’ response was much different than Peter’s.  Judas felt remorse for what had transpired  – but he never repented that we know of.  Instead, he went out and committed suicide.  

 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples(altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”    (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.   And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)   “For it is written in the Book of Psalms:   ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, ad let no one live in it’;and ‘Let another take his office.’

 The Bible says that Peter also rejected Jesus (out of fear for his own life) – but he wept – he repented. 

Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came.   And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.”  But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying.” And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.”   But he denied it again.  And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!”  A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.   Mark 14:66-72

Both Peter and Judas rejected Jesus – but Peter repented and became stronger for it.  Even becoming a leader of Christ’s Church in Jerusalem.

 Other scriptures for contemplation: Job 14:1-14; Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday, the third day since the crucifixion, is where He rose up from His tomb that was guarded by the sentries, and met His disciples to get them prepared to continue His works on earth.   Easter celebrates Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil, as well as the promise of our justification and everlasting life.

The miracle of the crucifixion, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus is that each one of us has the same opportunity that Peter had to turn our lives around and begin to serve God – to make Jesus our Lord.  That gives us the victory in Jesus that we sing about so often.

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