Tag Archive | passion week devotional

Matthew 27:57-60 ” As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.”

In reading these verses you can’t help but notice the use of the impersonal pronoun “it” in speaking about the body of Jesus.  It was no longer His body, for in verse 50 of this Chapter as He hung from that Cross, “When then Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His spirit.”   The Greek word for “gave up” literally means to permit, allow, or hand over.  Jesus was in complete control…even to the point of having total dominion and power over His time of death…He let His spirit pass, and the body that remained behind was just a empty shell.

John 13: 4-5 ” So He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.”

This very intimate moment happened during the Last Supper when Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal together.  There must have been gasps and awkward silence as the disciples watched their Lord take on the role assigned to the lowest of lowest servants.  For the washing of dusty, dirty feet was a part of hospitality and custom of the time… a generous and gracious way to receive guests into your house…and usually done by a lowly, and young servant.  It says that when He had finished, He said, “Now that I, Your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”  But what was Jesus trying to tell us?  First, Jesus was teaching us  by example.  In Matthew 20:28 He explained, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  So what He’s telling us is that we need to follow His example by having a servants heart.  And in doing so, we can show others recognition and gratitude that’s steeped in humility and love.  For it says He washed the feet of all the disciples…including the feet of Judas.

Matthew 21:14-15 ” The blind and the lame came to Him at the Temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things He did and the children shouting in the Temple area, ‘Hosanna to the son of David,’ they were indignant.”

Jesus had just cleared the Temple area of the money-changers and merchants.  The crowd then started bringing Him all their sick…and He healed them all it says.  To add to this building excitement, the children were running among the people shouting praises to God!  But when the Pharisees and the Sadducees entered the Temple area, they didn’t see the amazing miracles, or hear the beautiful worship… they instead took offense.  Rather than rejoicing in the goodness of God, they in selfish indignation chose to be insulted and offended by what they saw and heard.   We need to be wary of taking the bait of Satan, which is taking offense…especially during this current time of difficulty and fear.  We can’t judge or second guess people when we don’t know all that’s going on in their life right now.  We also can’t allow selfish anger to well up when we think our needs aren’t being met.  Now is the time to turn outside ourselves, to guard against taking offense, and to come together.

Luke 22:34 ” Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know Me.’ “

That could have been me in place of Peter.   How can I self-righteously think that I would have behaved any differently?  Peter had followed Jesus for three years, watching as He preached, healed, and performed miracle after miracle.  But despite all Peter had been part of, he still denied he even knew who Jesus was.  Yes, it could have easily been me disowning the Lord.  For any time I allow fear to mute my voice in speaking the truth of God…I’m silently renouncing Him…more afraid of possible retribution or embarrassment than speaking up.  That’s because when I’m silent instead of standing up for what’s right and good and godly…I’m quietly condoning sin.

Psalm 42:5 ” Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

The whole of mankind hoped with eager anticipation…awaiting the promise of the fulfillment of the coming Messiah…only to watch Him die a terrible and horrific death on the Cross.  The day after that shocking event, the human soul was holding its breath…struggling to remember the words of Jesus  while despair tried to crowd out any shred of hope.  Human life hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness that fateful day.  But God is the God of hope, (Romans 15:13) and we have this hope as an anchor. (Hebrews 6:19)  So if today,  you’re facing the impossible, the incurable, the irreversible…put your hope in God and fix your eyes on Him.  For if God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can breathe life into your sick, dying body, revive a struggling marriage, or break the chains of addiction off a loved one.  For as long as there is hope, there’s life.

Isaiah 42:6-7 ” I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness; I will take hold of Your hand. I will keep You and will make You to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

God’s plan was to save the nations through the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  In this Scripture, Isaiah foretells of this plan and purpose…or what we call the New Covenant.  Jesus explained this plan and purpose to Paul on that fateful road to Damascus in Acts 26:18 when He said, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”  And God has faithfully maintaining that covenant with all mankind…offering salvation and life… and the chance to break free of the chains of bondage that hold us prisoner.

Isaiah 52:13-14 ” See, My servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at Him – His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness -“

Here the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the punishment Jesus endured…the flogging, beating, and bludgeoning He bore at the hands of the priests, elders, scribes, and Roman soldiers. (Mark 14:65)  The Son of Man was battered beyond identification…disfigured beyond human semblance…for you.  He endured it all for you… that you may have fellowship with God and the gift of eternal life.