For the past few weeks, we discussed the “one anothers” in scripture. We began with loving one another and the last post shared supporting one another. During our unexpected health crisis, we have had opportunities to express love, care, and support for many. We have reached out to offer prayer support for people in our country and around the world-people we don’t know who are on the front lines, ill, or who have lost loved ones.
I cannot think of a more relevant way to look at “forgiving one another” than to look at preparing for Easter. Passion week, or Holy Week, is the most significant week on the church calendar. This year, churches will not gather in buildings for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter Sunday. Most have joined on-line connections or services within the past few weeks. We’ve learned that the church is not a building, but a body, and have taken more time in our individual reading. If you don’t have daily devotional readings for the journey through Holy Week, a scripture guide for the week follows. I am repeating a previous post, The Treasures of a Most Significant Week. The scriptures don’t change, the events are the same, and “Jesus is the same, “yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
But we change–we see it currently– and we grow, and are in a different place from last year, so our reflection and response changes. May this year find us in a place of exceptional gratitude, and recognition that His treasures to us become more extraordinary every day; that His love never ends, and His peace that passes understanding can be ours. What Jesus demonstrated to us–grace, mercy, peace, forgiveness, love, are our examples for living with our “one anothers” as we go through challenging and unexpected days.
Palm Sunday, opens with a parade of praise, leading to days of persecution: Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:36-37; John 12: 12-19.
Reflect on the words: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21: 6-11)
The Last Supper
Remembrance at the Last Supper reminds us to remember our brokenness and Jesus’ return: Matthew 26:20-30; Luke 22:14-30; John 13: 21-30.
Reflect on the covenant made by His blood: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. (Mark 14:17-26)
Agony in the Garden
The agony of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane has a purpose. Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14: 32:52-65; Luke 22: 39-46.
Reflect on Jesus’ obedience: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” John 17
We see Peter in denial, while Jesus moves to delivery: Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; John 18:25-27
Reflect on our frailty and Jesus extraordinary love: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:54-65
The Place of the Skull
“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:32-43
Reflect: The Friday cross: It is finished, but not over; there is more to come. Matthew 27: 35-44; Mark 15: 25-41; John 19:18-27.
So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid. Mark 15:42-47
Reflect: The love and boldness of a friend. Silent Saturday. Reflect on Jesus’ great cost and our great reward. Waiting in silence on Saturday will reveal an unprecedented solution on Sunday. Matthew 27:57-61; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42.
The Most Life-Changing Day
The most significant week ends with the most significant day of celebration: the resurrected Christ and the empty tomb. Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-12; John 20: 1-9.
Reflect: No need for fear. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:1-7