Holy Week Devotions 2020

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EASTER EVE, MATTHEW 27: 61 “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.”  Waiting, the law of life. Waiting is the law of life. We wait for the mail, we wait in lines, we wait for Christmas, we wait for our children to come home from college, we wait for birth, we wait for death. We wait. Since man’s “fall” into sin, we waited for a Savior. When Jesus came, we waited to see if he was the Messiah. When Jesus said he was going to Jerusalem to die, we waited. When Jesus said he would rise again, we waited. The two Marys waited. They waited for a sign. They waited for that moment when the stone would be rolled away and Christ would rise from the dead. And now we wait. We wait for Christ to come again. We wait to be reunited with loved ones who have gone before us or who we have gone before. We wait for the last trumpet. We wait for Christ to come and make all things new. We wait with the sure and certain hope of the resurrection. We wait. Amen.


GOOD FRIDAY LUKE 23: 46 “…Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” When I was a boy the very first prayer that I learned was the bedtime prayer that went, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” It was a bedtime prayer asking God to watch over me and also to remind me that God would watch over me during the night. From the cross Jesus prayed, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” This is the bedtime prayer that each little Jewish child was taught in Jesus’s day here on earth. I think what Jesus was trying to tell us that, death is now merely sleep. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 says the same thing. And we know what happens when we sleep. The alarm goes off and we awake for another day. Paul says in that same book and chapter that when the trumpet sounds we will wake up to a new life. Thanks be to God that Christ has turned death into sleep. We wait now for that “great gettin’ up.” Amen


THURSDAY OF HOLY WEEK MATTHEW 26: 26 & 27 “Take, eat; this is my body…Drink from it all of you, for this is the blood of the covenant poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar all describe different aspects of the Sacrament. “The Lord’s Supper” reminds us who the host of the feast is, Jesus Christ. “Holy Communion reminds us that we are united with Christ and with each other as we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. “Sacrament of the Altar” reminds us that Christ was the sacrificial lamb on God’s altar and that the Sacrament is given at the altar as people come forward in faith. The same meal, but different meaning for different moments. Amen.


WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK, MATTHEW 25: 34 “…’Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” These words come a prophetic picture about Christ’s second coming. The message is quite simply this, “Those who have not only talked the talk, but walked the walk will be in heaven with the Father.” First, heaven is not some after thought of God’s The kingdom of God has been in existence since forever and citizenship in God’s Kingdom is for those who have faith in Christ and then live out their faith. Living out our faith is seen in two ways. First, loving God with all your heart, mind strength, and soul. Second, is loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Faith is not a static thing but it is a call to action and living out the faith. Let us live out the faith in our lives. Amen.


TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK, MATTHEW 22: 8 "The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy."  These words come from Jesus’ parable about a wedding feast. All of the invited guests had received their “SAVE THE DATE!” invites. But when the actual time of the wedding came around all had their excuses as to why they weren’t coming. And that’s what they were, “excuses. When the host got the word that no one was coming he saad, “But those who were invited were not worthy.” What makes us worthy? Is there anything we can go to make ourselves worthy to accept the invitation to become followers of Jesus Christ. A man was invited by a pastor to come to church and accept Christ as his savior. The man replied, “I will one day. It’s just that I am not good enough now.” The pastor replied, “Don’t you understand, none of us are good enough. Jesus accepts us as we are.” What makes us worthy is the grace of God. What makes us worthy is believing that we need salvation and accepting the invitation from God. Amen.


MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK, MATTEHW 21: 13 “My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a den of robbers.” What is a placer of worship? It is particular place where people can come to confess their sins and receive absolution, hear the Word of God, give praise and thanks to God for all the blessings that he has given to us. Sadly the Temple had been turned into a bazaar. The Temple Tax had to be paid in Hebrew currency. For a fee there were men in the Temple would gladly trade Roman currency for Hebrew currency. You gave me a Roman dollar and I gave you back a quarter in Hebrew currency. You needed an animal for a sacrifice the animals I am selling are all first born and perfect. They will all pass inspection by the priests. Of course my animals are five times more expensive than those you can purchase down at the stockyards, but mine are guaranteed perfect. The Temple had become a house or extortion, and not a place to worship. What kind of place do you go to worship? Amen.

Palm Sunday - MATTHEW 21: 2

SUNDAY OF THE PASSION, MATTHEW 21: 2 “…and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. ; untie them and bring them to me.” The ride into Jerusalem has long been called Jesus’s victory lap. I think there is something of deeper significance going on here. In Jesus’s time when king or general led his troops into battle he always rode on a horse. The horse was the mount for battle. The surrender protocol was for the conquered king or general was to ride out on a donkey to surrender to the winner. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem he was surrendering to evil. He was going to give up, to sacrifice his life for sinful humanity. This was not a victory lap it was more a funeral procession. The word hosanna means: help, save, rescue me.” Jesus was coming to Jerusalem to surrender himself in order to help, save, and rescue sinful humanity from sin and death. “HOSANA! SAVE ME JESUS!” AMEN