by retired pastor Louis Staubs
Note: This week’s devotional entries all pertain to the events of Passion Week, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.
Read Galatians 2:19-21
“I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20, NKJ
It could well be said that the most significant week in the earthly life of Jesus was the week beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing through Easter Sunday. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to reflect in a prayerful way on that week which changed history.
During the last several years of our pastoral ministry, we set aside “Holy Week” for special services each night as we re-traced the steps and involvement of Jesus. While we did not advertise these as revival services, REVIVAL was experienced with spontaneous altar services, some being saved, some delivered from drugs, marriages healed, physical healings, and many testifying, “It was like falling in love with Jesus all over again.”
It’s challenging to know that on Monday following the Big Parade, Jesus went into the temple and did some much-needed cleaning (Mark 11:15-17). Isn’t it amazing how many religious people are angered by the teachings of God?
Remember how Mary’s action of washing the feet of Jesus was elevated by the Lord as an example of humility. Then on Thursday evening Jesus initiated the Lord’s Supper, washed the disciples feet, went to the Garden to pray (and what a prayer that was!). This was followed by Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, the arrest of Jesus, the denial by Peter, and a mock trial began with the outcome already determined. This man, Jesus, had to die—by Crucifixion! Jesus Christ was indeed crucified, as verified by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Bible records that three men were crucified that day. Saul of Tarsus was not one of them. He was, however, a prominent Jewish religious leader before He became a Christian. Saul had heard about this Jesus . . . the accusations . . . His death . . . the Resurrection. He was doing what he could to end the spread of Christianity by persecuting followers of Jesus (Acts 8:3; 9:1-12). And then it happened: through no choice of Saul’s, but through the will of God, Saul had a personal encounter with the Living Christ (Acts 9:3-9). Not only was Saul’s name changed to Paul, but his heart was changed through the transforming power of God.
Paul was so captivated by Jesus Christ that he spent the rest of his life being a devout follower of the One who died, that his sins could be forgiven. The Holy Spirit commissioned Paul to work with Him in giving us the majority of the New Testament as found in his numerous letters to the Christian churches in the towns and cities of Asia Minor.
Paul never forgot that encounter on the Damascus Road. The predominant theme of his ministry has to do with the Cross, the blood of Jesus, the grace of God in providing the ultimate sacrifice, and the amazing love of God which transcends all others.
Now, here we are. Two centuries have passed since that amazing day on Calvary. How have we been impacted by it all? Is it just history? Or do we find relevancy for today as we go about daily living?
Today is Friday—Sunday is coming! Tony Evans in his book, “The Power of the Cross,” said, “You may want a resurrection Sunday in your life, as we all do. But bear in mind there is no resurrection Sunday without a Friday . . . and the cross.”
In these moments of reflection, may we be reminded again of the ultimate sacrifice of Your Son on the Cross. May our relationship with You bless You even as You bless us. Lead us to that level of commitment where we can testify with the Apostle Paul, “I am crucified with Christ…”
Reflect on these questions with someone else or on your own:
- How has “Holy Week” impacted you and your family this year?
- What are some favorite memories of past Easter celebrations?
- Who is your favorite participant in the Biblical account of Good Friday and/or Easter?
- Compare the betrayal by Judas and the denial by Peter.