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SUNDAY MARCH 28TH

DEVOTIONAL

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week. In the history of the church this is a solemn time when we consider the significance of the death of Christ. His death is the darkness that precedes the dawn. 

Events beyond our control prohibit us from participating together in a digital service this morning. Whether you are gathered with others or are by yourself in your home this morning, I encourage you to take a few moments on this Lord’s Day to consider the significance of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Read the words below and let yourself pray to God about these things.

Read Today's Scripture:

John 19:17-42

 

After reading John 19:17-42, let’s consider the following together.

 

1. Jesus’s Death is a Global Event
 

Think for a moment how unceremonious Jesus’s birth was. His first breaths were taken in a lodging place for animals and only celebrated by lowly shepherds. His last breaths would be taken under a political ruler’s written declaration in multiple languages that this man from Nazareth is King. The very words that are intended to be a mockery of Jesus serve as a declaration in all the languages of the surrounding area, and therefore to all the people, that God has established His King on Zion (Ps 2:6). Yes, he is a Jewish King. But he is also King for nations!

2. Jesus’s Death is in fulfillment of god's mission
 

There are many complexities in this world. Christianity does not necessarily remove these complexities and can often add to them. As we read the gospel of John we are beholding the greatest injustice in the history of the world. Jesus is the Son of God. He is Immanuel, God among us. God in flesh. He has fed the hungry, given sight to the blind, healed the sick, and raised the dead. His teachings are the very words of God. He is the promised Prophet like Moses and offspring of Abraham and David that will bless the nations and establish God’s righteous kingdom forever. Yet, in the hours before this account Jesus has been betrayed, denied, and tried unjustly. Now he prepares to be crucified as a common criminal. How can the promised Messiah who is God in flesh suffer such humiliation? Is this humiliation a part of God’s plan? 


Shockingly, it is! In this passage John takes great care to show the reader that the appalling situation unfolding is actually part of God’s rescue plan (ex: the dividing of Jesus’s garments is a fulfillment of Psalm 22; Ex. 12:46 and Num. 9:12 prohibit the bones of the Passover lamb from being broken; Zechariah 12:10 prophesies those who pierce the Messiah will look upon him). Be not dismayed! The slain Passover Lamb offers the covering for sin that we must have to bring us back to God. It was the will of the Lord to crush Jesus as a lamb led to slaughter, but it is by His wounds that we are healed (Isa. 53). 

 


3. Jesus’s Death accomplishes what we cannot

“It is finished.” Words without action are just sounds. They have no meaning. These words by Jesus are uttered at the moment Jesus’s actions are accomplishing the redemptive work of the Triune God. Their power is secure in the innocent blood being shed by God himself on behalf of the sins of God’s people. God is not just making the redemption of His people a possibility. Through the death of Jesus, He is making it a certainty. God is providing the payment for sin that His people could never provide. That is what is finished. Jesus’s mission to offer himself as a sanctifying sacrifice to the Father on behalf of the sins of God’s people is coming to completion. It is a historical event that cannot be undone.
 

The power of these words remain today because history cannot be undone. When Satan comes to you as the accuser laying your sins before you, you do not need to act as though you have not broken God’s law. Instead, you declare the just payment for your sin has been paid. It is finished. There remains no charge of guilt against God’s people. It is finished. Condemnation has dispersed as the rising sun sends the darkness of night away. It is finished. Satan’s claim against you is tossed out, not because you did no wrong, but because the punishment for your sin is paid. It is finished. Whatever the sin is that haunts your heart and serves as an anvil around your neck, cut it loose with the words of the Passover Lamb. It is finished!
 

Who are these glorious truths for? Any and all who simply come to Jesus in their hour of need. To the Christian, remember you trust in Him for your rescue from sin and death. You have no guilt. Jesus has taken it. To the non-Christian, trust in Him for the first time for your rescue from sin and death. Feel the freedom and breath the fresh air of guilt, shame, and condemnation being taken away. May the finished work of Christ on the cross be our freedom from sin and death. In the darkness of Christ’s death, we find our light to life. 

AMEN

More resources below if you'd like something throughout Holy Week.

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LENT RESOURCES

Lent is a season where we can look at Jesus's offering, suffering, and even his death. 

READ

Intro To Liturgy - Borrowed from our brothers and sisters at Village Church in Texas, this introduction to the Church Calendar is easy to read and pretty to look at. 

Sacred Ordinary Days - A planner that helps "everyday Christians" cultivate the peace, presence, and purpose of our faith every day. The simple tools inside have served followers for centuries and proved helpful for our staff in 2020. Great for fans of reflection, spiritual formation, and journaling/list-making. If you would like financial assistance for this year-long resource, please let Heather know you are interested.

Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional - Lent is often associated with solemn observation and preparation - mourning past and present sin and letting go of the worldly things that keep the heart from experiencing God more fully. In this 40-daily lenten devotional, best-selling author Paul David Tripp invites readers to set aside time from the busyness of their lives to focus on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. Each short reading encourages believers to abide in the abundant joy found in Christ, as they encounter the Savior more fully and follow him more faithfully. Also available on Kindle. 

Desiring God: Solid Joys - John Piper, theologian and pastor from Minnesota, has created a web-based journey of meditations for the year. His goal: for Christians to see Christ in all his fullness and to love what they see with a love far beyond half-hearted human capacities — but rather a love made possible by the Holy Spirit.

Attend - A free PDF that you can print or read online as a Lenten Devotional. The creators of the Dwell App (listed below under "listen") have created this document as an "invitation into attentive living" where we can slow down in order to catch up with God... close our eyes so we can truly see... quiet our hearts so we can truly hear... and simplify our schedules so we can truly serve.


Gospel In Life Lent Devotional - A daily email or online devotional provided by Timothy Keller and Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC.



LISTEN
Dwell App - A beautifully crafted Bible-listening app. For most of human history, God's scriptures were enjoyed by listening and oral story-telling. There is something wonderful about having the Word of God read aloud to us, and the Dwell app has made a great effort at creating this experience digitally. Just ask Pastor Matt Chandler.

 

Desiring God: Solid Joys - John Piper, theologian and pastor from Minnesota, has created a web-based journey of meditations for the year. His goal: for Christians to see Christ in all his fullness and to love what they see with a love far beyond half-hearted human capacities — but rather a love made possible by the Holy Spirit.

The Lent Project - A daily email / online resource that pairs visual art with music. Created by the Center for Christianity, Culture, and the Arts at Biola University, this journey offers a unique way for participants to meditate on something beautiful as they ponder the path of Christ to the cross.
 

KIDS

The Jesus Storybook Bible -  If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher looking for a way to teach the children in your life about God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love, look no further than The Jesus Storybook Bible. (this is a GREAT resource for adults, too!)
 

The Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide A wonderful reading calendar, craft and coloring guide for families.


 

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