Saturday, April 07, 2007


When we think of the week preceding Easter, we often think of being out of school or off work. When what we need to think about is what Christ went through.

Yesterday was “Good Friday.” Jesus was tried, convicted, crucified and buried all in that one day. Now it is Saturday, a time for reflection of the previous day’s events.

What were the events of that day?

The only thing the scriptures tell us is that Pilate issued orders for the tomb of Jesus to be guarded.

62Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64“Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. Matthew 27:62 - 66 (NASB)

I also wonder what was going through the minds of the disciples?

Were they grieving over the loss of their friend that they had been with for the last three years? Or, were they angry because he was supposed to have been their king?

We know that after he had risen from the grave that the disciples didn’t believe it (Mark 16:11, 13). At least, Peter and John went to see for themselves (Luke 24:12; John 20:2-8). We also know that the disciples were afraid that the Jews might harm them as well:

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews… John 20:19 (NASB)

What are you thinking about today?

Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins or are you afraid of what people might think or do to you if you claim Jesus as your Savior?

Take at least part of this day to reflect on what Jesus has done for you. Think about the fact that He conquered sin and death. Think about the home that He is preparing for you in heaven. And then, live that life that He purchased for you on the cross, for Him.


Thursday, April 05, 2007


I never understood where the term Maundy Thursday came from. Maybe you’ve never even heard of the term before. In the church, it is the Thursday before Easter and commemorates Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. This event is recorded in John, chapter three:

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:3 - 5 (NKJV)

Jesus then proceeded to explain to them why He had done that...

And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 13:14 - 15 (NLT)

His explanation continued and reinforced the fact that He wanted them to know beyond doubt that He was the Messiah…and then,

When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” John 13:21 (NASB)

Jesus already knew who it was and what he had already done. The account in Matthew shows us that Judas went to the chief priests right after the incident with the costly perfume being poured out on Jesus’ head and before the First Day of Passover:

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. Matthew 26:14 - 16 (NKJV)

Well, you may think that I have digressed from my original wonderings at the origin of the term “Maundy Thursday,” but hang in there.

The Encarta Dictionary North America (online) says that the term “Maundy” is “the distribution of Maundy money by the British sovereign.” They also mention the Christian observance of the foot washing, but isn’t it interesting to note that the leadership of the Jews “distributed money” for the purpose of getting rid of Jesus!

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you with that little adventure. The most important thing I think that we can dwell on today, Maundy Thursday, is that Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, stooped to serve others on this day. We must not see ourselves as to high and mighty to serve even the lowliest of people, for they are all God’s children.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I don’t know about you, but I know that I have felt, in the past, betrayed by someone that I thought was my friend. It’s not a great feeling, especially when you thought that the two of you were friends and you were trying to help them.

The scene in the following passage shows Jesus being betrayed by someone with whom he had walked, talked and eaten for the last three years. And why? You read the passage and tell me if it looks like a money thing to you…

3And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. 6But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” 10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him. Mark 14:3 - 11 (NKJV)

Jesus had let this woman waste the equivalent of an entire year’s salary – on His feet!!!! That was poor money management. Judas, being the treasurer, naturally had to do something about it, so he contacted the people who wanted to kill Jesus to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again.

Notice Jesus’ response to those who complained about the waste. He praised the woman for the attention and worship that she lavished on Him, the Messiah. It reminds me of another time that someone was indignant in the company of Jesus…

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. 39Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38 - 42 (NLT)

As the week before Resurrection Day unfolds, think about that “one thing” that Jesus was talking about. Are you worried and upset over the day-to-day operations of your life, or are you thinking about the One (thing), Jesus Christ?


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


There was a television special a couple of weeks ago about this guy that claims to be Christ. Actually, if you read his website, he has changed his claim and now he is the antichrist. He has the number “666” tattooed on one arm and “SSS” (Salvo siempre salvo –saved always saved) tattooed on the other. His followers are actually on waiting lists to receive the same tattoos! Jesus warns us that there will be people like that.

“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; 22for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23“But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. Mark 13:21 - 23 (NASB)

Jesus began instructing his disciples as to what to expect after He was gone just a couple of days after the crowds had shouted “Hosannas” to Him. This is something we ought to get excited about! Hear the words of Jesus:

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. Mark 13:24 - 27 (NASB)

He is coming back for us! However, because He knows how weak the human heart is and how short our attention spans are, He warns us to be “alert.”

“Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. Mark 13:33 (NASB)

I think that is probably why He didn’t then and doesn’t now want anyone to know when He is coming back. He knows we’d just goof off until the day before! Luke goes into greater detail as to what Jesus said…

34“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36“But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-38 (NASB)

During this Holy Week before Easter, let your mind dwell on these words of Jesus. Take them to heart and pray for understanding and direction on a daily basis. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have access to God the Father only through Him.


Monday, April 02, 2007


The people had just welcomed Jesus as he was nearing the villages of Bethphage and Bethany. They had shouted “Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They were excited about this man, Jesus, who had healed so many and performed many miracles.

As we come to verse twelve in Mark chapter eleven, we see a different picture as Jesus comes upon a fig tree that was not bearing fruit…

Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

Then the scene shifts to Jesus entering the temple…

So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ Mark 11:15-17 (NKJV)

The “fruit” that should have been coming from those in the temple was a spiritual heart devoted to prayer and the worship of God but instead Jesus found those interested in merely making a material profit.

The next day, as Jesus and his disciples are leaving the city, we return to the fig tree once again…

Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” Mark 11:20-21 (NKJV)

A picture of what will happen to those who do not bear fruit for the kingdom of God

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. John 15:5 - 6 (NKJV)

If that isn’t incentive for staying close to Jesus, I don’t know what is! Is it really that simple? Yes! All we have to do is abide in (remain in, stay with, live with, rely on, live for) Jesus and we will bear fruit for His kingdom.


Sunday, April 01, 2007


On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. It is sometimes referred to as the triumphal entry.

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors 13 took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,

“Praise God!

Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!

Hail to the King of Israel!”

8 Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God!

Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!

10 Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David!

Praise God in highest heaven!”

John 12:12 – 13; (NLT) Mark 11:8 - 10 (NLT)

It was less than one week after Jesus came into the city that they crucified him. Hallelujah, by God’s grace, there is to be another time that Jesus comes to His own people.

And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18So encourage each other with these words. Matthew 24:30 – 31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - 18 (NLT)

One day Jesus and the New Jerusalem will come together as God originally intended; the final healing will have taken place, and once again, peace will reign throughout the universe.

2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 6Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Revelation 21:2-3 (NKJV); 6-7 (NASB)