Devo

Welcome to our Holy Week Daily Devotions. The RVAXA Staff felt inspired to provide some content to help us open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit’s voice during this time. Each devotional has a brief thought, followed by an exercise to engage our minds, hearts and to put the devotion into practice. We want this week to impact our heads, hearts and hands. I’m praying that God not only blesses you through this journey, but blesses others through you!

The Resurrection: What Did He Say, Again?

The women showed up at the tomb Sunday morning to finish what they started on Friday afternoon. They had come to finish the embalming process of their beloved rabbi’s body with spices and ointments, and to mourn.

Imagine their shock when they arrived to find an open, empty tomb. While they were still wondering, two “men in radiant apparel” appeared. “… He is not here; He has risen!”

And then, “remember what He told you…!” 

They had forgotten; or perhaps they had thought he was speaking figuratively. And now these “men” reminded them that the incredulous thing He had said – that he would be killed, but rise to life on the third day – had indeed happened, exactly as He said it would!

What a range of emotions they must have experienced when they realized that what they thought was hopeless and finished was indeed a completely different thing altogether! Even when they ran to tell the others, they were not believed. God had done the impossible.

Head

Read Luke 24:1-12

Heart

In what ways have you explained away the “unbelievable” things promised by God in scripture? Are there things that you can’t believe, maybe because they are too far outside of your experience? Without judging yourself, acknowledge what these things are in the presence of God. Humbly ask Him to help you overcome your unbelief.

Hand

Be expectant! When you pray, pray specifically and look for the answer to come. Banish cynicism! Dare to look for where God is at work in the world and expect that He might actually surprise you. And give Him the full glory when He does!

The Tomb: Waiting

Reality had set in. Jesus, their savior, died on the cross. But what about the promise of a savior who would deliver them from evil? What about the ultimate king who would bring peace to the world? Can you imagine the grief and confusion those who knew Jesus were feeling? They had waited so long for God’s promise, and yet it didn’t look like what they expected. But we know how the story ends. When God makes a promise, He is always faithful to fulfill it. In the waiting, we don’t ignore reality but meditate on the fact that there is a savior who has conquered death.

What promises of God are you waiting on? What truths can you hold on to in the waiting? How has God been faithful to you in the past knowing that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow?

Head

Read John 19:38-42

Heart

Spend some time reflecting on God’s promises and His faithfulness.

Hand

Share with someone how God has been faithful to fulfill His promises in your life. This helps to build our faith and encourage one another.

The Crucifixion

In this passage we see the suffering Jesus had to go through while being crucified. Some hurled insults at him while others mocked him saying if he was really God’s son, why wouldn’t he just save himself? In his last few moments, Jesus calls out to the Father before he breaths his last and we see the curtain of the temple ripping in half and it is in that moment the guard believes Jesus is the son of God.

Head

Read Mark 15:21-41

Heart

Take some time to reflect on the crucifixion and thank Jesus for what he endured for YOU.

Hand

Text or call three people today to pray for them during these challenging times.

The Washing of Feet: Service

On this day, Jesus gathered together with his disciples to celebrate the Passover Festival with one final meal. He will soon be betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples that was with him for three years. Jesus was fully aware of the coming betrayal and the final hours he has left with his disciples. He did not act in self-defense or request to be served in these final hours of fellowship. Instead, Jesus served. God in human flesh, in a striking reversal of roles, washed his disciple’s feet. He demonstrated his love for his disciples and modeled the heart of a humble servant, charging them to wash one another’s feet out of the same love he showed them.

Head

Read John 13:1-17

Heart

Memorize John 13:14-15

Hand

Find a way to intentionally serve a friend, family member, or neighbor.

The Anointing of Jesus

Worship. Jesus had just raised Mary’s brother, Lazarus from the dead. A meal in honor of Jesus takes place at their house. Mary responds to Jesus’s presence lavishly by anointing him with a fragrance of high value. This fragrance filled the whole room. One of Jesus’s disciples, Judas objects… How could she have used Nard on Jesus?

Mary knew who was before her. It was Jesus, the Messiah, The Son of God. Her worship to Jesus was a recognition of who he is and an expression of gratitude, and wonder! We see the Son of God being glorified through this anointing, as his burial was soon to come.

When we recognize who Jesus is, it causes us to respond in worship. When you think of Jesus and what he has done for you does it lead you to worship? Does the fragrance of our worship to God fill the room?  Today let’s respond to God in worship for who he is and what he has done for us.

Head

Read John 12:1-6

Heart

Are there any areas in your life that are pulling you away or holding you back from responding to God in gratitude and wonder? Write these down and present them to the Lord.

Hand

Let’s allow the fragrance of worship to fill the room. Call a friend and share how God has been working in your life this week.

The Cleansing of the Temple: Justice for All People

In ancient Israel, the temple was the sacred place where God’s presence lived on earth, and His people could enter into His “home” to be with Him. The temple had several courts for believers to enter into, but the outer one was reserved for the non-believers and the foreigners.  Jesus was angry that merchants were using this place of worship to sell livestock and make profits off the poor.  See, God declared His house to be a place of prayer for all nations, where He would gather the lost to Himself.  How could they seek God’s presence when there was no place for them among His people?
It is unjust to keep others from a realized love of the Father.  When we allow Jesus to cleanse our hearts, we see the depths of His heart more clearly.  Jesus gave His life for all people, that His name be praised among the nations.  How can you make space in your life for those seeking God?

Head

Read Mark 11:15-18

Heart

Spend time in prayer, heart to heart, with Jesus.  Ask Him to put specific people on your heart.

Hand

Invite someone to watch the online Easter service from your church this weekend.

The Hope of Palm Sunday

Hope. Those living in Jerusalem were desperate for it. They had been living under the oppression of foreign governments for centuries with no end in sight, but then someone said the Messiah, their Savior, was coming. It caused them to erupt in spontaneous praise. When the religious leaders protested and asked Jesus to tell them to stop, he said if they didn’t praise, the rocks would cry out. Even creation was desperate for the hope of a deliverer!

The human heart craves hope. Holy Week is a time to remember the hope that came in Jesus and the hope that is still to come. What are you hoping for? Has our current situation changed that for you? Take time to reflect on your hope and open yourself up to the hope that Jesus brings.

Head

Read Luke 19:35-40

Heart

Spend some time reflecting on where you put your hope. Better still, write those reflections in a journal.

Hand

Share your hope. Send someone a quick text or note of affirmation or encouragement.

For previous devotions, view the archive here.