Easter Sunday devotional 3.27.16

Read:  John 20:1-21

resurrection garden easter sunday

The news was too good to be true—such joy after such despair!  The women learned of it first:  The tomb was empty.  When Peter and John investigated, the burial cloth was folded neatly, ruling out grave robbery.  Then Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, who bubbled over with her report.  The disciples still weren’t sure—maybe she’d seen a vision.  When Jesus appeared to them Sunday evening, they were overjoyed.  Their hearts were comforted with his words:  “Peace be with you!”  He directed them, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  His peace filled them up to the brim.  Jesus had risen from the dead!  Everything seemed possible now.

Reflection:  

How does Easter bring God’s peace to your heart?  How is he sending you to share his peace with others?

Daily Lenten devotional 3.26.16

resurrection gardenRead:  John 19:38-42

Nicodemus wasn’t an average Pharisee.  He loved the laws of God, and enjoyed power and wealth like the others.  But he had questions the laws couldn’t answer.  He went to Jesus under the cover of night.  He was the first person to hear the most famous of Jesus’ sayings, John 3:16.  Nicodemus isn’t mentioned again until Jesus’ burial in John 19.  He supplied a large, expensive quantity of burial spices.  He and Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body according to Jewish custom, carefully wrapping the bruised and beaten limbs with linen.  Nicodemus had changed.  He willingly put his reputation on the line and considered the messy, challenging, and costly burial a privilege.  He did what he could to honor Jesus because the words of John 3:16 had come to life before his eyes.

Reflection:  

Have the words of John 3:16 changed you, as they changed Nicodemus?

Good Friday devotional 3.25.16

resurrection gardenRead:  Matthew 27:46

This cry of Jesus has long resonated with me:  “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Jesus had never been separated from his Father.  In taking sin’s curse upon himself on the cross, Jesus had to accept that terrible punishment.  His cry resonates with me as a child of divorce who often felt forsaken.  I take comfort knowing Jesus understands my pain.  I take comfort knowing God never leaves me nor forsakes me (Hebrews 13:5).  I take comfort that on this Good Friday, Jesus removed the barrier between us once and for all, and I can live in his presence forever.

Reflection:  

Have you ever felt forsaken?  How can you find comfort in Jesus’ suffering?