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?

Daily Lenten devotional 3.24.16

Read:  Matthew 26:20-25

path w grass

Judas had arranged a plan with the Pharisees.  The plan would go into action in a few hours.  His heart beat rapidly, but he kept his gaze low at the table so no one would suspect a change.  But he nearly choked on his food when Jesus brought it up, saying one of the disciples would betray him.  He struggled to hide his shock, then felt relieved when all the others said, “Surely not I, Lord?”  Judas played along.  He dipped his bread in the sauce and took his turn—“Surely not I?”  Jesus gazed at him intently, and Judas was surprised to see such hurt in his eyes.  He realized, too late, that Jesus had been a better friend to him than he had ever dared to be.  Then Jesus said in front of all the others, “Yes, it is you.”  No hiding anymore, Judas thought.

Reflection:  

Have you ever been betrayed, or have you ever betrayed someone?  Take a moment to ask for God’s healing or forgiveness.