Holy Week

“This Jesus … you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” – Acts 2:23

While Peter speaks directly to the crowd that were apart of Jesus’ crucifixion, the guilt nonetheless falls upon my shoulders. Jesus, hanging upon that tree for the sins of the world, is paying for my sin fully through His sacrificial death. “It was my sin that held him there,” says the hymn and we all feel the weight of that charge. My sin nailed my Savior to the Cross, yet Jesus went willingly and joyfully to the hill of Golgotha so that God’s redemption plan would be completed. Christian, rejoice in Good Friday today, where your Savior has paid the full price for your redemption.

For the sake of reflection, spend some time in prayer thanking the Lord for His sacrifice and meditate upon these words from Horatio Spafford:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

 

“…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God…” – Acts 2:23

The heart of the Biblical storyline is God’s redeeming and restoring work for fallen and sinful humans. This redemption story is just that—a story of God’s working, culminating in the work of Jesus. Even from the very beginning where man sinned, God’s heart has been bent towards redemption. Therefore, Jesus’ work was not an afterthought—it was the main plan. God, before eternity past, planned the death of Christ for the ransoming of sinners unto eternal life. This means that whatever temptation you face, whatever sin befalls you, whatever sorrow encompasses you—your heavenly Father both cares for you and ultimately will one day redeem you fully. The work of Jesus is therefore sufficient for every one of your needs, from now till eternity.

For the sake of reflection, meditate upon these two questions today:

  1. Does God’s foreknowledge of the Cross bring hope to you in the midst of your strife with sin?
  2. Will you pray today that the Lord would grant you fresh affections for His Son and His work?

“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” – Acts 2:24

We can control many things in life—what we eat, where we work, where we live—but there is one thing we cannot control: death. For some, death comes sudden and unexpectedly, while others suffer for a long time, knowing that death is near. For all of us, death holds us fear and will ultimately be the victor. Yet for the Christian, we know that death does not have the final word. We look forward to Easter Sunday where Jesus is victorious over death. Paul in Romans 6 says if you have been united with Christ in his death, you and therefore united with Christ in his resurrection. Jesus has loosed the pangs of death, it holds no more power over Him, and if you abide in Christ, the pangs of death will not be the champion of your life—Christ will.

For the sake of reflection, meditate upon these two questions today:

  1. Do you find yourself constantly worried about death? Does Jesus’ victorious work over death bring a source of comfort to you?
  2. If Jesus’ resurrection means you too will be resurrected, how does that change your outlook on pain, suffering and even death?

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21

Holy Week is an intentional time to reflect upon and celebrate in God’s faithfulness to His promise—that He will bring full and final redemption to His people. We look forward to Good Friday where our Savior bears the curse of our sin and we anticipate with hope Easter Sunday where our Savior is victorious over that curse. What the church needs is not more men and women that are strong and put together; the church needs more men and women that desperately call upon the name of Christ—not just once but daily—for the Gospel to transform, renew and restore them fully into the image of Christ. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, which means that all people need the Gospels power to transform.

For the sake of reflection, will you meditate upon these two questions today:

  1. Who in your life is needing to hear the good news of the Gospel? Will you commit to praying for that person this week?
  2. Would you pray that God would create a desperate dependence for His Gospel to transform and renew you?

Jesus instructed the disciples in Acts 1 to stay in Jerusalem and await the Holy Spirit, which was the promise of the Father. Acts 2 opens with the disciples continuing to wait, expectantly hoping in God’s faithful promise to be fulfilled. Even though Pentecost did come shortly after, the reality is that the disciples waited expectantly for God’s promise. As you approach Holy Week, will you allow yourself to dwell and abide in the waiting period, knowing that the Lord wants to conform us into the image of Christ this week?  Psalm 130:5-6 declares, “wait for the Lordmy soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning,more than watchmen for the morning.”

My prayer is that we wouldn’t simply jump to Easter Sunday but we would be content to dwell in today, waiting for the Lord’s promise. For short reflection upon this week, I would ask that you consider these two questions:

  1. Do you find it difficult to wait upon the Lord for the fulfilling of His promises? Why?
  2. As the disciples gathered together, it is vitally important we walk through Holy Week together. Who is one person you can share your confessions, laments and praises to this week?

 

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