Well, sorry I’m so late posting this, It has been a great challenge to keep up with this 40-day challenge! I hope you are doing better than I am!!
April 4—Matt. 26:17-20 Preparation for the Passover
We have here an account of Christ’s keeping the Passover. Being made under the law, he submitted to all the ordinances of it, and to this among the rest; it was kept in remembrance of Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt, the birth-day of that people; it was a tradition of the Jews, that in the days of the Messiah they should be redeemed on the very day of their coming out of Egypt; and it was exactly fulfilled, for Christ died the day after the passover, in which day they began their march. MHenry
There was no question that they would keep the Passover, even though the Jewish rulers were out to kill Jesus. Keeping the Passover came as naturally as breathing to them.
APPLICATION: We can so easily fall into the trap of ritualism. May it not be so in my heart. Lord, make every Lord’s Supper as fresh as the day we’ll eat at Your table!
April 5—Luke.22:24-30; John 13:1-17 Strife Among Disciples
What caused the strife:
- Greed for power
- Greed for prestige
- Jealousy (Matt. 20:21—mother of Zebedee’s sons)
Look at the blessings Jesus’ promises!
- An appointed kingdom
- Eating and drinking at Jesus’ table in his kingdom
- Sitting and judging
APPLICATION: Lord, help me to be a servant and to walk by faith in this day, not jumping the gun for heaven’s joys!
John 13: 1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Here’s what I saw about Jesus from this passage:
- Love v. 1
- Betrayal v. 2
- Omniscience v. 3
- Servanthood v. 4,5
- Patience v. 6-10 (He is so patient in teaching Peter! It is not here that he says, “how long shall I be with you? Matt. 17:17 but at their unbelief.)
- Omniscience v 10,11
- Teacher/Example v. 12-17
APPLICATION: Go and do likewise!
April 6—John 13:21-30 Traitor Revealed
So sad. Why Judas? Why not one of the others? I believe Judas gave into the temptations that Satan had been whispering in his ear for some time. Peter was disillusioned about the kingdom and King Jesus to the point of cutting of Malcaus’ ear. He denied that he knew Jesus, but soon repented with tears. (2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.)
Jesus knew Judas’ heart from the start. I wonder if He worked hard to win Judas over. Surely, the priests didn’t need Judas. They would have found a way to crucify Jesus.
APPLICATION: We all have choices to make. Some take us further from Christ and put us on dangerous ground! We think that we’re invincible, but we’re weak as kittens in the face of our Enemy! Only Jesus saves! Only a broken, contrite (sorry, remorseful, repentant, regretful, apologetic, penitent, ashamed) heart chooses correctly. (Ps 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.)
April 8—Matt.26:26-29 The Lord’s Supper
This ordinance of the Lord’s supper is to us the Passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government. Meat looked upon, be the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish; IT MUST BE FED UPON: so must the doctrine of Christ. This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord’s supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings. He takes leave of such communion; and assures them of a happy meeting again at last; “Until that day when I drink it new with you”, may be understood of the joys and glories of the future state, which the saints shall partake with the Lord Jesus. That will be the kingdom of his Father; the wine of consolation will there be always new. While we look at the outward signs of Christ’s body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink. M Henry
APPLICATION: Thanksgiving for God’s Amazing Grace—Jesus, the eternal One, paid the price of my eternal punishment. The agony of those but few moments, in light of eternity, suffered by the Perfect Sinless Lamb of God was the substitute which would have taken me all of eternity to pay. (2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)
APPLICATION: Hallelujah! What a Savior!
April 9—John 15:1-11 Jesus’ Parting Words
This week I started a devotion which basically taught that Jesus “closed the book on vengeance.” No one should like to dwell on the vengeful side of our Heavenly Father or wield His wrath like a heavenly baseball bat BUT God’s vengeance IS part of His holy character—His holiness demands it.
So, as I look at this wonderful passage, which is part of Jesus’ last words to His disciples (and us!), I’m looking for attributes and actions of God in the life of a believer and unbeliever.
1 ¶ I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. GOD IS MY LIFE-GIVER/CARETAKER
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: GOD PRUNES (OUCH!)
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. HE KNOWS BEST!
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. GOD CLEANSES ME THROUGH HIS WORD.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. GOD DRAWS US TO HIMSELF—WE MUST BE CLOSE/CONNECTED TO BEAR FRUIT
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. GOD OF STRENGTH
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. GOD OF VENGANCE!
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. GOD, THE GIVER OF ALL GOOD THINGS.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. GOD LOVES!
9 ¶ As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. GOD LOVES!
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. GOD PROVIDES THE WAY FOR ME TO ABIDE IN HIM: HIS WORD.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. GOD GIVES FULL JOY!!
APPLICATION: Don’t lose sight of ALL God’s amazing characteristics. I can’t pick and choose what I want to believe about God!
April 10—Luke 22:39-46 (oops! –48) The Betrayal
Betrayed with a kiss. It always cuts me to the quick when I read that. (FYI: I didn’t know this until we had a dog, but when clipping a dog’s claws you have to be careful not to clip the quick, because that is where the nerves and blood vessels are!)
This passage is so full of information other than just the betrayal. Is it just Judas that betrayed Jesus here? Did He feel somewhat betrayed when He found the disciples sleeping? But a kiss—the most intimate show of public affection!
APPLICATION: Am I true to Jesus no matter who is watching?