Friendly reminder from all of us at iLent.org to set your clocks forward 1 hour.
Friendly reminder from all of us at iLent.org to set your clocks forward 1 hour.
28 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdaleneand the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
First Christian Church – Pleasant Hill CA
Observation: Jesus, I see three references to fear in the account of Your resurrection. I see that while the women were afraid, You and Your angel told them not to be. I see that You and Your resurrection counter and overcome fear.
Action: Lord, I am often afraid. Today I will face my fears with this passage and with Your resurrection. When those old familiar fears arise, I will remind myself that the One who defeated death has likewise defeated every reason to be afraid.
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Harvest Church – Concord CA
Observation: All four gospels record that a disciple of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. John 19:38 says that Joseph “being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate.” Mark 15:43 says that, “taking courage, he went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Joseph took courage and pressed through his fear to make known his secret that he was a disciplined follower of faith in Jesus. He gave his own tomb for the burial of the Lord.
I have been to Jerusalem and seen the garden tomb with smooth and polished stone hewn out of the rock. Where the body lay, there are rough chisel and pick marks at the feet where the length was hastily extended. Evidently, Jesus was taller than Joseph. At great personal sacrifice, Joseph not only bore the cost of preparation and burial but also the potential or rather the inevitable loss of position on the Jewish Council. The result was his testimony of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ recorded by the Holy Spirit in all of the gospels.
Action: Lord, I pray for the courage to press past the fear of my own inadequacies. I pray for Divine enablement to press through the fear of man and for my heart to be content in obeying You and pleasing the only opinion that really matters.
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left.39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
City Church of Compton – Compton CA
Observation: As I read this section, I see that many terrible things were said and done to Jesus. But what stood out the most came in verse 37 – Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Their accusation was misspoken but true. He was and is the King!
Action: Today, on Good Friday, I’m planning on taking some time to journal some truths on who Jesus is to me. I want to intentionally make some declarations about the goodness of Jesus.
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from Godand was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Faith Lutheran Church – Pleasant Hill CA
Observation: When I hear “all things”, my focus goes to what Jesus needed for His mission—the keys to death and hell. He goes to the cross as the conquering Son of God, and yet leaves behind the palpable image of humility—washing stinky feet!
Action: I might be tempted to think too highly of myself – that I am above serving simple and even humiliating tasks. But Jesus’ words—“a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him”— makes His teaching actionable: Serve the needs of people for their journey on the mission, no matter how humbling the experience or need may be. So today I am praying to see the need “beneath” me and meet that need—to live like Jesus lived and do what Jesus showed me how to do.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
The Footsteps Experience
Observation: While Jesus is engaged in an epic battle with the temptation to flee and escape his impending torment, His closest disciples are missing out on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support their Rabbi through His most difficult hour. Instead of watching and praying, they are snoozing! Have you ever missed an important opportunity because you were distracted or not paying attention? I hate that feeling of regret, knowing that opportunity will not come again. The question I hear God asking me is, “Where is your attention?” Am I focused on the things that threaten me? The things that woo me? The things that distract me? Or are my eyes fixed on Jesus, whether he is sweating blood or healing the blind? I don’t want to miss those moments today when I have the privilege of standing with Jesus in his death and in his resurrection.
Action: Ask the Holy Spirit to focus my attention on what Jesus is doing and what Jesus is saying in each situation I face today. At the end of the day reflect on the question, “Where was my attention today?” Celebrate the moments I stood with Jesus and learn from the moments I missed.