Easter Devotional

Monday of Holy Week

Optional Additional Reading: "To Truly Live, I Need to Die" by Rachel Gilson (Suffering & Glory book - available at Sunday worship service)

Opening Prayer

Open in prayer and/or use the suggested prayer below.

“Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Opening Reading

Isaiah 42—A Prophecy of Jesus our Anointed King (i.e. Messiah).
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll for full text version below)
Option 2: Read the Full Text
LEADER: Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.

PEOPLE: He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;


LEADER: A bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.

PEOPLE: He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.


LEADER: Thus, says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
 
PEOPLE: Who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:


LEADER: “I am the Lord;
I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,

PEOPLE: To open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.


LEADER: I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.

 ALL: Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.”
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
He will not grow faint or be discouraged
till he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his law.
Thus, says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.

Read & Reflect

  • Read Hebrews 9:11-15 and John 12:1-11 and spend 5-10 minutes reflecting on what you learned from this passage. If you are using this devotional as part of a group, perhaps each person can point out one verse that was particularly meaningful to them.
  • Alternate Option: Perhaps for those with small children, read the story of the “Washed with Tears” (pp. 280-285) from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Hebrews 9:11-15 (ESV)

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

John 12:1-11 (ESV)

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

Song

Sing or meditate on the words of this hymn.
FAIREST LORD JESUS
(17th Century German hymn)
Fairest Lord Jesus,
ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

 Fair are the meadows,
fairer still the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
fairer still the moonlight,
and all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
than all the angels heaven can boast.

 Beautiful Savior!
Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
now and forevermore be thine.
PUBLIC DOMAIN

Closing Reading

Psalm 36 (ESV) — A Prayer of Jesus Christ
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to full text version below)
Statement of Context: “God seeks us and saves us by His Word—most fully through His Living Word, Jesus Christ, who prayed these Psalms in their fullness. Jesus came for us, and fully identified with us. Let us read His Word together.”

LEADER: Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

PEOPLE: Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.


LEADER: How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

PEOPLE: They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.


LEADER: For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.

PEOPLE: Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!


 ALL: Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
Option 2: Read the Full Text
Statement of Context: "God seeks us and saves us by His Word—most fully through His Living Word, Jesus Christ, who prayed these Psalms in their fullness. Jesus came for us, and fully identified with us."

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.

Closing Prayer

Thank God and close your time in prayer.