Easter Devotional

Tuesday of Holy Week

Optional Additional Reading: "Why Do We Still Live in Bondage?" by Anthony Carter (Suffering & Glory book - available at Sunday worship service)

Opening Prayer

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

“O God, by the suffering of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; 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)
LEADER: Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.

PEOPLE: He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.


LEADER: And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

PEOPLE: But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”


LEADER: And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—

 ALL: He says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
Option 2: Read the Full Text

Listen to me, O coastlands,
and give attention, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword;
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow;
in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain;
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
And now the Lord says,
he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him;
and that Israel might be gathered to him—
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
 He says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
I will make you as a light for the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Read & Reflect

  • Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and John 13:1-15 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 Servant King” (pp. 286-293) from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (ESV)

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

John 13:1-15 (ESV)

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Song

Sing or meditate on the words of this hymn.
AMAZING GRACE
(John Newton, 1779)
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

 ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

 When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
PUBLIC DOMAIN

Closing Reading

Psalm 71 (ESV) — A Prayer of Jesus our Lord
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll to full text version below)
Leader’s 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’s read His Word together.”

LEADER: In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!

PEOPLE: In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!


LEADER: Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.

PEOPLE: Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.


LEADER: For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.

PEOPLE: Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.


LEADER: I have been as a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.

PEOPLE: My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.


LEADER: Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.

PEOPLE: For my enemies speak concerning me;
those who watch for my life consult together


LEADER: and say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue and seize him,
for there is none to deliver him.”

 ALL: O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
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.

 
In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.
I have been as a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me;
those who watch for my life consult together
and say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue and seize him,
for there is none to deliver him.”
O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!

Closing Prayer

Thank God and close your time in prayer.