Easter Devotional

Wednesday of Holy Week

Optional Additional Reading: "The Epic Jesus Follower Fail" by Trish Harrison Warren (Suffering & Glory book - available at Sunday worship service)

Opening Prayer

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

“Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; 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 50:4-9a — The Suffering and Vindication of our Lord Jesus.
Option 1: Read Responsively
Option 1: Read Responsively (or scroll for full text version)
LEADER: The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.

PEOPLE: The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.


LEADER: I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.

PEOPLE: But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.


LEADER: He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.

ALL: Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Option 2: Read the Full Text
The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?

Read & Reflect

  • Read Hebrews 12:1-4 and John 13:21-32, 18:1-11 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 “A Night in the Garden” (pp. 294-301) from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
 
Hebrews 12 (ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

John 13:21-32 (ESV)

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.

John 18:1-11 (ESV)

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

Song

Sing or meditate on the words of this song.
YOU ARE MY KING (AMAZING LOVE)
(Billy Foote)
I’m forgiven, because You were forsaken.
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I’m alive and well, Your Spirit is within me,
Because You died, and rose again.

CHORUS:
Amazing love, How can it be
That You my King would die for me?
Amazing love, I know it’s true,
It’s my joy to honor You,
In all I do, I honor You.

You are my King.
You are my King.
Jesus, You are my King.
Jesus, You are my King.
©1996 worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing) CCLI#1791178

Closing Reading

Psalm 70 — The Lord Jesus Crying out for Deliverance.
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 us read His Word together.”

LEADER: Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O, Lord, make haste to help me!

PEOPLE: Let them be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!

 
LEADER: Let them turn back because of their shame
who say, “Aha, Aha!”


PEOPLE: May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”


LEADER: But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!

 ALL: You are my help and my deliverer;
O, Lord, do not delay!
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."

Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
O, Lord, make haste to help me!
Let them be put to shame and confusion
who seek my life!
Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
who delight in my hurt!
Let them turn back because of their shame
who say, “Aha, Aha!”
May all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you!
May those who love your salvation
say evermore, “God is great!”
But I am poor and needy;
hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O, Lord, do not delay!

Closing Prayer

Thank God and close your time in prayer.