Holy Week Devotional
Why Read a Holy Week Devotional?
If we’re being honest, we are not ready for Easter. The knowledge of Jesus’ resurrection is an enormous paradigm shift that completely changes the way we view life. Although belief in Jesus involves accepting the knowledge of the resurrection as truth, this truth can be increasingly more difficult to cling to in a world that daily suggests otherwise. Death is such a prevalent reality that it takes a lot of work to remind ourselves that, for those whose hope is found in Jesus, death is not the end. This is why, as we look forward to celebrating the resurrection, we want to immerse ourselves in the truth and goodness of his gospel so that we may begin to comprehend the reality that Jesus is alive.
Passage: John 12:1-11
Summary: Mary sees who Jesus is and responds in worship that is marked by love made known through devotion. Her worship is intimate, she knows Jesus and is known by him. Her worship is costly, she believes that Jesus is worth every drop of her most valuable possession. Her worship is fragrant, engulfing the room and changing the environment around her. Her worship is offensive, it exposes Judas’ heart posture but leads her own heart into deeper communion with Jesus.
Question: Mary responds to Jesus’ love for her by loving him. How might you respond to God’s love in deeper love and greater worship?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me. I receive your love for me. Help your love to sink more deeply into my heart and overflow in worship. Lord, I surrender everything I have and everything I am to worship you. Give me the courage to release anything I’m holding onto, that I may embrace more of your life-giving presence.
Passage: John 13:1-17
Summary: Jesus, while eating with his disciples does the unthinkable in that culture, he takes off his robe and puts on a towel, drops to his knees and begins to wash the feet of his disciples. Not only did Jesus model a posture of humility and serving to his disciples but then He challenges them to live in the same posture towards others by saying, “do as I have done to you.” While the disciples had been arguing about who will be the greatest Jesus invites them to put on humility and serve one another.
Question: What are areas in your life that Jesus is calling you to walk in humility? Consider the people you interact with daily. How can you embrace a posture of service and “feet washing” among them?
Prayer: Jesus, I know that you are always working into my life what is good and pleasing while at the same time you are working out of me what is not. Would you show me the areas that you want me to walk in humility? Would you give me the strength to live in the same way you demonstrated, a lifestyle of humility and serving others? Lord, I pray for opportunities to serve the people I interact with daily, and the courage to step out in obedience.
Passage: John 14:15-18, John 14:25-26, John 15:26-27, John 16:7-11, John 16:12-15
Summary: In his love for us—his disciples—Jesus promises continued presence, teaching, counseling, guidance, and partnership in the person of the Holy Spirit, God with us.
Question: In considering the range of the Holy Spirit’s help, where have you seen him active—but which, in real time, you might have missed? What do you think he might be inviting you into in this Lenten season?
Prayer: Dear God – Father, Son, Spirit – thank you for the way that you love me. Please now, teach me your ways of love, empower me to walk in love, for you, for myself, and for others. And let me walk in soul-shaping awareness of your constant presence and help. Thank you.
Passage: John 15:1-17
Summary: Jesus, in speaking to his disciples reveals not only his heart but also where he derives love and sustaining life from. In a bold statement, he declares, “I am the true vine” challenging all other counterfeit vines this life has to offer. As we abide in Jesus and obey his commands it is here and only here we will produce much fruit in life, living into our true identity and purpose.
Question: Ask Jesus where you are in proximity to him? What might you need to detach from in-order to more fully attach to the “true vine”?
Prayer: Jesus, I acknowledge you as the true vine, my personal source of life. (Pray Slowly, Pause & Repeat)
Father God, I yield to your love, I yield to your care, and I yield to your work in my life. (Pray Slowly, Pause & Repeat)
Holy Spirit, Fill me with your Love and produce everlasting fruit in my life. (Pray Slowly, Pause & Repeat)
Passage: John 17
Summary: In Jesus’ final moments before his betrayal, interrogation, and crucifixion, Jesus prays for the things that are closest to his heart. He prays that he would be glorified, and he prays that we, his followers, would be strong in the world, be holy (set apart but in the world), and be one (with him and with one another).
Question: Where in your life does Jesus’ prayer resonate? He prays that we would be strong, holy (set apart), and one with him, and with one another. Where can you step deeper into one of these areas?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in your last moments before being crucified, you prayed for us. It is this sort of humility, this kind of sacrificial lifestyle that we want to embrace. Lord, keep us from temptation and protect us from the evil one. Give us the courage to be set apart from the world, while choosing to love those in the world, that they might come to know you. Fill us with your presence, so that we may be one with you. Help us to embrace humility and love, so that we might be one with our brothers and sisters with whom we share your name.
Take as much time as you are able, but we encourage you to spend at least 15 minutes with each day to read the passages, reflect, and pray.
The busyness of our lives often makes it difficult to hear God’s voice. If you’re able, find a quiet, calming space free from the temptation of distractions. It might help to put your phone on Do Not Disturb to limit the notifications that could steal your attention.
To get the most out of the devotional, make it a priority to read it every day. Ask your Life Group, friends, or family to help keep you accountable. Or, better yet—commit to doing the devotional with someone else and regularly check-in with them to share what you might be hearing/learning.