passion week

  • {PASSION WEEK} Jesus Knows What It’s Like To Go From Cheers To Jeers

    When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival,
    they flocked to see him
    and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead.
    Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

    The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city.
    A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him.
    They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Hail to the King of Israel!”
    ~John 12:9-13 NLT


    Growing up, we moved a lot. That innately has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. On the positive side, I have a lot of friends all over Southern Ontario. On the not so positive side, I remember one year where I had lots of friends and things were going well when a strange event turned my world upside-down.

    Riding In The Corvette

    My dad had started up another car lot but this time for luxury models.  He’d gotten a Corvette pace-car in stock and drove my sister and I to school in the new ride.

    For all you reading this who were born before 1980 the story is already starting to sound strange, I mean, who drives two children to school in a car that doesn’t even have a back seat?  Well, people did that in the 1970s! I rode in the back window since there wasn’t a back seat, not even a seat belt, feeling ‘super-cool’ as I got out to the growing crowd of kids who began to swarm hearing the corvette motor.  As I crawled out, I started hearing things like, “nice car”, “wow, you’re so lucky!”.

    I thought for sure this would solidify my position in the cool-crowd but it brought about the exact opposite.

    From Cheers To Jeers

    Jesus Knows BlogJealousy erupted in some of the kids. They began calling me “rich-girl” and other names you don’t often write in a Christian blog. 🙂

    By the afternoon recess, a girl began shoving me as onlookers gathered with taunts of “Fight her, fight her!” Within no time, this angry ‘friend’ was on top of me shoving snow in my face {Yes, two kids to school, in a Corvette, in the winter… again, 1970s}.  In her rage, she kept stuffing until the snow was in my mouth and nose to the point I couldn’t breathe.

    I wish I could tell you that I simply pushed her off and ran to get a teacher for help, but I didn’t.  The fight or flight instinct riled up in me, resulting in my one-and-only physical fight {Not a proud moment}. Needless to say, this did not help me to gain friends and influence others.

    All joking aside, this experience really affected me, and the same feelings get stirred up again when people seem to find pleasure in putting me down. It can be a struggle to understand how somebody can one moment be your friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor and the next to be causing you to struggle for breath; in a different way than my experience on the playground.

    I’m glad Jesus gets the tough stuff you and I face.  Hebrews says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.”1 Isaiah told of how the coming Messiah would be a “man of sorrows”2

    He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering,
    and familiar with pain.
    Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised,
    and we held him in low esteem.
    Isaiah 53:3 NIV

    Jesus gets it.  He understands hurt, He’s felt the sting of betrayal.  He’s had it much worse. One translation words this verse as, “He was like someone people turned away from.” Oh, how it hurts to be that someone.

    Palm Sunday is this fun, celebratory time when we remember the day Jesus was riding into Jerusalem on a high note because the people loved Him.  Recently raising Lazarus from the dead after four days in the grave signified to the people of Israel that Jesus was not just any Rabbi or Prophet, but THE Messiah!

    From Cheers To Jeers

    If it were today, I’m sure Jesus’ Instagram account would break Portuguese Footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the most Instagram followers.3 Everyone wanted to be around Jesus and His discipleship following was the Mediterranean in-crowd.  As Jesus entered the Passover-filled streets of Jerusalem on Sunday, people waved palm branches and cheered!  Raising their voices in worship, they declared Him their King and laid down their coats to honor Him as Lord.

    “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
    John 12:13

    But by the Tuesday of Passion Week; just two days later, the crucifixion plan was being set in place.  Quickly those cheers began turning into jeers as the Pharisees spread their toxic hatred for Jesus; the savior of the world, with mocking words

    “Hail, King of the Jews!” culminating into cries of “Crucify him!”4

     

    The Real Jesus

    Sometimes church art has painted Jesus in a way that would make him unrecognizable to Himself.

    Beyond the issues of depicting Jesus; this Jewish man, as Euro-Jesus with blonde hair and fair skin, as Chinese-Jesus wearing the Fu Manchu mustache or as Black-Jesus with a really deep tan.

    The problem is really with all the halos around Jesus’ head {no matter the skin-tone depicted} that poses the problem for me.  It makes Jesus seem surreal, not human, like a super-hero able to fly high, unscathed above the horrible circumstances He was experiencing… but that’s not how Scripture depicts Jesus. John quotes Jesus as saying,

    “Now my soul is deeply troubled.
    Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
    But this is the very reason I came!”5

    It hurt Jesus when people rejected him and wanted to attack him. He felt the same anguish we feel when others hurt us and that is why Jesus “is able to deal gently”6 with us when we’re broken… when friendship turns cold or the love once freely given, they now withhold.

    So, if you ever find yourself in a place where cheers have turned into jeers… turn to Jesus, He understands, and He cares… He gets it!

    Prayer

    Father…
    I’m overwhelmed with the thought that Your son Jesus knows what it’s like to suffer as I do.  Jesus, your willingness to come to earth, live and be mistreated for my sake, my salvation is too much to take in.  Help me to rejoice instead of complaining when I’m getting to share in Your sufferings7, so I understand the sacrifice you went through for me.

    Please let the truth of your love sink in deep this Easter.  Don’t let this time slip by. I choose to put suffering in perspective of the victory you achieved when you rose from the dead. I can manage through any suffering I face, understanding You are gentle, loving, and kind. You are good and You are Victorious!
    In Jesus Name…Amen

    [tweetthis]“Hail, King of the Jews!” culminating into cries of “Crucify him!” Jesus Knows What Its Like To Go From Cheers To Jeers John 12:9-13; 19:1-6[/tweetthis]

    Soul H2O bookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

    Drawing from the well

    1. John 12:9-13
    2. John 19:1-6
    3. 1 Peter 4:13
    4. Luke 6:28

    ENDNOTES

    Definition of Jeer Image Information From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/jeer  https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jeer https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/jeer

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  • Turning Your Knowing Into Doing

    Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”
    John 13:17 NIV

    Last week’s devotion talked about how Jesus was strengthened during the Passion Week by knowing His position with the Father and the power His Father held.  Jesus was fully aware that God the Father gave Him all power and authority, yet understood and faced the reality of His current situation.  Jesus discerned that soon it was time for Him to go back to Heaven by way of the cross.  During the Last Supper, Jesus turned His knowing into doing by washing His disciples’ feet.

    It’s when we start turning our knowing into doing that we begin to see the blessings of God in our lives!

     

    jesus washing disciples feetJesus chose to have his actions follow what he knew about Himself and about His Father; not letting His actions follow what His life circumstances where revealing.  Jesus didn’t wait till every situation was worked out in His life before He started to do what was right.

    While knowing that He was going to be betrayed and die on a cross, Jesus chose to do kind things.  Jesus washed his disciples’ feet; even the feet of Judas who Jesus knew was going to betray Him.   It’s not that Jesus was emotionless and didn’t care.  John 13:21 tells us that “After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. “One of you is going to betray me.”

    [tweetthis remove_url=”true”]Jesus didn’t wait till every situation was worked out in His life before He started to do what was right. [/tweetthis]

    Jesus chose to have his actions follow what he knew about Himself and about His Father.

    Guatemala-girls playing with my hairTo live in freedom you need to go beyond what you know about your circumstance…understand who God is…take hold of your position as His child, and begin to do something for others.

    What can you do today that would start turning your knowing into doing?  Act on whatever idea God gives you and complete the task.


    Prayer

    Father…I thank You for leading the way to freedom in practical acts of kindness.  Help me to see the ‘footwashing’ opportunities you place before me and let me start turning my knowing into doing by actions, not words.  Your Word says that faith without works is dead.1  May I learn to put into practice those things I say I believe so I can truly live!  In Jesus Name…Amen

    #Dare2Share
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else! 

    1. James 2:17

    blogger prayer YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

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  • (PASSION WEEK) How To Live Ruled By What You Know

    Jesus knew the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal…and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet…”You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”……For he knew who was going to betray him.”
                                                                     John 13:3,11 NIV

    LIVE RULED BY WHAT YOU KNOW

    I love how unshakeable Jesus was throughout the Passion Week.  It started off on what we call Palm Sunday with people waving branches of Palm trees, singing His praises and declaring Him the Messiah; but the tide of popularity quickly changed, as it so often does.  Jesus knew that He was headed into the storm of His life.  I admire how Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either.

    [tweetthis]Jesus didn’t live in the applause of men, or the attacks of them either[/tweetthis]

    Then, at the Last Supper Jesus doesn’t let the reality of his troubles overrule what He knew. I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living!

    [tweetthis]I long to be ruled by what I know, not what I’m living![/tweetthis]

    WASHING FEET

    Live ruled by what you know blogThese verses make it clear that Jesus knew His position with the Father.  Jesus knew He had all power yet displayed humble submission through servant leadership and washed the disciples’ feet.

    Jesus wasn’t in denial to His circumstances; he was fully aware of the situations surrounding Him; but instead of letting the situations rule His actions, Jesus chose to act on what He knew from the Father.  Oh to be like Jesus!

    You need to make conscious decisions to not live a life based on your circumstances but based on what God the Father has said about OU in His word and the promises He’s given you.  You need to KNOW, with steadfast assurance what God has revealed to you and let that be your guiding force.

    So, what do you KNOW?
    Prayer

    Father… The enemy wants me to base my knowledge on the facts of my current circumstances.  Help me to know Your truth.  Guide me in Your Word to passages that will strengthen my knowledge of what You say, so I can silence the information of the enemy in my mind and live in Your truth!   In Jesus Name…Amen

    #DareToShare Make a Comment in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

     

    YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME LINKING UP WITH:
    MONDAY
    Monday MeditationsLaura J. Davis,
    TUESDAY
    Cheerleaders of Faith #RARaLinkup – Kelly Balarie,
    WEDNESDAY
    Coffee For Your HeartHolley Gerth, Word Nerd Wednesdays — Liz Giertz
    THURSDAY
    Heart Encouragement ThursdayCrystal Storms, Chasing Community  Barbara Bradford Ottinger
    FRIDAY
    Dance With Jesus LinkupSusan B. Mead, Grace and Truth LinkupArabah Joy, Counting My Blessings – Deb Wolf, Fresh Market FridayCrystal Twaddell

    Read More

  • Jesus Was Full of Passion

    “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”
    Luke 19:41 NIV

    True love wells up passion in your heart that’s impossible to keep inside.  Passion bubbles up and spills out!  It’s the force inside that compels people to greatness despite adversity; an emotion that propels us.  Passion is aroused from either a great love or hatred.  One motivator brings about increased love, while the other produces hurt.   Passion motivated by hatred caused Romeo and Juliet’s parents to try and break up their love, while passion motivated by love made the couple willing to die for each other.

    During Passion Week, Jesus was heartbroken over how the people of Jerusalem were rejecting the God who was doing everything to reach them and show them His love. The most religious of cities, yet their lack of faith in God brought Jesus to tears.  Jesus passionately loved the lost people of Jerusalem even though they rejected Him.  Like Romeo and Juliet, He was willing to die for the sake of love.  This love caused Jesus to passionately pursue God’s plan for His life.  Nothing and no one could stop Him from fulfilling His mission to restore us to right relationship with the father.

    When I read how Jesus lived and loved, I want to follow suit.  I don’t want to live my life with a ‘get by’ mentality.  I want to live with passion and reach the world with the love of Christ!  I want to see each day as an opportunity for adventure and ‘seize the day’!  This Easter, let the passion of Christ renew your passion to love and serve Him more!

    Prayer

    Father…I cannot thank You enough for sending your son.  Jesus I thank You for the way You lived Your life with passion because of Your love for me.  That thought is overwhelming.  I don’t deserve your love, but I’m grateful for it!  Help me to passionately pursue the life You have planned out for me so others can know the depths of Your love.  In Jesus Name…Amen.

    #DareToShare …
    Post in the Comment Section below and bolster the faith of someone else!

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