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Holy Week – Good Friday

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When Jesus had received the sour wine He said, “It is finished” and bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.
John 19:30

Reflection from Joan Nulton:

Some of the last words of Jesus on the cross were “It is finished”. What did these words mean to Jesus and what do they mean for us?

The Son of God left His perfect home in Heaven to come into a broken world. He experienced weariness, pain, sorrow, temptation, rejection, misunderstanding, and abuse with the knowledge that one day He would be the final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus begged His Father to change His mind. Would it be possible for this cup to pass from Him? He knew the pain of God’s wrath for sin would be great. When Jesus said, “It is finished”, His suffering as man was ended. 

Love motivated Jesus to choose to carry out His Father’s plan. God wants to get our attention and remind us that He loves us. But we can’t come into His presence with sin in our hearts and we can’t get rid of our sin no matter how hard we try. Jesus came to rescue us and restore our relationship with His Father. 

Jesus tells us that we are sinners and need a Savior to be reconciled to the Father. Jesus lived a sinless life and became our unblemished lamb. He became the final and ultimate sacrifice and shed His blood so we can be forgiven. He suffered our punishment and “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ”. Romans 8:1 When He died the veil to the Holy of Holies was torn in two and we can now “come with confidence to the throne of grace that we may find grace and help in time of need”. Hebrews 16:4. Jesus is “The Way” back to our Heavenly Father. 

For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 His work on earth is finished. Today Jesus is interceding for us before the Father. 

Let’s share the good news and glorify, praise and worship our Savior who loves us more deeply than we can imagine.

Questions for personal reflection or discussion:

  • What do the words, “It is finished” mean to you?
  • What would our life be like if Jesus refused to be obedient to His Father and did not become our Savior?
  • What is the meaning of grace and what does it mean to you?

Holy Week – Wednesday

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And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:43

Reflection from Janelle Fulwyler:

Can you remember the last time you were in pain? (Maybe you are in pain even now.) Maybe you hit your head, stubbed your toe. Maybe you were really sick. Did anyone try to talk to you when you felt this way? How did you respond?

Whenever I smash a finger or have a toothache, I tell everyone, “Just give me some space!” because I know (and they know) that if they don’t, my words will probably be angry and ugly in that moment.

Take a minute to think about Jesus’ situation here. Back up a little and read Luke 23:32-46. What does it say Jesus was doing?
He was hanging. On a cross. By nails. Big nails. Huge nails. For something he didn’t even do.

Then someone talks to him; who is it? Two people, actually.

Yes, those someones are men who deserve to be there. Men who are paying the due price for their own poor choices. What do they say?
The first one makes fun of Jesus. (Actually the both do, according to Matthew 27:44)

How would you reply, if you were suffering so, and someone had the nerve to make fun of you?

Does Jesus reply like you would have?

He waits quietly. He doesn’t even respond to the jeering. The second criminal speaks. What does he say now?

He’s had time to think, and feels the guilt for his crimes. He sees the injustice of the situation, that Jesus not only wasn’t guilty, but He also bears the weight of what both these men have done.

Plus what we have done. You and me.

The second criminal takes a step of faith. What does he ask Jesus?
“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And Jesus, what does he say?

“Yeah right, buddy!! People like you are the whole reason I am up here! I’ve never sinned in my life! A little while ago, you were making fun of me too, and now my Father has turned His face away, and you really, really have no idea what I am going through right now!”

No. That’s what I would have said. Or at least felt. But probably said.

But not Jesus.

Through His pain, through His lonely, unjust suffering, Jesus responds with immense love and compassion: “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Whoa. He forgives this guy. He promises eternal life once he dies! Out of His pain, Jesus offers hope. In the midst of His suffering, He brings salvation! From death comes LIFE!

For personal reflection or discussion:

  • This wasn’t Jesus’ first gracious response in His suffering; See John 18:11, 19:10-11, Luke 23:34, and Matthew 27:11-14
  • Read Luke 22:39-46 and consider how Jesus was able to respond the way He did. How does this give you hope for your own reactions to others?
  • Think about the joy this moment must’ve brought to Jesus! A beautiful, joyful reminder of why He was doing what He was doing. How can we, made in His image, remember our purpose in the midst of our pain?

Holy Week – Monday

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And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Luke 23:34

Reflection from Nate Kinnee:

What is our natural reaction when treated unfairly? If someone cuts us off in traffic? If the table seated after ours receives their food first? If a grade at school or an evaluation at work doesn’t match our own expectation? If we discover that a friend or family member is not as loyal as we had hoped? We might react externally, or we might just simmer internally, but the feelings are virtually unavoidable: disappointment, anger, indignation, resentment. As humans, we tend to be experts in expectation. We know what we deserve, and we want every bit of it (or maybe just a little more). When the behavior of others falls short of this expectation, our own internal judgement is passed swiftly, often voiced via complaint or criticism. The term “outrage culture” has been coined as a result of our society’s propensity to find fault in seemingly any situation.

Jesus found himself nailed to a cross, facing an excruciatingly painful death sentence, hung between two criminals who had actually done deeds worthy of the punishment. It is no exaggeration to say that Christ’s crucifixion was the single greatest injustice in the history of the world. It was the harshest sentence, carried out against the most innocent of men – the only innocent one, to be exact. Yet Jesus himself was not concerned with lamenting these circumstances. Rather, His mind was fixed upon His ultimate mission – paying the penalty for the sin of all men so that their broken relationship with God could be restored. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It is almost inconceivable that such love, compassion, and forgiveness could be shared in that moment with the very people who perpetrated this atrocity against the Son of God. There may be no clearer picture than this of His great mercy and amazing grace. And there may be no more perfect example of what is written in Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Questions for reflection and discussion:

  • On behalf of which people or groups of people do you think Jesus was forgiveness?
  • Since Jesus says they did not know what they were doing… what is it that they thought they were doing?
  • How should the love, compassion, and forgiveness of Jesus guide us as we deal with situations in our own lives?

Holy Week Devotional

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In preparation for Easter Sunday members from our church have put together a devotional book for Holy Week. Some days feature a passage reading, while others have a short devotion with some questions for personal reflection or discussion with others. I would encourage you to find a time each day to spend a few minutes using this devotional as a guide for the next week.

Holy Week Devotional

May 31st Devotional

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Below are a few passages and prompts for prayer to help you worship on Sunday in place of our streamed service.

Hebrews 1:1-4

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.


Spend some time praising God and thanking him for the sending Jesus. Thank him for the excellencies of his word, and for the eternal surpassing glory of his Son who has conquered sin and death and stands risen in victory.

Read Hebrews 4:14-5:10


Spend five to ten minutes meditating on these words from Hebrews 4 and 5. Reread the passage several times slowly and ask yourself “What does this tell me about God?” and “What does this tell me about myself?”. What a wonderful mystery it is that God himself did not view our suffering as something beneath him. But instead God the Son descended into our place, suffered as we suffer, and through his obedience offers eternal life.

Read Hebrews 12:3-11


Spend a few minutes and ask God for endurance to live a life honoring to him. Ask that the Spirit would keep your gaze fixed on Christ so that you might have endurance to run well. Thank him for his Son who shed his bled so that we might now be called children of God.


Whether you are with family or by yourself I would encourage you to sing these familiar words out loud!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise him all creatures here below
Praise him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost


Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21