The Cross: Where Stories Are Changed
Worship The King Who Is Worthy
Day 1: Read John 12: 12 -19 and reflect on the scene that unfolds as Jesus enters Jerusalem. People are cheering “Hosanna!,” which means “Save Us Now.” But the assembled crowd has a different expectation. Their collective cry in John 12:13 is for Jesus to overthrow the Romans and take back their capital city as “King of Israel!” Jesus knew their hearts were driven by these worldly gains (see John 6:15; Acts 1:6). Soon many would be crying “Crucify him!” Reflect on your own “Hosannas.” When you cry out to God is it typically based on your terms searching for a specific outcome? If God doesn’t answer how you prayed, what is your response? Take a few moments to consider how did God respond? Where is He working? How can you still worship Him?
Day 2: Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey colt and not on a white stallion befitting of a king. The disciples dispatched to get the colt were obedient to Jesus and honored his request. This action fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9-10) even though none of the disciples remembered the prophecy until after Jesus’ ascension. This seemingly minor detail demonstrates the obedient heart of Jesus and his disciples. Has God recently put on your heart an act of obedience, big or small, that He wants you to act on? If nothing comes to mind, ask God if there is a step that He may want you to take? How can you commit to follow through and not lose sight of God’s call for you today? Take a few moments to pray for the names you wrote on your prayers cards on Sunday.
Day 3: On Sunday, Jack shared that no matter why the crowds were cheering for Jesus, He deserves all our praise. In Luke, the Pharisees asked Jesus to quiet the huge crowd, which He responded by saying, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” Luke 19:39-40. The crowd may have had false motives for worshipping Jesus, but it was still true. Jesus Christ is worthy of praise even if we don’t fully understand why. What 1-2 steps you have taken to personally declare that Jesus is worthy of not only praise, but living for Him? Give Him praise again today! Share your praise with a child at the dinner table or with a friend to encourage them.
Day 4: Read (or listen on the Bible app) John 18-20. As you do, consider how this passage establishes Jesus as King for eternity by offering those who follow spiritual freedom from the oppression of sin. Compare this to the shortsighted thoughts of those wanting a ruler to change their lot on life while on earth. Now pull out the prayer cards from Sunday. If you don’t have them, pray for people you know who need to experience the truth of who Jesus is and the life He offers them. Be still and listen for how God may want you to pray for them. Consider inviting one, or more, to be your guests at Easter Sunday service (9 & 10:30am) or to the Passion Experience, 4-8pm this Friday (April 14).
Day 5: In Luke 9:51 we learn that Jesus’ Palm Sunday trip was purposeful: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." While just five verses earlier his disciples argued over which of them was the greatest, Jesus was setting his sights on the cross. It was time to fulfill his mission: to die in Jerusalem as the very embodiment of his Father’s love for sinners. What the disciples soon learned – and what we all must learn – is that Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem is our journey. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24). Pray these two verses for yourself and write down what the Holy Spirit shares. What do you need to deny. What is holding you back from taking up his cross daily? Consider this reflection as you come to Easter Sunday service.