Week of May 20

In Remembrance of Me

Day 1: Quick history lesson: The Bible is a story about promises. Our modern Bible is divided into two testaments, which are also called covenants. A covenant simply means a solemn promise or agreement made between two parties. The first part of the Bible, the Old Testament, focuses on a special promise between God and the family of a man named Abraham. (Genesis 15) God made a covenant with Abraham, promising that his family would become a great nation, He (the Lord) would forever be their God, and that they would inherit a special land. Every nation of the world would be blessed through them. Thus, the Old Testament is a story about God’s plan for the people of Israel.Read Exodus 2:23-24.The story of Exodus tells us how God kept His covenant promise by delivering Israel from slavery while in Egypt. Is this story familiar to you? Does this story relate to your life today? Why does the story of Abraham still matter thousands of years later? Try this:Right down your thoughts on paper including questions about God and this story.  


Day 2: Read Exodus 12:1-14, 31-32. (Read the whole chapter for the full account.) Yesterday’s devotional was about God and His promise to Abraham and Abraham's people. While they were in Egypt, God kept His covenant promise by delivering Israel from slavery. God then established the Passover feast as a memorial to be celebrated by His people forever (Exodus 12:24). God wanted His people (the nation Israel) to remember that He had done great wonders and had delivered them, and that He also accepted the sacrificial blood of a spotless lamb in order to protect the people from judgement. He had been faithful to His covenant with a sacred promise to bless them, multiply them, and to be their God (Genesis 17:1-8). Do you have celebrations or practices that remind you of God’s faithfulness? Has God done anything in the past year that you can say thanks for or that you wish to take time to remember? Try this:The next time you eat with others, stop and give thanks to God. If you feel comfortable, ask those at the table with you these same questions.  


Day 3: Jesus and His disciples sat down together on the night that Jesus died to celebrate the Passover meal. As a Jewish Rabbi, observing the Passover was a fundamental part of Jesus' faith. It was in the context of this celebration that Jesus would introduce the New Covenant. Read Luke 22:15-20.Jesus was taking theold practice of Passover and making something new. This is what the prophet Jeremiah had promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. In the Old Covenant, Israel was freed from the bondage of slavery, yet in order to keep up their end of the promise, they were given a long list of rules to obey in order to be holy before God's eyes. Jesus’ New Covenant, however, is unconditional. This New Covenant, according to Jeremiah, changes our hearts, allowing us to know God in a personal way. It provided for the forgiveness of our sins. In return, we simply are to believe. What are the implications of the New Covenant for you today? Does this alter or change your view of God? How will you respond today to Jesus’ invitation to enter into His Covenant? Try this:Consider listening or singing a favorite worship hymn or song. 


Day 4:  As Jesus and His disciples remembered the Passover together, Jesus said, “Do this (eating of the bread and wine) in remembrance of me.” Was Jesus replacing Passover with something new, namely, The Lord’s Supper? Read Matthew 5:17.The Passover was to be practiced forever to remind Israel that God had rescued them from slavery by the blood of the spotless lamb. Now in the New Covenant, Jesus declared that He is the spotless lamb that delivers us from the slavery of sin and death, and that God’s firstborn son will be the only firstborn son to die. By becoming the lamb, Jesus is fulfilling the covenant with Israel, and in doing so, the whole world will be blessed. Read Genesis 12:1-3.Try this: Take a ten-minute walk today and reflect on how Jesus has spiritually delivered you.  


Day 5: When we take bread and juice (or wine), we are remembering what Jesus did for us, freeing us from mistakes and regret. Read Galatians 5:1.What freedom have you found through remembering Jesus in communion? When we take communion, we take it with others identifying as followers of Jesus, who unite together through the following of Jesus. He (Jesus) simply said that if we want to be His disciples, we will be known by how we love others. Communion is a chance for us to remember, “Is there anyone in my life I am unwilling to love?” Try This:Be honest and consider this: Who is at the top of the list of people I amunwilling to love? Do you even have oneof these mental lists? Is Jesus calling you to forgive or to love without condition?

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