We’d like to introduce you today to the work of one of our simulcast specialists, Karen Anderson. Karen lives in Eden Prairie, MN and works tirelessly to unite all of our simulcast host churches in prayer for the events. Here’s a devotional she wrote for the host churches for Holy Week.
Lord, we thank you for these days ahead. As we reflect on this past Sunday, and step into this Holy Week, help us remember. Let us see – with fresh eyes – the One who gave His life for the world. Jesus, Messiah. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. In His name alone. Amen.
“You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.” (John 8:44)
So the great dragon was thrown out- the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. (Rev. 12:9)
Jerusalem was stirring. Passover was at hand and preparations were being made. But that was not the cause for commotion. The word was that Lazarus, who had died earlier that week, had been raised to life! How could that be?! Had they not cried with his sisters and seen the body wrapped and placed in a cave with a stone covering the entrance? Yet Jesus had come at the women’s request, although He was four days too late. Those who witnessed it with their own eyes could not keep quiet about what happened next. He had comforted Martha, proclaiming that He was the resurrection and the life. He wept with Mary and then asked to be shown where Lazarus was laid.
Offering a prayer of thanksgiving, He shouted with a loud voice for Lazarus to come out. In awe, they watched as this dead man, now very much alive, inched his way out of the cave, still bound with his burial cloths. Instructed by Jesus, the man was loosed and set free. How could one not believe after seeing such a thing? No one could do what this Man had done! Yes, Jerusalem was astir. Death had been given up for life. The life of One was being given up for death. Pharisees were plotting, people were talking. Many believing, and others wanting to see this Jesus who could raise the dead. The Passover crowd proclaimed Him as king. Palm branches waving, shouts of Hosanna to the Son of David-the King of Israel, rang out as the young donkey carried Him through the joyful throng. It seemed to some that the whole world had gone after Him!
All the cunning, scheming, lying, and killing to try and stop the Seed of the woman was now culminating. The devil’s own worship denied, his murderous desire to rule and reign being threatened, and his effort to keep this One from completing His planned purpose was failing. In final desperation, he could still do something. He could speak lies into men’s thoughts and deceive their minds. He could bring jealousy, rage, and murder surging from the depths of wicked hearts. He could enter into Judas and lead him to betray the One he followed. He could tempt the Anointed One to have this cup passed from Him. He could sift Peter like wheat, causing him to deny he even knew the Christ he claimed he would die for. He could scatter the flock and entice an entire crowd to turn against the man they hailed as king, and instead, demand His crucifixion. He could inflict unspeakable suffering and brutal pain at the hands of men. He could attack Him on every level of His being in attempts to give up His calling, even while hanging on a cross.
But his relentless assaults fell powerless at the feet of Jesus.
We have a Savior who, knowing all that was going to happen as He entered the city, spoke these words: “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say- Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him. Jesus responded, “This voice came not for Me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” (John12:27-32)
Lord, we cannot truly grasp the onslaught of the enemy during this last week of Your life. We can only bow in humble worship and deepest gratitude. You took the judgment we deserved and cast the ruler of this world out. As You were lifted up, You made a way for all to come to You. To You alone belongs the glory. Be glorified once again in our hearts today. It is because of You, Jesus, we pray – Amen.