A Holy Week Devotional Experience for Ministry Leaders
TUESDAY (3pm): QUESTIONING JESUS
READ: Luke 20:1-8, Matthew 21:23-27; Matthew 22:15-46 – Jesus’ authority is questioned by leaders
REFLECT: These confrontations were an attempt to put Jesus in His place by forcing Him to yield to the religious leaders’ authority. But when they tried, they failed. Jesus asked smarter questions and gave clearer answers than they did. When they tried to question His motives, He exposed their hearts. When they attempted to intimidate Him by coming to Him in a big group, He never showed the slightest sign of backing down. “They tried to discredit His ministry, but there were people walking around in the temple who, only days earlier, had been blind and lame.” – Russ Ramsey
WEDNESDAY (9am): PLOTS AND SCHEMES
READ: Matthew 26:1-5 – The chief priests and elders plot to kill Jesus.
REFLECT: The point of the discussion was not whether to kill Jesus, but how. The decision had already been made.
WEDNESDAY (12:15pm): ANOINTING
READ: Mark 14:3-9 – Jesus is anointed with oil
REFLECT: “The woman could not have known that what she did that day would be memorialized in God’s Word and recounted to the ends of the earth. The Lord loves to reward faithful devotion to Him, and it is the only thing we do that will truly last forever.” – Charles Stanley
WEDNESDAY (2pm): TREACHERY
READ: Matthew 26:14-16 – Judas decides to betray Jesus
REFLECT: Thirty silver coins was the amount due to an owner for the loss of a slave. Judas’ agreement to betray Jesus for such a low sum is in direct contrast to how much the woman spent to anoint Jesus.
THURSDAY (6:00 PM): UPPER ROOM
READ: Matthew 26:17-30 – Jesus shares Passover with the disciples.
REFLECT: One of the things Jesus did on the night He was betrayed was sing. Jesus led them in the traditional Passover song, Psalm 118, about how the stone the builders rejected had become the cornerstone, and how the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever.
THURSDAY (8pm): DENIAL
READ: Matthew 26:31-35 – Jesus predicts Peter’s denial
REFLECT: When Jesus tells Peter he will deny Him three times, He’s not spelling out doom for Peter. He’s confronting Peter’s sin, but He’s not rejecting Peter’s salvation. We, like Peter, must see the true nature of our sin, to see the truth of our salvation.
FRIDAY (12:01am): THE GARDEN
READ: Matthew 26:36-46 – Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane
REFLECT: During his prayer, Jesus is taking on the physical agony of the cross, but He is also taking on the spiritual agony of separation from His loving father.
FRIDAY (2:00am): ARRESTED
READ: Matthew 26:47-56 – Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
REFLECT: It is difficult to imagine the loneliness of this moment. And yet, Jesus is not a victim, but a volunteer.
FRIDAY (3:00 AM): CONDEMNED AND MISTREATED
READ: Matthew 26:57-68 – Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin
REFLECT: “If Jesus had taken up His own defense with the intention of refuting his accusers and proving his innocence, he would have won. But we would have lost, and we would be lost for all eternity.” – Adrian Rogers
FRIDAY (4:00 AM): THREE TIMES
READ: Matthew 26:58; 69-75 – Peter denies Jesus.
REFLECT: Jesus knows you, like He knew Peter. Despite your protests that you’ll never deny Him again, Jesus knows your sin and He loves you still.
FRIDAY (6:00 AM): PILATE
READ: Matthew 27:11-26 – Jesus appears before Pilate
REFLECT: “Choosing Barabbas didn’t force the crowd to face their own sin. They could go on living their comfortable lives if they got rid of Jesus. Admitting that Christ is the true Son of God changes everything. It changes how we spend every moment of every day. It feels so much easier to just pat myself on the back and choose Barabbas—”look, I set the prisoner free!” – Rebecca Faires
FRIDAY (8:00am): MOCKED
READ: Matthew 27:27-31 – Jesus is mocked by the Romans
REFLECT: Find a version of “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” to read or listen to. Here is a portion: “O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down, now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown. O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine! Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.”
FRIDAY (9:00 AM): THE WALK
READ: Matthew 27:31-44 – Jesus is led away to be crucified
REFLECT: Jesus walked in front of Simon, and Simon kept his eyes on Jesus. Simon was not taking Jesus’ place; he was simply following Him.
FRIDAY (12:00 PM) – FINAL HOURS
READ: Matthew 27:45-56 – Jesus is on the cross for the final three hours
REFLECT: “The forgiveness [Jesus] extended on the cross to those who put him to death is the same forgiveness he extends to sinners today.” – John MacArthur
FRIDAY (3:00 PM) – BURIAL
READ: Matthew 27:57-61 – Jesus is buried.
REFLECT: Crucified bodies were normally given, at best, a dishonorable burial in a public plot. In burying Jesus in his own new tomb, Joseph showed his devotion as a disciple.
SATURDAY (9am): SABBATH
READ: Luke 23:56 – The women at the tomb observe the Sabbath
REFLECT: This is the only full day in history where the body of the crucified Son of God lay dead and buried in a grave. From The Book of Common Prayer, “O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” –
SUNDAY (7am): EMPTY
READ: Matthew 28:1-8 – The resurrection of Jesus
REFLECT: Jesus said, “I have authority to lay my life down, and I have authority to take it up again.” And that is just what He did. HE HAS RISEN!
“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” -John 20:21