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Undeserving Day 15

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Scripture: John 12:12-15 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel! 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

Devotional: Today is Palm Sunday, the commencing of what has become known as Holy Week.  It’s the day that Jesus fulfilled Scripture by riding on a donkey on His way to Jerusalem and being celebrated as the King of Israel.  With the waving of palm branches and the shouts of "Hosanna!”, the people truly thought they were celebrating an earthly king who would overturn the Roman oppression they were suffering.

Little did they know that they were welcoming Jesus into His pathway of death.  And that the freedom they would receive and the King who would reign was much different than they anticipated. 

Our devotionals during this Holy Week will focus on the great exchange - Jesus’ giving up what He deserved to give us what we do not deserve. This is all part of the upside down Kingdom of God of which Jesus spoke often.  And it is a common theme throughout the whole of Scripture. 

As you walk through this Holy Week, and you read God’s Word and ponder the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, look for glimpses of this great exchange and the upside down Kingdom of which Jesus taught. 

Reflect:

  • That first Palm Sunday, people had a preconceived notion of what Jesus would do for them.  They heard about His miraculous works and celebrated one who they believed had the power to better their current oppressive situation. They expected an earthly king, but instead ultimately received an other-worldly King who had the power to overcome death and set them free from the power of sin and death. In the gap where expectation and reality met, people then had a choice to make.  Would they serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords?  Or would they reject His gift of eternal life and freedom? 

 

Reflect upon your own pre-conceived ideas about Jesus and what you desire for Him to do for you.  What will you do with the gap between your own expectation and reality?

 

Undeserving Day 14

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Scripture: Luke 6:22-23 22Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

Devotional: Jesus’ words are a great reminder for each of us. As His followers, we will have trouble in this world.  We will face rejection and exclusion.  We should expect this and, in fact, rejoice in this.

Too often, we can be enticed by a false gospel that would suggest otherwise;  that the Christian life is a life of comfort and blessing.  We become accustomed to our comfort and we lose sight of our calling. According to this passage, we are most blessed when we suffer for the name of Jesus.

Take some time today to recalibrate your perspective.  Chances are, if you are not facing some form of rejection in this life because of your faith in Jesus, you may not be living fully into it. 

Reflect

  • In what ways are you being “safe” when it comes to your faith?
  • In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes: 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20) Pray this prayer for yourself today, that you would be fearless and bold when it comes to living out and sharing your faith.  And when you are rejected, rejoice!

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