Monday, April 6, 2009

Week Before the Cross: Sunday-Monday

So I spent much of my weekend watching movies on the Hallmark channel(see below). Which is fine because if you recall, I was determined to enjoy the nothingness on my calender after 3 weekends of speaking.

I did get a few loads of laundry done while watching two of the movies. And I walked 45 minutes on my treadmill during another one. I managed to make dinner with leftovers before the last two movies of the night, which didn't make me cry as much as the others. Maybe I was just out of tears by then, or maybe exercising released those happy hormones that Elle Woods says keeps happy people from killing their husbands. :)

So this week I figured I'd do a bit of reading. I'm going to spend my week going through Jesus' last week before the cross.

Sunday through Wednesday Jesus spent each night a couple miles outside of Jerusalem, across from the Mount of Olives in Bethany. He may have been staying at Mary & Martha's home. Thursday night we'll find him in the Garden of Gethsemane. And Friday and Saturday night His body lay in the tomb. Sunday, however, a glorious new dawn rises in the hearts of man!

I'll be reading the passages in all 4 gospels. Anyone want to join me? I'll post the readings here each day and link them to the online Bible, like I did during last spring's Bible study. All you have to do is click on them to read them. Then if you want, you can post here to say you've read it and leave any questions or comments about the passages.

I'll also be reading Max Lucado's book, "And the Angels Were Silent," about this week of Jesus' life. I started on it this morning. I started on the Bible passages yesterday - but you can quickly catch up.

Here is Palm Sunday's (yesterday) reading:

The laying down of palm branches was an ancient tradition that indicated a king or dignitary was arriving in triumph. Interestingly, palm branches are also mentioned in the book of Revelation. John writes of his heavenly vision in Revelation 9:7-11:

"After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God."

I especially like the details John's gospel includes in his passage about the praise and worship sung as Jesus entered. Can you picture creation - in Heaven and earth, living and inanimate - anticipating the redemption to come?!

Here is Monday's (today) reading:

Any thoughts?


  1. Thank you Rachel for posting these readings! I too am committed to walking the path to the cross with Christ this year.

    I love the Palm Sunday scripture, but what struck me today was actually today's readings. Do we today also turn our houses of prayer into a "den of robbers?" At first I thought that selling things in the outer court of the temple was the issue and thought of all the tables set up in many church vestibules or court yards, selling bake-sale items to raise money for various associations that the Church sponsors, or advertising events at the Church. But upon further reading and focusing on the words "my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations," and that the benches of those selling the sacrificial doves were turned over, it seems to me the issue was merchants "fleecing" worshipers, and perhaps exacting higher payment from non-Jewish people.

    I guess at the bottom of it all, we need to make sure that all are welcome to our houses of prayer. That they are houses of prayer for all nations, and that our "tables" in the courtyard actually honor God and don't persecute others.

    Just some thoughts,


  2. Hey, RAchel! I will be visiting Janette Oake at the local library tomorrow to start that series!! Thanks so much for letting me know!

    I will be right there with you studying about the last week of Christ. I have Max's book also, but I think Child #1 has it in his room--scary place!!


  3. I actually shed a few tears near the end of the new movie Saturday night.

    I'm reading the Bible through this year and the scriptures for this week are in Luke following the path that Jesus followed.

  4. Thank you so much for posting these readings! This is something I wanted to do and intended to do on my own. Having the scriptures here was the 'nudge' that I needed to actually get it done!

    Now, I'm off to look for my copy of Max Lucado's book... it has been a LONG time since I've read it!

  5. Hi Rachel - I love visiting your page and am very excited that you posted these readings. I have been reading through Jesus' story with my kids using Resurrection Eggs (which are absolutely wonderful) and it is exciting to read through the story in my own time as well to study deeper in to the word. I am going to go buy (or borrow) the Max Lucado book. Thanks for your faithfulness.

    In Him,

  6. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for posting these readings this week. I am also reading "Six Hours one Friday" by Max Lucado to prepare for this week.


  7. Thanks, Rachel! I am also reading these passages from the Bible this week as well! WHat struck me in "Jesus Clears the Temples" is the reminder that our "houses" can also be our "hearts" I'm doing some "spring cleaning" of my heart in preparation for Easter.
    Pat in nyc


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