Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Week Before the Cross: Thursday

Welcome, if you've come over from my devotion published at Crosswalk or at Proverbs 31 today. Feel free to say "hi."

Easter is just days away - so are you ready?

I don't mean have you picked out an appropriately-colored outfit yet. (Mine will likely be lilac, white and black because I have a lilac nail polish I like.)

And I don't mean have you colored any Easter eggs. (I haven't done that yet - and surprisingly the kids haven't asked me about it.)

No, I mean something more akin to, have you spent any time walking in your heart with Jesus to the cross yet? That's what I'm trying to do this week as I read through the gospels about each of the days in this particular week of Christ's life.

As Jesus entered His final days before enduring the cross at Golgotha, He acted with deliberate intent. Every step was premeditated. Each word was rich with loving purpose. Knowing He had just days left with His disciples, what did He want to tell them? What things did He do with them? What did He ask of them? What really mattered in those final hours?

Find the answers to those questions in the events that took place on that Thursday. (These each link to an online Bible)

The Last Supper:
Jesus talking with his disciples in the upper room:

He stresses and prays in the garden at Gethsemane:

The Son of Man is arrested:

After reading about the Last Supper, I'm motivated to take some time tonight or tomorrow to take communion together as a family. I want us to remember together the sacrifice that Jesus said was about to be poured out for our sins.

A few years ago I went to one of those paint your own pottery places with some girlfriends and I chose to make a challis. We used that as our communion cup at home for awhile ... until it broke ... when I dropped it... those pottery things are sooo heavy!

Still, even the broken pieces of that challis reminded me of the broken body of Christ. So this is what I'm doing to get ready for Easter - this is how I'm remembering the satisfaction Isaiah spoke of regarding the cross. I trust you'll find ways to remember as well.


  1. Dear Rachel, Thanks for your insight. My son has just come to
    church with me after 6 long years/ He is only 12 and my only. We went to a Passover Seder at my church. I have been on a cloud since Sunday. I bought him a teen Bible which he is reading I am in awe of Gods miracle at work in my son. I've been praying for him for 6 years. God is able.

  2. Rachel,
    Thank you for your devotional today on Crosswalk. I am reading a book called "Living the Cross Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney. The chapter I read last night was about searching the mystery to find the captivating picture of His love. Thank you for reminding me of my reading and encouraging me to read more. Christ did so much for us - it is hard to fathom!

  3. Hey, girl! This is wonderful. Tonight as a family, we will attend our Maundy Thursday service. It is so powerful..I always leave completely overwhelmed and drained remembering what He did for me!


  4. I love this, Rachel.

  5. Dear Rachel, thanks for your words of wisdom they really hit home. This is what the Lord has been showing me during this time.

    Are we paying attention? It’s quite tragic with all this shootings lately. As I have been preparing in prayer for Easter/Passover I was struck by something. How many of the school shootings and other shootings have been in the month of March or April and near Passover/Easter? Even one is too many. I know we are in a battle against an enemy, Satan. He knows this is a very special holy time for Gods people. I believe Satan has so penetrated hearts of the shooters these past few years to create fear, death and despondency that Gods people might compromise and not continue to walk according to Gods holy standards; Satan thinks we might compromise because we are so discouraged.

    Judas betrayed Jesus, Satan planted the thought, see John 13:2, then Satan entered into his heart, see John 13:27. BUT, it’s a done deal, Satan has been defeated and he knows his time is short and will do anything he can to try and kill one of Gods children or cause them to fall away. Or he will try to prevent someone from entering into a saving knowledge of Gods love for them regardless of their past. Read John 12:31, 41-66; John 14: 30; 1 John 4 and many other passages. What Satan may mean for evil, God always uses it for good—no plan of Gods can be thwarted, no matter how dire the circumstances. What God has made holy Satan tries to make unholy.

    I have not used these last 40 days according to what God may have wanted me to do. I started out all set to spend some days fasting and some praying, but I neglected to remain consistent. Just imagine if we were consistent starting in Feb to ask the Lord what HE would have each of us to pray and fast about and not just give something up, then tell everyone so we look like we are being “religious.” I pray 2010 will be different not just for me but for each of you as well. I didn't take seriously the sacrifice Christ made for us, nothing compares to what He went through, so why is it so hard to sacrifice our time, talents, money, bodies for HIM, whatever that may look like?

    Has I have repented of my negligence; I have receive His mercy and cleansing. God has broken my heart with what breaks HIS heart and I pray we ask for HIS direction and stop trying to push our own agenda, doing things our way and not Gods, thus making us walk in the flesh and not the spirit. We are a holy people set apart to be holy as HE is holy. Christ came to serve and we are called to do the same, to put others before ourselves and to have a servant’s heart, not matter your roll or area of influence is. Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus Christ’s honor is at stake in our bodily lives. Are we remaining faithful to the Son of God in everything that attacks His life in us?” What will you do with yours this weekend? Prayerfully start paying more attention to God through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit and expect transformation.

    For HE alone is worthy
    ~Tanya Villani~ 2 Chronicles 15:17

  6. Rachel,

    Thank you for all this and also for your devotion today on Isaiah 53. I chose that chapter to memorize over the season of lent. It is so moving to me!

    Tonight I will go and celebrate the Sader Supper at our church. I have prayed that God will give me fresh insight to His suffering, death and resurrection this year. You are an answer to prayer, my friend.

    Karen, CA

  7. Thank you Rachel! So far my week has not gone as I'd planned due to circumstances beyond my control, and my reflection of Passion Week and preparation for Resurrection Day is lacking. My heart hurts and longs for a peaceful, quiet spirit. But your words encourage me, and Jesus beacons me to Him. So, in the midst of the chaos in our home (we're remodeling), tonight my husband and I will catch up on our Bible readings and together worship our risen Lord!

  8. Rachel, I love today's Devotional and blog! It's divine confirmation of where we all should be this week - walking from Jerusalem, to Gethesemane to Calvary - with our Lord Jesus. I too, like Delores Pyer, am reading Living the Cross Centered Life (pick it up!) - it is life-impacting... life-changing; a perfect week to start reading it. May we all stand in awe of Him this Easter weekend - and praise His Holy Name!

  9. Rachel, I love today's Devotional it was really good! :)
    Praise Him my friend!! He is sooo Worthy Amen! It's a good day, because we have Jesus in our life!
    Have a Great Resurrection Sunday!

  10. Loved this!! Such a great post!!! I hope you have a happy easter!! ps-if you get a sec check out my blog I cannot believe what the Lord did!!!! AMAZING!!! =)

  11. Rachel, thanks for making the Scriptures alot clearer...asking God for discernment and wisdom while reading His Word really gives me more understanding. Yes.. so much evil has been going on of late, all the killings, theft of every sort. It so saddens me. I hear over and over again about the recession. I don't claim that because My Father is rich in houses and land. I don't lack the necessities of life. He continues to give me food to eat, shelter, and clothes on my back. Yes...He has sacrified for us. Isn't it time for us to give back. Continuing to read His Word is such a small task, Life is so short and He is coming back sooner than we think. I so love Jesus and I, too struggle with my flesh, however I feel much cnviction when I think of doing what is not pleasing to Him. That to me shows my growth. Thank you, Father for not forsaking or leaving me. Happy Easter to all of you. We have so much to be thankful for. He died on the cross for US. He is an Awesone God.

    Blessings/Jo Ann
    Here in Denver, Co.

  12. I so appreciated your devotional on P31. The stronger I become in Christ the harder it is for me to enjoy the secular view. No new dress this year. No easter backets for the kids (we usually but them a new purse and stufff it). It just wasn't's all bout what God did with His Son...for us. I am so humbled by it all. So unworthy but so grateful.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    In His Graces~Pamela


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