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Holy Week, DAY 8: EASTER/RESURRECTION DAY SUNDAY

April 21, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 8: EASTER/RESURRECTION DAY SUNDAY

HE IS RISEN

Jesus is risen. Death and sin are defeated through death, shed blood of Jesus, and Jesus’ resurrection from the grave defeating death. The bonds of sin are broken forever.

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Holy Week, Day 7: Silent Saturday

April 20, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 7: SILENT SATURDAY

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Holy Week, Day 6: Good Friday

April 19, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 6: Good Friday

It was late and Jesus was still praying at the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus sought His Father’s will in the event that was about to unfold. His disciples couldn’t stay awake. While speaking to His sleepy disciples, a large, armed crowd arrived, sent by the chief priests, and led by Judas Iscariot. Judas stepped forward and kissed Jesus, the kiss of a betrayer, yet Jesus called Judas friend. Jesus is seized and taken to be questioned by the Sanhedrin. (Matthew 26:47-56)

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Holy Week, Day 5: Maundy Thursday

April 18, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 5: Passover - Last Super on Maundy Thursday

Day 5, Thursday, of Holy Week begins with Jesus sending His disciples to Jerusalem from Bethany to prepare the upper room for the Passover meal. The Gospel of Mark indicates only two disciples were sent. The Gospel of Luke indicates that only Peter and John were sent.

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Holy Week, Day 4: Wednesday

April 17, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 4: Wednesday

The Bible does not have an account of what Jesus did on day 4 of Holy Week. We know that Jesus spent the night at Mary and Martha’s house. They were His close friends.

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Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday

April 16, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 3: Tuesday

On Tuesday morning Jesus, and His disciples returned to Jerusalem.

As Jesus and His disciples passed the withered fig tree, the one he had cursed the day before, Jesus spoke to them about faith. Immediately upon arriving at the temple Jesus is challenged by the temple leaders, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Jesus rebukes them with parables disclosing that their faith is only a show and in fact their temple service is all for financial gain.

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Holy Week, Day 2: Monday

April 15, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 2: Monday

Jesus, and his disciples, return to Jerusalem.

Jesus curses a fig tree that bore no fruit. (Matthew 21:18-22) Many believe that this symbolized that genuine faith is more than just mere religiosity.

Jesus continued to the temple where temple leaders challenged Jesus’ authority. (Matthew 21:23-28) Jesus continued teaching at the temple, debating issues of the law. Jesus’ teachings concluded Monday, day 2 of Holy Week, when the temple leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, realized the parables Jesus taught were about them.

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Holy Week, Day 1: Palm Sunday

April 14, 2019

HOLY WEEK

DAY 1: PALM SUNDAY

“On the Sunday before Jesus’ death, Jesus and the disciples, passed through Bethphage, on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Before reaching Bethphage Jesus instructed two of His disciples go enter the town and retrieve a tied donkey and colt for Him. (Matthew 21:1-3) This fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah (Zechariah 1:9) Jesus rides the donkey into Jerusalem where He is greeted by crowds who had thrown their coats down for Jesus to pass over as others waved Palm branches (Palm Sunday tradition in the church) and proclaiming Hosanna to the Son of David…(Matthew 21:46-11)

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Introduction to Holy Week 2019

April 14, 2019

HOLY WEEK

An Introduction

JOIN THE FORGIVENESS FOUNDATION CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES AS WE TRACE THE STEPS OF JESUS DURING HOLY WEEK!

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Resurrection Sunday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Good Friday
Silent Saturday

Resurrection Sunday

Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-49John 20:1-21:25

Jesus Christ had died, but due to the later hour and approaching Sabbath, His followers were not able properly prepare His body according to the customs. They spent the Sabbath mourning Him and on the following day, once the sun had risen, three women went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. They were there out of love for Him. They had come to anoint His body, to honor Him. They were grieving. They had lost their friend and teacher, a Man whom they had seen perform impossible miracles and who had preached of love, forgiveness, and compassion.

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Silent Saturday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Good Friday

Silent Saturday

Saturday. The Sabbath. There was nothing that could be done until the following the day. The followers of Jesus Christ mourned, believing Him dead. Unbeknownst to His followers, however, Jesus’ mission was not yet over.

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Good Friday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Good Friday
Silent Saturday

Good Friday - It's time

Matthew 26:36-27:61; Mark 14:32-15:47; Luke 22:39-23:56; John 17:1-19:42  

One day ended and another began, with hardly a note of the passing of days. Yet Jesus knew. He knew that His final day had arrived. He had no more time. The weight had settled firmly upon His shoulders. He needed strength. 

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Thursday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday

Thursday - One day

Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:21-26; Luke 22:7-33John 13:1-30

Jesus knew it was His final day. He knew what was coming. Instead of moping about, as many of us may have done, Jesus spent the day in prayer and celebrations with His friends. The Passover celebration was, and remains, a major holiday for the Jews. It is a reminder of the slavery their ancestors suffered in Egypt and how their continued faith eventually led to their freedom. As the tenth and final plague, God struck down every firstborn, except those who had done as the Lord commanded and placed blood on the sides and tops of their door (Exodus 12:1-30). Those who had the blood on the doors were passed over. The Passover has been celebrated since Israel left Egypt, according to the instructions of the Lord.

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Wednesday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday

Wednesday - Two days

Matthew 26:14-19; Mark 14:10-16; Luke 22:7-13; John 13:2*

When parents send their children off on their own, there is always a list of reminders - what to do what not to do. They try to remind them in the days before they leave, yet, it never fails, that as the child is walking away, the parent is shouting after them wisdom that they had forgotten to say earlier. With only two days left, was this the way Jesus was feeling while preparing the disciples?

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Tuesday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday

Tuesday - Three days

Matthew 21:23-25:46; Mark 11:27-13:37Luke 20:1-21:36

Once again, Jesus had left the city the previous night. The next morning, Jesus and His disciples returned to the city and the temple. On the way to the temple, the disciples noticed that the fig tree Jesus had cursed the previous day had already withered. They were surprised that it had happened so quickly. The fig tree was again serving as a visual parable. The fig tree, which stood for Israel, had rapidly withered and been destroyed, just as Israel would soon be destroyed. Today we know that approximately 40 years after Jesus caused the fig tree to wither and die, in AD 70, future Roman emperor Titus, along with his second-in-command Tiberius Julius Alexander seized and conquered Jerusalem, the holy city of Israel, and destroyed the temple of the Lord.

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Monday

Saturday
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Good Friday
Silent Saturday

Monday - Four days

Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:13-22 

After leaving the city and spending the night in Bethany, Jesus returned to Jerusalem the day after His royal entrance into the city. As Jesus walked towards Jerusalem, He passed a fig tree, which was not yet producing fruit. During this time of year, fig trees are full of leaves, but do not produce fruit. Jesus cursed the tree, using it as a visual parable for His disciples. The tree represented Israel. Outwardly, Israel looked healthy, like the tree with lots of leaves. Also like the tree, Israel lacked fruit. Rituals and traditions had taken the place of heartfelt worship.

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Palm Sunday

Saturday

Palm Sunday - Five Days

Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-41John 12:12-18 

Every year, Hollywood celebrities gather together to honor themselves at various awards shows. As they enter, they are surrounded by crowds and fans all screaming their names. At the royal wedding in 2011, crowds gathered along the street, cheering for the newlyweds and hoping to catch a glimpse of the royal family. Crowds gathering to see someone they have heard about is nothing new. With just five days until His death, Jesus also drew a crowd. 

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Holy Week: Jesus' Journey to Calvary - Saturday

Saturday - Six days

Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9John 12:2-8 

It is rare, knowing the day, the hour, the minute, and the method of your death. It is rarer still, to know all the details surrounding your death, to know why you will die, the pain you will experience, who will be by your side, who will be cheering your death, and who will be mourning. If you knew, how would you spend your final week?

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Ash Wednesday - The Beginning of Lent and a Time to Grow

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for the Catholic and Liturgical Protestant Christian churches.  To understand the origin of Ash Wednesday it is necessary to understand Lent.  

 

What is Lent? What is Ash Wednesday?

 

Lent is a period of personal sacrifice, fasting, reflection, and repentance for the believer in preparation for Holy Week worship.  Lent dates back to the early church and encouraging the believer as a remembrance of his/her baptism and as preparation for baptism for new converts, and a spiritual cleansing for Holy Week worship.  Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday (Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem), Maundy Thursday (The Last Super), Good Friday (Jesus’ Crucifixion), Saturday - The Sabbath - (Jesus Rests).  Holy Week does not include Easter.  In the West, the coming of Easter signals the end of Lent.  In the East, Lent continues beyond Easter.  

 

The early church didn’t have a standard practice of Lent preparation leading up the Easter Sunday.  That changed when Emperor Constantine of Rome decided to commingle pagan practices with Christianity as a way of better controlling interaction between his pagan and Christian (Constantine was Christian) citizens.  In AD 325, the early church met at the Council of Nicaea to incorporate what Constantine required, along with other church business.  The Council of Nicaea dealt with many church matters during their session: The one that regards this article is fixing a beginning date for Lent.  The counsel established the fourth Sunday of each new year as the date to signal the beginning of Lent.  This would result in a 40 day period between the first day of Lent and Easter.

 

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The Ash Wednesday I Never Knew

There was the hint of spring in the air while walking around the college campus one Wednesday.  The warmer weather, and bright sun, was the reason my head was up instead of bowed against the cold and wind.  If it had not been for the warmth I might never have noticed that every other person appeared to have a black smudge on their foreheads.  Even some professors had the smudge!  Well, it was a Catholic college, it must be one of those things Catholics did?  Then I heard talk of giving up Facebook, chocolate, and video games for Lent.  Lent, I vaguely knew what that was.  Yep.  It was definitely a Catholic thing.  Wait!  I did a double take.  Was that my Lutheran friend with a black smudge?  So maybe not just a Catholic thing?  Although...they are both liturgical churches; maybe it is a liturgical church thing?  It was a few more years before I understood that those "liturgical church things" are a way of growing and deepening my relationship with Christ.

 

The black smudge, as later learned, did not start as a smudge.  It was given by a priest to those who attended Mass that morning.  The priest dipped his thumb in ash and drew the sign of the cross on each person's forehead, as a reminder of what God said to Adam and Eve after they succumbed to sin and ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden: "for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19b, ESV)  The ash mark symbolizes inner repentance.  The Old Testament is littered with examples of people covering themselves with ash - 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1,3, Isaiah 61:3, Jeremiah 6:26, Ezekiel 27:30, Daniel 9:3, and Job 42:6 - just to name a few!  Jesus even alluded to the practice in Matthew 11:21!  Many people leave the ashes on their foreheads all day as a witness that all are sinners and in need of Christ's forgiveness.

 

Ash Wednesday, this year on March 1, is the first day of the season of Lent.  Although popularized by the Catholic Church, neither Ash Wednesday, nor Lent, are just another "Catholic thing."  Lent, and by extension, Ash Wednesday, date back to, at least, the legalization of Christianity in AD 313.  Legalization of Christianity helped formalize the practice of Lent.  Following the Council of Nicea in AD 325, Lent became even more widely practiced.  

  

Lent is the practice of fasting for the 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday.  What is the first thing you think of when fasting?  Food, right?  In the Bible, fasting is associated with, but it is not limited to, food.  Love to play video games or computer games?  You can fast from them.  Spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and tumblr?  You can fast from them.  Love all things sweet?  You can fast from them.  It is up to you, but remember, it is suppose to be hard!  If it is easy, it would not strengthen your relationship with Christ.  Lent is to remind us the sacrifice Jesus Christ made, so that we may spend eternity with Him.  Through a sacrifice of our own, and our reliance on Him during our struggle, we can deepen and strengthen our relationship with Him.

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