In His Steps Easter Journey 2010

Begin Your Journey with Christ ...

Please enter with a Quiet Heart.

Experience the last days of our Lord’s life as He prepared to be God’s Ultimate Sacrifice. Ponder, savor, explore and investigate for yourself … one step at a time … as you reflect on Christ’s journey to the cross.

Step #1

Jesus' Baptism

Description: Baptism is the initiation into the family of God. Jesus was baptized by John as He began His ministry.

Scripture: Matt 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. but John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.” And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Action: Run your fingers through the water & reflect on YOUR baptism and what it means to you.

Prayer: “Dearest Lord, even if I don’t recall my baptism, help me to remember that I am a beloved child of Yours & I dedicate my life to You. Amen.”

Step #2 Jesus' Ministry

Fishermen - Fishes & Loaves

Description: Jesus called His disciples from all walks of life: fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and continues to call people to be His followers today. Jesus’ ministry connected Him directly with the people as He met their physical and spiritual needs.

Scripture: Matt 14:14-20: "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them & healed their sick. As evening neared, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up 12 basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over."

Action: Take a goldfish cracker from the bowl, eat it, & remember how Jesus has met your physical and spiritual needs.

Prayer: “O Lord, as the thousands of people were fed the bread and fish until they were satisfied, may I too be nourished in your Word. Amen.”

Step #3 - Holy Week (Friday & Saturday)

Anointing Oil & Dinner with Friends

Description: While not actually mentioned in the Gospels, it is believed Jesus spent these days in traditional fashion with His friends. At the evening meal, Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume as an act of humility. This tender expression shows Mary’s devotion to Jesus & her willingness to serve Him.

Scripture: John 12:1-3 "Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Mary took a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair."

Action: Dip a finger in oil & make a sign of the cross on the back of your hand as you devote yourself to Jesus.

Prayer: “O God help me have a humble heart so that I can serve you like Mary did. Amen.”

Step #4 - Palm Sunday

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey

Description: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling an ancient prophecy. (Zech. 9:9) The crowd welcomed Him with waving palms and shouts of praise. A few days later, this very same crowd will be shouting “Crucify Him.”

Scripture: John 12:12-15 "The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 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!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt.”

Action: Wave the palm branches and reflect on how you may have welcomed Jesus during good times yet denied Him when faced with trials.

Prayer: “Precious Jesus, please forgive me when I take my eyes off you. May my life be one of continual praise and worship to you alone. Amen.”

Step #5 - Holy Week (Monday-Wednesday)

Clearing of the Temple, Teaching, Day of Rest

Description: On Monday, Jesus visited the Temple and found the court of the Gentiles full of traders making large profits trading Jewish coins for pagan money. On Tuesday, He taught in parables; predicted the destruction of the Temple; & taught about His own return. It is believed He rested on Wednesday.

Scripture: Matt 21:12-13 "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written," he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ ”

Action: Run your fingers through the coins & consider what you did for financial gain that you now regret.

Prayer: “Loving God, help me stay focused on your values instead of worldly profits. Amen.”

Step #6 - Holy Week (Maundy Thursday)

The Last Supper

Description: Jesus prepared both Himself and His disciples for His death. He gave the Passover meal a new meaning. The loaf of bread and cup of wine represented His body soon to be sacrificed and His blood soon to be shed. And so He instituted the “Lord’s Supper.”

Scripture: Matt. 26:26-28 ... Luke 22: 19: "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins...do this in remembrance of me.”

Action: Dip a piece of bread in the juice as you reflect on Jesus’ Last Supper with His closest friends.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, as I take the bread and juice, please help me understand Jesus’ message before it is too late. Amen”

Step #7 - Maundy Thursday

Jesus Washes the Apostles' Feet

Description: In Jesus’ time, servants usually washed visitor’s feet, but Jesus took up the towel and basin and washed His friends’ feet. This act of love demonstrated that nothing is beneath our dignity as we serve one another in Christ.

Scripture: John 13: 4-5 ... 12-17: "Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him...When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me 'Teacher' and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Action: Envision washing your friend’s feet with great care as you wash & dry your own hands today.

Prayer: “Dearest Lord, help me serve others as Jesus served His friends and followers. Amen”

Step #8 - Thursday to Good Friday

Jesus’ Betrayal, Arrest, Trial, Nail Your Sins to the Cross

Description: After the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. While there, Judas betrayed Christ by identifying Him to the Roman guards who arrested Jesus and took Him to Caiaphas, the high priest, and Pontius Pilot, the governor. Both men hoped to resolve this peacefully but the very crowd that praised Jesus as He entered the city now demanded He be put to death. Judas suddenly realized he sealed Jesus’ fate, so he hung himself. Apostle Peter betrayed his master by denying he knew Him three times before the rooster crowed. Pilot offered one more time to free Jesus and punish the criminal Barabbas instead—but the crowd shouted “Crucify him” louder and louder.

Scripture: Matt 27:3-5: "When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”  “What is that to us?” they replied. “That's your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

Scripture: Mark 14:66-72 "While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don't know or understand what you're talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, “I don't know this man you're talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept."

Scripture: Matt 26:59-60: "The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward."

Scripture: Matt. 27:22-24: “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man's blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

Scripture: Mark 15:16-20: "The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace...They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him."

Scripture: Luke 23: 32-34: "Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

Action: Write down something you want forgiveness for and nail the note to the cross. Remember Jesus died so we may be forgiven for all of our sins.

Prayer: “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, I want to understand Your forgiveness offered through the cross. Please help me leave my sins at the cross so I can find the peace that You offer. Amen.”

Meditation Station

The Hill at Calvary

            Reflect on Christ’s life as you stand before the Hill at Calvary.

Mark 6:46: “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”

Step #9 - Good Friday

Christ on the Cross

Description: At the foot of the cross, the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ robe and offered Him vinegar when He was thirsty. To them, He was just another criminal to mock and scourge.

Scripture: John 19:24: "“Let's not tear it (His robe),” they said to one another. “Let's decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did."

Scripture: John 19:28-29: "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so (one of the soldiers) soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, & lifted it to Jesus' lips."

Action: Distracting Dice - Roll the dice (cast lots) Whatever number comes up, try to name that many distractions that keep you from God.

Action: Bitter Vinegar – dip a Q-tip into the vinegar and place in your mouth. Remember the bitter times you have had in your life.

Prayer:Precious Lord, please carry me through the tough times and prevent me from becoming bitter toward others. Help me focus instead on your sacrifice for me. Amen.”

Step #10 - Good Friday - Three Dark Hours

His Blood Shed for You

Description: Once Jesus took His last breath, the crowds left until only the women who were faithful to Him on His journey remained.

Scripture: Luke 23:42-43: "Then he (one of the criminals crucified next to Christ) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” When the criminal who was being crucified next to Jesus realized He was Lord, he asked Jesus to remember him in heaven. Jesus promised the man that he would join Jesus in paradise with Him."

Scripture: Mark 15: 33-34, 40-41: "At the sixth hour, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" - which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last."

"Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there."

Action: Use your finger or paintbrush to sign your name on the banner in red paint that represents His blood shed for you.

Prayer: “Jesus, as I write my name on this banner, please write my name on Your heart so that I can live with you forever in paradise. Amen.”

 

Step #11 - Easter Sunday

The Empty Tomb

Description: The women had to wait until after the Sabbath before they could come to tend to Jesus’ body. When they looked into the empty tomb, they were frightened, but they were reminded about Jesus’ teachings and ran to tell the others that He had risen.

Scripture: Luke 24:1-12: "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened."

Action: Take a rock to remind you of the empty tomb and remember to tell others that Jesus has risen indeed.

Prayer: O Lord, I pray that this rock will help me hold onto the joy of Your resurrection in my heart forever. Amen.”

Step #12 - Easter Sunday

Jesus Meets Mary in the Garden

Description: Mary was weeping in the garden by the tomb when Jesus appeared and told her to tell the others that she had seen Him. Many didn’t believe her but she held fast to the truth.

Scripture: John 20:10-18 "Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene"

"Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don't know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her."

Action: Light a candle with the Christ candle and remember to share the Easter story with everyone whether they believe you or not.

Prayer: “O Lord, until the day Jesus calls me by name, I will share the Easter story with everyone I meet. Amen.”

Let God’s Light lead you as you meditate on His words.

Scripture: John 8:12:

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

      As you leave here today, be that light to a hurting world.

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